Survey comments tell organizations’ ‘stories’

Analysis reveals themes, illuminates ‘whats’ and ‘whys’ of quantitative answers
By Stephanie Rohling and Bonnie Pascall
|Canadian HR Reporter|Last Updated: 11/29/2010

Employees in an organization live a shared story of culture, triumphs and trials. Management often tries to understand this story through employee surveys.

However, quantitative questions alone don’t tell the whole story, which is why it’s important to encourage and examine qualitative comments on surveys. Combined, quantitative and qualitative data provide insight into the true nature of an organization and the issues it’s facing.

Often the story that emerges from written comments will confirm for management many of the issues they knew or assumed existed within the organization, but they can also reveal new or existing issues that surprise the executive team and change how they view the organization.