TSI Blog

Bernard Jenkin MP Officially Opens Our New Offices

February 20th, 2017 by Jaime Johnson | No Responses

We were recently joined by our local MP, Bernard Jenkin, who kindly popped by on his day out in his constituency to officially open our new offices. It proved a lovely occasion for all our team to get-together and have lunch with Bernard. We were surprised and fascinated to hear his views on employee engagement and how government are working to increase levels of employee engagement with their workforce. Quite a lengthy and interesting conversation flowed with an invite to add our views on cultural change to the government’s consultation on the issue, which we’re very excited to be a part of.

Bernard was also very interested to hear about our growth and to meet our two newest employees, one a recent graduate from the University of Essex and was keen to hear more about how we’ll be working more closely with the University in the future. He was also surprised to hear that … read more »

Do you know who I am?

August 21st, 2015 by Ralph Sutcliffe | No Responses

There is a long standing belief in market research that face to face interviewing methodologies yield higher satisfaction scores. Not convinced? Have you ever been having a meal in a pub or restaurant with the person sitting opposite you having a good old moan about say, the toughness of their steak? And when the waitress does the polite “Is everything ok with your meals?” thing, they say “Yes, it’s lovely thank you”.

Why is that? Do we not want to be perceived as moaners, are we embarrassed about complaining in public, or making a fuss? But we should give honest and genuine feedback, it allows issues to be recognised, addressed and rectified.

Anonymity and confidentiality is an issue we frequently come across in our employee engagement survey work. Participants are sometimes reluctant to take part for fear they may be recognised and perhaps singled out. It is something we take very seriously and we include an email address and telephone number on … read more »

What’s in a word?

August 20th, 2015 by Ralph Sutcliffe | No Responses

We are often asked to provide surveys in languages other than English for our international clients, for which we turn to our team of experienced mother tongue translators.

Accurate translations are absolutely vital and very easy to get wrong – I once heard a story about the word ‘staff’ being translated as ‘wooden stave’ throughout a staff survey. And one when a translation of ‘submit’ was required for an online survey button – the proposed word apparently would have suited Fifty Shades of Grey better than an employee engagement survey!

An example of getting it wrong comes from a local authority in South Wales where all official signs are required to be bilingual. The Council had received complaints about lorry drivers taking a short cut through a residential area to make deliveries to a supermarket. Wanting to put a stop to this a decision was taken to install a sign saying “No entry for heavy goods vehicles. Residential site only”. The in-house … read more »

What is the capital of Peru?

August 19th, 2015 by Ralph Sutcliffe | No Responses

This is one of my favourite questions and one that I frequently challenge my audience with when I’m doing a presentation. Not during a survey feedback session obviously, but when I’ve been asked to do a guest speaker spot on questionnaire design and I’m demonstrating how the wording of questions and answers can affect the answers given by participants.

Here’s how it works.

I ask the question “What is the capital of Peru?” and ask the audience to raise their hands if they know. Normally a few hands go about, about 5%, and somebody wittily calls out “P”.

I ask the same question again “What is the capital of Peru?” and this time show them a slide with 4 options…

Lamu
Lami
Lima
Luma

…and again ask for a show of hands. Rather more go up, about a quarter. Of course if a question is posed in this format in a real survey you’ve got a 1 in 4 chance of guessing correctly.

Finally I ask the question again … read more »

Do you read books on trains?

August 18th, 2015 by Ralph Sutcliffe | No Responses

The ambiguous question is often hard to spot, but a real nuisance if it’s overlooked.

For example, “Do you read books on trains?” can be interpreted in two completely different ways.
Am I asking you if you read books which are about trains?
Or am I asking you if you read books whilst you are on a train?

The problem is, if a question can be read in different ways by your participants, it will be. And you have no idea which way individuals understood the question and therefore the data collected is quite useless.

A client of mine illustrated this point perfectly recently. He was conducting a survey and wanted to be able to re-contact participants for some follow up research. It is good practice to gain their permission first, and is indeed addressed in the Market Research Society’s Code of Conduct:-

31. Members must ensure that follow-up contact with a participant is carried out only if the participant’s permission has been obtained at the … read more »

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