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A Picture Is Worth a Thousand Words

Survey data can be a rich source of employee feedback. But sometimes, especially with open-ended questions, you want a quick snapshot of what employees are thinking before reading through responses. Visual representations of data can do the trick.

Consider this question given to employees in a recent survey: "What do you love about your job?" This question garnered over 160 responses, but a simple word cloud like the one below lets the reader see that people, flexibility, and the environment are some of the main answers given.

Visual interest and graphic detail engage participants, and if the survey is well designed, the graphics help communicate the information. In fact, 90% of information transmitted to the brain is visual, and the brain processes visuals 60,000 times faster than text, according to 3M Corporation and Zabisco.

Since the objective of keeping surveys light and manageable is to help the entire team stay in the habit of doing them, using graphs and visual detail helps one digest the data.

If you already have a survey tool that graphs responses for you, you’re well on your way to presenting your data beautifully. Select the data you want to present and the time period needed to show any trend information, and let it create an easy-to-read graph. But if this isn’t a solution you have, worry not. Simply open Excel and start making your own graphs. It might be a bit more work, but you’ll be assured that your employees will be far more engaged and receptive to the information you’re sharing.

Client: A U.S. school district
Challenge: How to gauge employee dissatisfaction

Story: Our TINYpulse survey includes a question about how likely employees would be to recommend someone to work with their employer, which is a way to understand why an employee is satisfied or dissatisfied with her work environment. After all, you would only recommend a friend to your employer if you thought they would enjoy working there.

When our client asked this question and saw how the answers appeared when graphed, she knew there were issues to tackle.

Our client saw that not only was she below the benchmark, but several respondents also skewed to the lower end of the scale, meaning several would not recommend her organization as an employer.

Thankfully, this question also asked respondents why they provided that particular rating. When she saw this graph, she was prompted to read the responses immediately and noted several concerns about burnout rate, workload, and new hire onboarding.

This feedback led our client to start thinking about her onboarding process as well as how to help colleagues cope with the pressures of an intense work environment.

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