Peoplegeist

Howto craft good micro-polling questions

Learn how to craft effective micro-poll or pulse survey questions.

The makup of a good micro-poll question

Simple to understand

Above all, it needs to be simple. The reader should be able to understand what you are asking.

Keep it short and keep the wording simple. Simplicity drives engagement and increases the chances of a response.

Long sentences and complicated words might appear more precise, but the reader might need to focus a lot more to understand what you mean. This leads more to miss-interpretation than precision.

Long Examples

"Considering packaging, pricing, availability, and marketing, do you choose the same product again the next time you purchase toilette paper?"

Short Examples

"Would you buy the same toilette paper again?"

Comprehensive

We try to reduce the number of questions we ask the employees. To maintain high response rates, we should try to ask questions that cover the main topic instead of asking several questions covering a similar aspect.

For example, when it comes to restaurant rating, you could ask the user. "you like the price?", "Do you like the menu-selection", "did you think the toilettes were clean?"

All questions cover an aspect of customer satisfaction. All aspects together culminate into one main question:

"Would you come again to this restaurant?"

"Would you recommend this restaurant?"

You know that you are doing fine if you receive a good score on the ‘comprehensive’ question. This is especially important when we look at the next point “outcome oriented”

Outcome oriented

We need to keep in mind what we want to achieve with the micro-polls. Typically, we want an index or score which we can track and use as indicator if there is a problem or not.

For example, the head of logistics and infrastructure would want a dashboard overseeing all the departments: mail, bistro, facility-management, etc….

If the scores go down, We need to investigate what is going on. You can read the comments, or you can start additional micro-polls with more detailed questions targeted at the buildings with bad scores.

Once the scores return to good levels, you know the actions taken were successful and you can complete the corrective measures.

Micro-poll questions should therefore be high-level aggregators (comprehensive) that tell you if actions are required or not.

Answer type

The wording of the question leads to different answer type. An answer can be Yes/No, a 5-point scale, or a number.

Think about the kind of chart you want and phrase the question accordingly.

Think about if a question can be answered with yes/no or if a continuum is more appropriate.

Example

"I understood clearly the message of the last brownbag session.": Yes/No

"I can effectively manage my work-life balance.": Yes/No

"Please rate, how effective can you manage your work-life balance.": 5-step range

One question not two

Don’t try to jam multiple questions into one sentence. If you must use “and” or “or”, it’s a good chance that you are trying to ask multiple questions at once.

Example

"Do you like the pricing and the packaging of the shoes"

Better would be

"Would you buy the shoe?"

Test your question

If you are not sure, just ask your colleague accross the desk the question. If you see that they are not sure how to answer or they are hesitant, you know there is something not clear.

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Examples of micro-polling questions

Work and Resources

  • I have the tools and resources I need to do my job.
  • I have all the information and skills to do my job well.
  • My work gives me a sense of purpose
  • How well aligned is the company with your career goals?
  • Are our company values clear?

Employee Engagement

  • I care about the future of this organization.
  • How likely are you to recommend this organization as a place to work?
  • I have a sense of pride in working here.

Trust

  • Do you trust the leadership of this organization?
  • Can you be open and honest with your direct manager/supervisor.
  • Do you have confidence in the integrity of your manager?

Organizational and role fit

  • Are you aware how your role contributes to the success of the organization?
  • I am in a role that makes good use of my skills.
  • The values of this are closely aligned with my own values.
  • The culture of this is a good fit for me.

Ownership / Empowerment

  • I am empowered to make decisions in my role.
  • I influence and input the goals that I am working on.
  • I am given an appropriate level of responsibility.
  • Things I do in my role provide me with a great sense of achievement.
  • Were you able to achieve your goals this week?

Personal Growth

  • How satisfied are you that you are personally developing in your role?
  • My manager has spoken to me about my development during the last 6 months.
  • There is somebody in this organization that is encouraging my development.
  • I expect to continue to develop in my current role over the next 12 months.

Health & Well-being

  • I can effectively manage my work-life balance.
  • Are you taking steps to protect your physical health as you work remotely?
  • How satisfied are you with the level of your productivity while working remotely?
  • Are the remote working tools meeting your needs?

Leadership

  • My manager makes timely decisions.
  • How confident are you in the direction your manager is taking you?
  • My manager communicates a clear picture of my team’s direction.

Communications

  • I am well informed about what is going on in the organization
  • I am clear on the goals and objectives of the organization.
  • How aware are you of how the organization is performing versus its goals?

Rewards & Recognition

  • I know about the available benefits in this Organization and I feel they are of value to me.
  • This organization recognizes and rewards outstanding performance

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