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Divide It Up: Using Segments in Employee Surveys to Pinpoint Team Differences

Of course, every company has a distinct culture, but for larger organizations, they’ll have subcultures too. For example, a company may have regional offices or multiple departments with diverse populations and varying interests. How can you address different cultures within one organization?

This is where segments come in handy. Breaking respondents into segments — for instance, the technical team versus the sales team or the New York office versus the London office—lets you better understand unique populations that likely have different priorities and personalities.

Creating and analyzing segments manually would be an incredible burden and would likely prevent anonymity. Luckily, sophisticated online survey tools make this easy. For example, platforms like TINYpulse allow you to place employees into segments (in groups no smaller than five, to maintain anonymity) before asking questions. When the results are in, the administrator can view the responses for each segment, but not each individual. This yields incredibly rich feedback such as, why does one group or office routinely outperform another? And what can we learn from this to improve overall?

Commonly created segments:

  • By office location

  • By function

  • By line of business

Segments Save the Day
Client: Global public relations agency
Challenge: Company was fearful that its high-performing culture was in widespread decline

Story: This client started seeing a noticeable drop in employee happiness at work and became concerned that a pervasive trend was hitting her company. Thankfully, she had segmented the employees by their functional teams and was able to look at results with this fresh lens.

What she quickly discovered was a localized problem in one functional team — other teams continued to express high satisfaction levels. Relieved that she had a limited problem on her hands, she embarked on the hard work of raising the low-scoring team’s satisfaction levels. After sharing the survey feedback with that team’s leader, our client publicly acknowledged the issues the survey brought to light. Together, they held several small working groups with the team to tackle the root causes of the issues, and over time, they began seeing her investment pay off as that team’s happiness score began increasing.