I have worked with hundreds of companies in my career, advising them on best practices for survey design, administration, analysis and action. I can honestly say that I have never done the same survey twice, and the reason is clear. No two companies are the same. Each company has its own culture and language, its own history and challenges, its own philosophy for running the business and dealing with employees. Each company has its own strategy and objectives.

Whenever I work with a new client, the first question I always ask is, “Why do you want to conduct a survey? What are you trying to accomplish?” I might also ask about what they wish to learn, what they want to know that they don’t know today, or how they want ...

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