Determining the Best Vendor for You

Employee Engagement Survey Vendor

Sure, many online survey tools are available and designed to make your employee survey fast and easy. But it can be deceiving. Once you’ve paid your subscription fee, it’s time to sit down and put yourself to the task of actually creating the survey.

OK, Let’s begin:

  • Implementation Phase:
    • What questions should be included? How exactly should the questions be worded? Who has to approve the questions? How many rounds of drafts will there be?
    • How should we collect the data? Can we use an online free survey service? Should it be a 4 pt or 5 point scale? True and False? Open-ended questions?
  • Administration Phase:
    • What participation rate are we targeting? What if we don’t achieve that? What if not enough employees take the survey? Will we know if the data is reliable or not?
  • Results & Delivery Phase:
    • How will I create reports of the data, how can I slice and dice the data into the right reports?
    • Who will have access to the reports? Will I have to train them to read and understand the results?
    • How will I communicate the data to leadership? Will all employees see the results of the survey? How will I communicate it to everyone?

So, the survey is over, and you know what employees are thinking about on various topics. What will you do with this information?

You may be starting to realize the complexity of an employee survey project and getting a little worried about some of the potential problems. Plus, you’re wondering; How long will this all take? How will I do all this in addition to everything else I have on my plate?

Vendor Criteria for Consideration

Getting ready to launch an employee engagement survey may seem daunting to you. Here are some critical vendor criteria you could consider before committing.

  • A Proven System Ready for Quick Implementation— A quality employee survey should include survey items and a methodology based on research and analytics. Implementation options should be flexible and clearly thought-out. If not specifically called-out in their proposal ask specifics such as; how respondent anonymity is maintained, what strategies are used to ensure high response rate, what question customization options are available and how is security maintained.
  • Experience and Consultative Skills— You want to work with an experienced organization and experienced consultants who will be your day-to-day contacts. In this instance, dependability is most definitely NOT overrated. You must be able to depend that you will receive regular communication and expect them to be responsive to any questions or concerns.
  • Flexible Survey Design—A standard set of questions which the vendor has refined over time and proven to provide actionable data is absolutely critical. So is being able to customize the survey design to meet your organization’s needs. Ask the vendor the options available and case study data to explain their recommendations.
  • Flawless Execution—Here’s where you start asking how long the vendor has been in business, how many clients have they serviced and how long have their clients been with them. Oh, and how many actual employee surveys have they administered? The best way to tell if they have flawless execution is to obtain references from the vendor. And call them and ask. Make sure to weight this heavily as you evaluate all your vendor criteria.
  • Easy Reporting—We’re all accustomed to 24/7 access to information online. This is no different. But there is a difference between real-time and batch updates. Detailed reports should be available in clear charts, graphs and other displays that communicate a wide range of measurements such as engagement, turnover risk, satisfaction, and employee net promoter score by employee performance levels.
  • Clear and Reasonable Pricing— While important, price should not be the sole vendor criteria you use to make a decision. What’s most important when evaluating pricing is to do your best to understand the components and their costs. This will allow you to make a true apples-to-apples comparison with other vendors if needed. An experienced vendor will be very clear in providing you costs and the specifics of what they cover. If offered a variety of options in an ala carte format, a valuable question to ask of a potential vendor is, “What would you recommend we implement?” Lastly,  can the vendor provide examples of Return-on-Investment (ROI) from previous clients  to assist you in building your business case for an employee survey?