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Voice of the Employee - How to Effectively Use Comments in Employee Surveys

Survey comments are a rich source of data -- they can provide context to opportunity areas, suggest solutions to fast track the action planning process, and raise new issues not covered by the survey items themselves. However, survey teams and leaders often feel paralyzed by the sheer volume of qualitative information provided. Organizations that effectively integrate comments, or open-ended questions in their survey program can gain valuable insights.

To effectively use comments in employee surveys, consider the following:

  1. Why ask open-ended questions?
  2. What are the right questions to ask?
  3. What are some instructions to provide to survey takers in advance?
  4. How can I categorize respondents' comments to my advantage? 

This white paper provides best practices to avoid common pitfalls and ensure that the investments in collecting and using comments pay off.