Taking a Survey: What’s In It for You

taking a surveyI had an interesting conversation recently about surveys.  I must admit, prior to working as an analyst, surveys often seemed like a chore when they arrived in my inbox. There were surveys about work, about technology, even about what brand of laundry detergent I bought. But during this conversation, my colleague told me he learns from surveys.

Hold on!  You can learn from taking a survey – like Brandon Hall Group’s HCM Technology Trends survey that is in the field now?

Let’s think this through. What could you learn from taking a survey? 

  • First, questions make you think. People who create surveys often are experts about the topic. If the survey creators are doing their jobs well, they will do more than just design questions to get a quick response. They write the questions to get you to think carefully about a process, a product or a solution to your problems.
  • Possible answers (A, B, C, etc.) can give you responses you’ve never considered before. At first glance option “A” may be how you handle that particular thing or process but did you even know the other options existed?  Quite often when I take a survey I see options that are not in my realm of experience or choice.
  • You walk away wanting to know more.  By exposing yourself to different options, you also may pique your interest in learning more about those options.
  • You may take action based on the survey. Take our last example a step further and you might actually act on the new information you considered.  This could result in cost savings, or better efficiency, or simply a new approach or technique.
  • You could get something free. Who doesn’t like receiving something for free?  You and me both! Seriously, surveyors — including Brandon Hall Group — often include reports of the results of the survey, white papers, free products, etc.  It’s a great way to get a reward for sharing your thoughts.

So, with all this talk of surveys, I hope you’ll consider taking our most recent one. The HCM Technology Trends survey will give you the opportunity to think through what you know about HR technologies, what your organization could be doing and what high- performing companies are doing. If you participate, you’ll also receive a report of all results once they are compiled.

Click through the survey to weigh in and let me know in the comments if it helped you to think of things differently.

Trish McFarlane, VP and Principal Analyst,
Human Resources, Brandon Hall Group

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