Top tips for online employee surveys

This is the sixth blog in our summer series explaining how to get the most from your employee survey.  You can read all our previous blogs here.

  • Don’t use too many colours or fonts – they are distracting. On the other hand, emboldening, italicising and changing the colours of key words, used appropriately, can make your questions easier to understand. Use colour and font size to differentiate instructions from question text and make your questionnaire easier to follow.
  • Always specify a background colour, even if it is white (usually a good choice). If you don’t, some browsers may show a background colour you do not expect. Background images usually render text harder to read, even though they may make a page more attractive at first glance.
  • Use graphics sparingly; they will slow the download time and frustrate users.
  • Make sure you do not require people to scroll down the screen to view part of the survey page. Most people find this annoying.
  • Include an introduction or welcome page. Explain the reason for the survey. Put instructions where they relate to, instead of grouping them on the first page.
  • Make your page and question layouts consistent: for instance, don’t put answer choices on the right for some questions and on the left for others. Use colour consistently. For example, always use the same colour to represent an instruction.
  • Recognise that requiring that questions be answered may increase the number of people who drop out of a survey in the middle. Whenever you require an answer, make sure the available options include all possible answers, including “don’t know” or “not applicable”.
  • Allow space for long replies to questions requiring comments. Some people will type in longer answers on a Web page than they would write on a paper questionnaire or say to an interviewer.
  • Dropdown lists save space on the screen, but use them with care. Lists that require scrolling to see some choices can bias the results. Use them only if there is just one possible choice a person can make.
  • When you have created the survey, test it thoroughly. Make sure that all the pages look the way you want them to, and that all skips, randomisations and other logic behave as you intend.

Find out more about how we can work with you to maximise the potential of your employee survey.