3 open ‘voice’ questions better than 150 closed ones

Industry: Healthcare

Use case: Employee MirrorWave


This organisation proved that using just 3 questions in their employee program gave more actionable information than 150 questions. Also they found that the ‘voice’ approach, where it’s easy for the participant to say what they think in their own words, was so much more informative than asking a battery of closed benchmarking questions.

Managers were asked to guess what they thought the greatest negatives and positives in their employee feedback would be. This is a powerful MirrorWave process which demonstrates whether the program is contributing to shared management team perceptions. Interestingly, there was little unanimity between them about what their employees would nominate as the best and worst things about working there.

The benefit of eliciting employee voice is that what people say and how that say it is really important. The words participants use expresses a lot of emotion, compared to rating scales which can lose that emotion and depth of meaning along with it. Although what people say can be unexpected, what people don’t say is equally interesting. Their MirrorWave feedback showed that some management priorities for human resource management actually did not receive much mention from employees and others not currently considered important were surfaced as receiving too little attention.

Previous survey results showed averages across the organisation and compared that to external benchmarks. However the real problem revealed by their MirrorWave program was that there was big variability between their main locations. Managing this variability became the new focus, particularly identifying internal best practices within, rather than outside

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