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Survey Items
The questions that comprise your survey represent your areas of research interest.  In order to develop or to select among existing candidates for survey items, you need to refine your ideas of what it is that you are seeking to learn from the group that you plan to survey.  Often, we believe it is useful to talk to people in advance, including those in relevant management and leadership positions within your company who will be responsible for acting on the survey findings and people within key segments of the group that you will be surveying.  This can help to highlight some of the pressing internal and external issues that are facing your company.  Remember, if it is important and you do not ask it, you will not get the answer you need to address it.

For some types of surveys, there are generally accepted dimensions or groups of questions that you want to consider.  We can help you with that and provide you with sample questions.  You can also review the pages on this Web site that are specific to the types of surveys we conduct at GuideStar Research. 

A Range of Stakeholders
If your organization has undergone recent changes or you have never surveyed before, then it is even more important that a range of stakeholders be involved in identifying the important areas to include in the survey.  This may be done through informal interviews (e.g., via phone calls) or through more formal, qualitative research using structured interview guides or focus groups.

We generally recommend that your survey include questions relating to the outcomes you wish to promote (e.g., employee or customer loyalty) and questions that center on the important dimensions that pre-survey discussions, organizational priorities, and our knowledge of your industry suggest are important for getting at an understanding of your key relationships, your strengths and weaknesses, and the concerns of those you rely on for your business.  By asking outcome-oriented questions we can help you to understand what factors are driving those outcomes.  By including open-ended questions for free-form comments, we can help you to gain a better understanding of how people view your organization in their own words.

Go to our Surveys & Consulting section and select the type of survey you are interested in for a more detailed discussion of the types of  questions that are often included in a survey like the one you are planning.

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