It is vital for any not for profit organisation (including Schools) to have good information available as to the thoughts and issues of its main stakeholders. Such information is vital for day to day operations as well as planning for the future.
Traditionally such data is gathered through focus groups or workshops, though often in our experience you tend to hear the same issues from the same people, rather than hearing from the whole community. This is where Sentiment Surveys come in.
Sentiment Surveys enable the Board and Management of an organisation to hear from all their stakeholders to see where they have been, how they are going and what all the stakeholders see for the future.
In designing a survey it is important to ensure that two types of data is gathered:
Quantitative Data—provided by asking participants to provide scores. We like to use a scale of 1 to 4 rather than 1-5 so as to remove the temptation to just score a neutral rating.
Qualitative Data—provided through open ended questions seeking comments, issues and peoples ideas and feelings.
The scope of who is surveyed can be tailored depending on the needs of an organisation. For example schools will normally survey all parents and all staff, but many have taken advantage of the opportunity to also hear from their most direct beneficiaries; the students.
In all of the 30+ surveys we have done so far the schools receive a lot of positive comments from students thanking them for the opportunity to express an opinion and give ideas.
Similarly, such a survey provides an opportunity to hear the positive impact that the school is making in the lives for students. This kind of feedback can be very encouraging for staff and the Board