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Organizational success is all about doing the right things right

When developing operations, do you know what your customers really value? What about the personnel - which things keep your top performers happy?

Do you ever find yourself in a situation where you have a large number of averages from research on a topic of interest? I imagine you have, as have I in many situations. But is it possible to make wise decisions based on this data? Usually, yes, but a more important question is: are the right decisions being made? Would it be easier to make decisions if you could combine the averages you are looking at with another metric, such as whether or not the question is significant to your persons of interest? There is usually only one answer to this question: yes, it would.

Picture. A Two-dimensional evaluation helps you to find out strengths and weaknesses easily 

Picture. A Two-dimensional evaluation helps you to find out strengths and weaknesses easily 

Two-dimensional (2D) evaluation and what it can achieve?

In 2D evaluation, respondents are asked to simultaneously evaluate two things, such as the implementation of a question and its importance to them. This allows us not only to find out if respondents feel that the question at hand is important, but also if it is significant to them. Namely this helps you to draw a quick SWOT type analysis that tells you two important things. 1) Which are your biggest benefits as an organization, a.k.a. strengths and 2) which are the issues holding you back, in other words weaknesses. Moreover, it is easy, all this can be achieved with statistically relevant way with just one click.

Let us have an example:

  • In an employee survey, 20 questions are asked about management
  • The questions are divided into 4 groups, each representing its own theme: 1. Equal treatment of employees, 2. Share of information, 3. Goal setting, and 4. Productivity
  • Respondents are asked to evaluate each theme by answering the questions pertaining to it one after the other, with the answer to the previous question being shown to the respondent (although respondents are still evaluating the same theme in relation to each other, which is important!)
  • The statements are then evaluated based on assessed organizational success in them and their importance
  • This way, each theme area (equal treatment of employees, etc.) can be given a list of things that are important but have not yet been achieved, thus becoming development areas, or things that are important and have been achieved, thus becoming strengths.
  • This allows for development resources to be focused on the right areas, based on department- or manager-specific reports, and to learn from the best performers.

    The example above was a simplified model of what can be done, for example, in the world of employee surveys. Similarly, a 2D survey, can also be used to measure customer satisfaction or strategic or risk surveys.

Easy way to build a survey that helps you focus on the essential

The easiest way to implement a survey that pinpoints organizational strengths and weaknesses is to use Zeffi's built-in, patented 2D question type. A special benefit is that Zeffi uses a method of returning responses to a normal distribution, which eliminates the bias of different response styles, or so-called response bias.

In practice, this means that a Zeffi survey is created, using a 2D question type. In addition, background information can be asked, for example, in alternative questions, and it is usually a good idea to also collect open text feedback in text questions. There is built-in NLP to analyze open text answers for sentiment and PoS's such as adjectives or verbs, helping you to see easier what is essential to your respondents. See a sample report (use key example@zef.fi to access the report).

Few hints:

  • Most often, the 2D question's x-axis is set to measure whether respondents disagree (on the left) and agree (on the right) on statements they are presented. On the y-axis, respondents are asked about the importance of the issue, with the extremes of the scale being labeled as high (at the top) and low (at the bottom).
  • If you are doing a strategic survey, a suitable scale pair might be the attractiveness and achievability of a strategic goal. The scale pair is set on the x- and y-axes of the four-field in such a way that the positive poles are at the top and right.
  • In risk surveys, the scale pair may be the probability of risk and the severity of the possible harm. As with most other surveys, the large risks and probabilities are set at the top and right, but in contrast to most surveys, what is desired in risk surveys is for the responses to accumulate at the bottom and left.

    As mentioned above, Zeffi allows for the use of surveys containing several themes, but it is also possible to focus on only one theme. 

    What kind of Survey are you planning to do next? Have you tried Zeffi?

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