Open-ended questions are often thought to be essential in gathering feedback. They deliver detailed, insightful information that can inform appropriate actions. With the qualitative data collected, you are literally reading what people may or may not be saying if they were asked in-person.

You can browse through the responses to questions set during the Survey Question Setup through the Open-Ended Questions Tab.

The left panel displays the Questions List for that particular cycle, which you can use to switch behind answers for different questions. 

Collecting feedback is simply the first step. As you collect more responses over time, be it numerically as an Engagement Score, a ratio through your eNPS score or verbatim responses via Open-Ended questions, you are building a repository of data to make decisions which will truly impact your organisation. 

As managers exploring the new landscape of people analytics, using data to inform your actions requires a thoughtful approach to understanding, measuring and analyzing the issues that your organization faces. Subjective opinions collected from your employees has to develop towards informed action.

HOW TO USE OPEN-ENDED QUESTIONS

Knowing when to use open-ended questions is just as important as which open-ended questions to ask. Open-ended questions are the most useful when they collect input and ideas on very specific subjects. Hence, it is often very popular to insert an open-ended question after a opinion-scale question to extract more specific information.

For instance, after the eNPS question "How likely are you to recommend XYZ company as a place to work to friends and family?", you may want to add an open-ended question "What is the reason to your answer above?" to tease out further insights into factors that drive employee loyalty.

At EngageRocket, we have seen the following open-ended questions effectively used in employee surveys:

  • If you could change one thing about the organisation to make it a better place to work, what would it be? This is the practical version of the popular "magic wand" question and is included in EngageRocket's default set of questions. 
  • My company's core values are...Check in to see if your employees are truly familiar with the values your organisation would like to uphold.
  • What is the one thing you appreciate the most about your manager?
  • What is the one thing that would improve your productivity today?
  • Is there something you'd like to share that isn't covered in this survey? The catch all question that you may want to add right at the end. 

Tip: Do note that while it may be insightful to ask open-ended questions, overloading a survey with too many will negatively impact participation and quality of data collected. EngageRocket recommends that for any one survey, no more than 3 open-ended questions should be included. 

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