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In Search of the Simple Survey

by The Sandbox Staff | October 13 2016

Surveys are a bit of a daunting mountain to climb. They’re hard to put together and it can be difficult to get the answers you’re looking for; however, we can all appreciate the value of getting insider information from your target audience. Yes, there is an art to creating a survey but it isn’t rocket science. Let’s de-funk that Pavlovian reflex you’re getting when you hear the word “evaluation”. We promise, it will go away soon. If you haven’t defined your target audience, start with this blog before you dig into this one.

Starting at the…Start

Your first job is to clearly define what you’re looking for. The point of a survey is to understand what your target audience is looking for. What’s the secret password that will unlock the many doors to your planning woes? It could be understanding what will increase participation in a particular initiative you’re running; or developing a comprehensive list of topics your audience is interested in. Define your goal before you outline your questions.

Keep it Simple

Once you determine what you’re looking for, it’s time to develop your questions. As a rule of thumb, each question should take your respondent up to a minute to answer; therefore your five-question survey shouldn’t take more than five minutes to fill out completely. Remember, attention spans dwindle when people aren’t engaged in what they're doing. By keeping your survey minimal—and keeping your questions to a minimum—you’ll have a higher success rate of valuable responses. Keeping it simple isn’t only for respondents, it’s for you too, allowing you to quickly and accurately capture answers to the “so what” of your survey.

Crafting Your Questions

There are a variety of ways to ask someone a question. There are rating questions, ranking questions, catch-all answers (oftentimes listed as “other” on surveys), multiple choice questions and long-form answers. We could go on all day! Survey Monkey has an excellent article on creating survey questions. Take a read through it to get all of the details so you can determine when to use certain types of questions. And while you’re at it, read this article too! You’ll be happy you did.

Maverick Analyzation

Okay, now we flash forward through time—you’ve distributed your survey; you’ve collected all of your responses; now what? How do you use the answers from your survey to help your project? Go back to the beginning. What was your goal? Keep that in mind. Write it on the brightest sticky note you can find and keep it front and centre as you read through all of your responses. What are your respondents’ saying? Are you seeing trends in the results? Look for commonalities amongst responses and try to determine if there are connections to be made. Create a document that captures all of your findings and bring it to the brainstorm/follow-up meeting with your team. 

Take Flight

With your proverbial pot of gold—those analyzed responses you just sweat over—think about how you can apply these findings to your wellness initiatives. What did you learn? Compare it to what you currently offer in your programming. Does your initiative help your target audience in the way you expected? If yes, gold stars for you! If no, now’s the time to be nimble and turn your survey responses into realities. Fine-tune your program so that your target audience feels satisfied and pumped when they leave your future sessions.

Upwards and Onwards

Surveys are just one way you can evaluate the success and overall impact of your project. There are many other evaluation techniques available to help you out. What helps you understand what your audience is looking for? Better yet, talk about it in the forum and trade industry secrets with your fellow wellness champs. Spread your survey love and dig into what you’re really looking for the next time you ask participants for feedback.

The Sandbox Staff

A varied and, frankly, dodgy bunch, The Sandbox Staff are a collection of superheroes tremendously fascinated by health and wellness, sand and boxes (not necessarily in that order).