29 Ways to Transform Your Call Centre Staff Surveys

Staff surveys concept with people sitting on row of chairs holding speech bubbles
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Our consultants panel share their do’s and don’ts for making sure your staff surveys truly engage your teams and drive actionable results across your contact centre.

Top Tips For Creating Your Staff Survey

1. Understand the “Why” Before You Get Started

What is the communication plan to engage, and keep engaging, the employees pre-, during, and post- survey?

Do those communicating understand the “WHY?” behind the proposed survey?

Nothing screams faux interest more than a leader who cannot or will not answer the why questions.

Contributed by: Dr M. Dave Salisbury, COO at D&C Consulting LLC

2. Avoid Leading Questions That Give You Sugar-Coated Answers

Kim Ellis
Kim Ellis

As for the questions, aim for qualitative and quantitative ground. You want to know about job satisfaction, work–life balance, and areas for improvement.

But keep it neutral; leading questions will only give you sugar-coated answers you can’t use.

Contributed by: Kim Ellis, Chief Learning Architect at Go Ginger Learning Solutions

3. Have Clear Definitions on What You’re Asking

Often questions about the ‘leadership team’ and ‘development’ can be showstoppers, but you need to define who is the leadership team. Is it your own? The Exec? Make it clear.

Also, what do you mean by development? Is that extra training? Investment in extra qualifications? Or opportunities for personal growth? You need to be explicit about what you mean, or waters can become muddy very quickly.

Contributed by: James Oldroyd, Head of Learning and Development at Rivus

4. Think PULSE Check – Not Long List of Questions

I think the best way to gauge the feeling of an organization is to ask little and often. More like a PULSE check.

Ask little and often. More like a PULSE check.

A smaller number of questions asked at least quarterly, if not more often, with plenty of space for people to add comments and thoughts.

Even better if these comments and thoughts could be done via voice note, or other non-written communication to support inclusion.

Contributed by: Dawn Wray, Therapist, Coach and Listener at The Listening Collective

5. Always Ask “What Can I Do for You?”

No matter your title or position, your sole intent is to be a servant leader who believes in People First. With People First, no longer does your staff take second or third place seat to profits or customers.

When you create a GREAT experience for your people, they will do the same for your customers, and you will earn the loyalty of both. Soon, everyone will be enriched, literally and figuratively.

With all that in mind, you need to ask these two questions: “What do you think?” and “What can I do for you?”.

Contributed by: Bill Quiseng, Chief Experience Officer at billquiseng.com

6. Keep It Short and Relevant

Dan Pratt, Founder & Director DAP Consultancy
Dan Pratt

Don’t create excessively long surveys that discourage participation and hinder honest feedback.

Keep the survey concise. Aim for 10–15 well-structured questions to maintain respondent engagement.

For example, make sure you aren’t overcomplicating the survey with too many questions or including items that don’t pertain to the call centre context.

Instead, ask questions that are relevant to the call centre environment. Enquire about job satisfaction, workload, communication, and opportunities for growth.

Contributed by: Dan Pratt, Founder & Director, DAP Consultancy 

7. Don’t Forget to Ask About Your Restrooms and Break Areas

Ask questions about your supervisor and work environment, including what you feel is non-critical or ancillary, such as restrooms or break areas.

Contributed by: Bill Quiseng, Chief Experience Officer at billquiseng.com

8. Remember the Rule of the 6 Ps

Planning the survey includes thinking about what questions will be asked and when.

The rule of 6 Ps is important here:

  • Proper
  • Prior
  • Planning
  • Prevent
  • Poor
  • Performance

As is KISS:

  • Keep
  • It
  • Supremely
  • Simple

There is enough complexity in the world. Your survey should NOT add more complexity – especially to the participant!

Contributed by: Dr M. Dave Salisbury, COO at D&C Consulting LLC

9. Aim for Smaller, More Frequent Surveys

For me, I think surveys are usually best done no more than three times a year, and should be smaller and more frequent, so they become easier to manage and not a tick-box exercise.

There’s nothing worse than sending out a survey that’s too long and complex to complete. Keep it short and snappy. I personally dislike a survey with a ton of questions, as you can instantly become disengaged.

Contributed by: James Oldroyd, Head of Learning and Development at Rivus

10. Don’t Ask Close-Ended Questions

Bill Quiseng, Chief Experience Officer at billquiseng
Bill Quiseng

Don’t ask solely close-ended questions, such as “On a scale of …” “Excellent, Fair, Poor” or “Yes or No” questions.

Survey answers are easy for you and your staff with close-ended questions, but the questions don’t evoke a “Why” response that’s needed to resolve an issue.

Leaders may be happy and complacent that their staff are satisfied, but that is not good enough. Satisfied employees feel that their experience is good, not better, just average.

Nobody raves about average. And just ‘satisfied’ employees will not return as soon as they find an experience that is better, or a wage that is higher.

Contributed by: Bill Quiseng, Chief Experience Officer at billquiseng.com

11. Think Ahead and Use Tools That Will Make the Analysis Easier

The tools you choose matter.

For example, you can choose platforms like MS Forms, Google Forms or SurveyMonkey. They’re secure, easy to navigate, and make data analysis a breeze.

Other options include specialized HR software which can capture and analyse the results, or using a third-party company to run the survey for you and hand you a consolidated report – including the analysis.

Contributed by: Kim Ellis, Chief Learning Architect at Go Ginger Learning Solutions

Top Tips for Conducting Your Staff Survey

12. Communicate the Purpose of the Survey

Dave Salisbury
Dave Salisbury

Employee surveys must have a clear, concise, and easily understood purpose. Do those sponsoring the survey plan to take ACTION or not?

These plans must be communicated in the survey to increase the potential for results, decrease employee apprehension, and obtain actionable honest data.

Contributed by: Dr M. Dave Salisbury, COO at D&C Consulting LLC

13. Remind Employees About the Positive Outcomes of Previous Surveys

Keep employees informed about the progress of initiatives resulting from previous surveys, demonstrating that their feedback is valued.

Contributed by: Dan Pratt, Founder & Director, DAP Consultancy 

14. Don’t Force Your Staff to Fill Them In

A poor response rate might be the most helpful information you could have. It tells you all you need to know.

Contributed by: James Lawther, Director at Squawk Point Consulting, and Author of ‘Managed by Morons: The Path to a Thriving Organisation’

15. Make the Survey Anonymous

Let’s face a couple of truths about employee surveys. Fears of coercion will skew your data; make the survey mandatory and you increase the fears of retribution.

Fears of coercion will skew your data; make the survey mandatory and you increase the fears of retribution.

Instead, make the survey anonymous and use a third party to gather the data.

Contributed by: Dr M. Dave Salisbury, COO at D&C Consulting LLC

16. Don’t Incentivize Managers to Get Good Scores From Their Teams

Don’t incentivize your managers or staff to get a good score. It will cost you money, and you will get a good score (by fair means or foul, more often than not, foul). This behaviour is called hitting the target but missing the point.

Contributed by: James Lawther, Director at Squawk Point Consulting, and Author of ‘Managed by Morons: The Path to a Thriving Organisation’

17. Managers Need to Leave Their Ego out of the Equation

Dawn Wray, Therapist, Coach and Listener at The Listening Collective
Dawn Wray

Managers and leaders need support from the organization to leave their own ego out of the equation.

This is because, while it’s important the results by department and team are known, it’s also easy for managers to feel under pressure, and it’s not unheard of for managers to ‘encourage’ certain responses.

Contributed by: Dawn Wray, Therapist, Coach and Listener at The Listening Collective

18. Give Agents Allocated Time Off the Phones to Complete the Survey

Give your agents a proper break off the phones to complete the survey. Imagine being told, “Take 15 minutes, enjoy a Kit Kat and a cuppa, and share your thoughts.”

That’s how you get quality feedback. If agents are rushing through it or doing it in their own time, you’re missing the point.

Contributed by: Kim Ellis, Chief Learning Architect at Go Ginger Learning Solutions

★★★★★

19. Try a Stop, Start and Continue Approach

Clayton Drotsky, Director at Growth Crew Ltd
Clayton Drotsky

Have you tried a Stop, Start and Continue approach? This is how it works…

Everyone in the team receives a piece of paper where they write down what they feel the team should stop doing, start doing and continue doing.

Their names are not important so not needed on the piece of paper. Once all the information has been collected, it’s up to the leadership team to take action.

Next, collate all the information; plenty of suggestions, ideas and thoughts will overlap.

Then, schedule focus groups, where as a group you’ll discuss the information gathered by the survey. It’s good to have members from different teams in the groups.

That way you have a more open discussion as members from different teams see things differently. Before you start, it’s a good idea for a leader to advise what’s not in scope for this discussion – things that cannot be done at this time.

Then, as a group start discussing the suggestions, ideas and thoughts. While doing this, divide everything into ‘quick wins’ and ‘fundamentals’.

  • Quick wins are things leadership can address or implement with relative ease and speed, showing that they’re listening and taking action, like adding a second microwave.
  • Fundamentals are not “no’s” but rather topics that need further discussion and investigation, like an incentive structure change, for example.

During the focus groups, ask if anyone would like to champion the outcomes and deliverables of the group. That way you build a ‘champions’ team that comes together frequently to discuss progress, unforeseen issues and updates of the survey. They are the link between the survey outcomes and the leadership team.

Pretty soon, as the ‘champions’ team knocks off the topics or issues raised from the survey, you’ll see a team who finds meaning in what they do, and believes that the leadership team genuinely cares and shows an interest.

Contributed by: Clayton Drotsky, Director of Growth Crew Ltd

★★★★★

Top Tips for After Your Staff Survey Closes

20. Responses and Actions Should Be Collated Within a Month

For me, once a survey has been sent out, then responses and actions should be collated within a month. This will keep the momentum and engagement alive.

If you can’t commit to a survey, then don’t bother sending them out in the first place.

I’ll be honest, I’m likely to have forgotten what I wrote in a survey if it’s not fed back to me in a timely manner.

And if you can’t commit to a survey, then don’t bother sending them out in the first place.

Contributed by: James Oldroyd, Head of Learning and Development at Rivus

21. Make Time to Discuss the Findings

After the survey, I think a presentation by Exec members to talk about the health of the company based on the results, followed by time given to each area, not to analyse, but to discuss the findings.

Maybe time allocated with a coffee and a biscuit and facilitated discussion. I think this distils what is important and gives a sense of being heard, so that participation is valued.

Contributed by: Dawn Wray, Therapist, Coach and Listener at The Listening Collective

22. Be Transparent About the Results

Always share survey results transparently with employees. Develop action plans based on feedback and communicate progress on addressing concerns.

Don’t just collect data without a clear plan for improvement, leaving employees feeling unheard and demotivated.

Don’t just collect data without a clear plan for improvement, leaving employees feeling unheard and demotivated.

Contributed by: Dan Pratt, Founder & Director, DAP Consultancy 

23. Act on Survey Data

Your employees are your MOST important customers. Their surveys should always spur change, engagement, and dedication to excellence in leadership teams. Using the employee engagement survey as a tool to direct and initiate change is expected.

Please, do NOT send out a survey without understanding and committing to using the data gathered to improve the working environment. Failure to act on survey data collected will create more problems, not fewer.

Contributed by: Dr M. Dave Salisbury, COO at D&C Consulting LLC

24. Don’t Get Angry or Defensive About Poor Scores

James Lawther
James Lawther

Please don’t jump up and down on your managers’ heads if they get a poor score. It might be because they are poor managers, but it may also be the type of work their team does, the systems they have to deal with, the team’s demographic, their average tenure, or the fact that they sit in the drafty spot next to the loos. It is far better to ask why than who.

Equally, don’t be defensive or aggressive about bad news. If your staff have the grace to tell you what they think, it is impolite to beat them up if you don’t like the results. Besides, the aim is to find things you can improve, not to be told you are perfect. (Nobody is.)

Contributed by: James Lawther, Director at Squawk Point Consulting, and Author of ‘Managed by Morons: The Path to a Thriving Organisation’

Top Tips for Keeping Staff Survey Momentum

25. Run a Solid “You Said, We Did” Campaign

Once you’ve got your data, the real magic happens. Run a solid “You Said, We Did” campaign to show that you’re not just collecting data for the sake of it; you’re making real changes based on what your team has told you.

Share the results and the action plan, and keep everyone updated as you start implementing changes.

Contributed by: Kim Ellis, Chief Learning Architect at Go Ginger Learning Solutions

26. Run the Survey More Than Once to Track Improvement

Don’t run the survey only once. The score doesn’t matter. Whether or not the score is getting better or worse does.

It’s important that you don’t change the questionnaire every time you run the survey.

Equally, it’s important that you don’t change the questionnaire every time you run the survey. If you do, you won’t be able to tell if you are getting better or worse. Consistency is best (after simplicity).

Contributed by: James Lawther, Director at Squawk Point Consulting, and Author of ‘Managed by Morons: The Path to a Thriving Organisation’

27. Tell a Story Over Time

Don’t try and analyse the results by individual survey. Instead, tell the story over a cumulative, longitudinal time.

Losses and gains from last year are nearly always used, and I feel this is unhelpful, as it leads to knee-jerk reactions to what is ‘done’.

I’d love to see organizations take a longer and wider perspective and communicate results in an evolving and wider context.

Contributed by: Dawn Wray, Therapist, Coach and Listener at The Listening Collective

28. Always Ask If the Action Taken So Far Is Satisfactory

Ask during a subsequent survey if your action is satisfactory and why, whether it is satisfactory or not. Then respond as soon as possible within one week.

Your survey and your responsive actions will enthuse and energize people to be engaged with their colleagues, customers, and the business.

Contributed by: Bill Quiseng, Chief Experience Officer at billquiseng.com

29. Don’t Conduct Surveys Sporadically

Don’t conduct surveys sporadically or ignore feedback, which can erode trust and employee engagement over time.

Encouraging participation in future surveys involves not only demonstrating commitment to improving the work environment but also building trust with employees.

So, establish a regular survey cadence. Quarterly or semi-annual surveys are generally effective without overwhelming employees. Conduct surveys too frequently and this can lead to survey fatigue and decreased participation.

Contributed by: Dan Pratt, Founder & Director, DAP Consultancy 

We have got some more great articles from the experts that you should read next:

Author: Megan Jones
Reviewed by: Xander Freeman

Published On: 18th Oct 2023 - Last modified: 9th Nov 2023
Read more about - Call Centre Management, , , , , , , , , ,

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