Survey Design & Process

Survey Design & Process

Every employee opinion survey we conduct is different. This is because each organization has unique strengths and faces different challenges. Our goal is to design a survey that matches your unique needs.

To get a better idea of our survey process, click on each step in the model below:

Survey Design

Every employee opinion survey we conduct is different. This is because each organization has unique strengths and faces different challenges. Our goal is to design a survey that matches your unique needs.

  1. Interviews
    Our first step when designing an Employee Engagement Survey is to interview a cross-section of employees and managers – chosen by you, with our guidance – from all levels in the organization. The purpose of the interviews is to gain a general understanding of the opinions, issues and concerns that participants perceive as being significant, in order to fully customize your Employee Opinion Survey.Once the interviews are completed, you will receive a written assessment summarizing, anonymously, the participants’ comments during the interviews. A draft survey, based on the strengths and opportunities identified in the assessment, will also be presented.
  2. Questions
    Senior consultants will work with you to finalize the survey questions so that the survey will give you the clearest insight into your organization’s strengths, as well as its areas for improvement. We also want to make sure that the questions asked are in areas you are able to fix and create action plans. One mistake some companies make is to ask questions that are interesting, but don’t consider what they will do if the questions come back low.
  3. Breakdowns
    Breakdowns refer to the manner in which the reported data is organized. We work with you to determine data breakdowns to optimize a thorough analysis of your organization before the survey is released. Our technology also allows us to process your data in any way that you feel would be helpful. Whether it is by management level, department, shift, years of service, divisions, etc., we can work with you to determine the most valuable ways to sort the data and allow patterns to become visible. Please fill out the form below to experience a sample survey.


Once you and your managers help us target the most important issues in your organization, you can sit back while we do all the work.

We will administer the survey to employees, tabulate all the results and present the data in a simple, easy to read format. We also have a wide range of administration methods: web, paper, mail, on-site administration or a combination to meet your unique needs. Survey consultants from Peter Barron Stark Companies will be available by phone or email to assist any employees in accessing the survey or to answer any questions.

Data Processing

Peter Barron Stark Companies will begin processing your Employee Opinion Survey as soon as the cut-off date for the survey administration has passed.

Depending on the size of your organization and type of survey, we can typically provide final results within 2-4 weeks.

  1. PBS Benchmarking
    Our survey results will also include a comparison of your organization’s results with the PBS Benchmark which includes over 260 surveys and 100,000 employees’ opinions. Our PBS Benchmark consists of two different indexes. The first is our Overall Benchmark which compares your results to all other organizations we have surveyed. The second benchmark is our Best of the Best PBS Benchmark which contains the top 25% of companies in the Overall Benchmark. These two benchmarks provide a great baseline as well as highlight potential future goals. Click here if you’d like to learn more about the Benchmark.
  2. Comparative Data
    To track the organization’s progress, measure success and identify areas that need further improvement, current data from a returning client will be compared to similar survey questions from the client’s previous years.
    Survey respondents will have the option to submit written comments. These written comments will be combined, summarized by topic and displayed in bullet format in order of frequency. This allows you to quickly digest the themes and gain an overall feel for what employees are saying in a very short amount of time. Click here to see a sample of the written comments summary.


Getting the data is one thing. Knowing what it means and what to do with it is another thing.

After our consultants have carefully analyzed the data, they will provide specific recommendations on how to improve your lowest rated areas and how to maintain the highest rated areas. We will then work closely with you to develop an action plan to maximize the information you receive from the survey.

Presentation of Results

Conducting a survey is only half of the process – what you do with the data is the second and most important half.

After the survey is completed, it is common for employees to have a wait and see attitude. This is your opportunity to show them that you have heard them and tell them what you plan to do. A complete set of reports will be provided to management with a summary of employee opinions. Two types of results binders will be provided:

  1. Senior level managers will receive an executive binder consisting of all of the survey results.
  2. Departments will receive a binder with their department data, as well as a comparison of the overall company’s results.

Executive Team:
Typically, a senior consultant will present the results of your Employee Opinion Survey to the executive team. This presentation can either be done onsite or via Webex over the Internet. The meeting lasts approximately one hour. The consultant utilizes a PowerPoint presentation to walk the team through the results and will coach your leaders on how to lead the action planning process. Immediately following the meeting, we will provide leaders with a results binder and discuss how to implement the results. Each leader will also receive a book titled, “How One Leader Can Make a Difference: The Only Guide to Employee Opinion Surveys You’ll Ever Need,” written by Jane Flaherty and Peter Stark. This book guides leaders through action planning so that the process doesn’t stop once results are received.

The next step is to present the department binders to the department managers. If you’d like, Peter Barron Stark Companies can present the data to the department managers and explain the binders. This can also be done by a representative from your company.

Peter Barron Stark Companies will provide you with tools to communicate the results to your employees such as email memo drafts and PDFs summarizing the results. Getting employees the results from their work area will help raise their confidence in the company’s intent to use the survey results positively. Click here to see a sample of what the final data might look like.

Action Planning

Once the survey results have been analyzed, the next step is to focus on distributing the data to employees and conducting action planning sessions.

The action planning takes place on two levels. The executive managers will create action plans using company-wide data and department managers will work with their own staff to create specific department action plans. Peter Barron Stark Companies can assist you with the action planning phase in several different ways:

  1. Executive Manager Level
  2. How-To Session for Managers
  3. Department Specific Session
  4. One-on-one with Managers
  5. The Manager’s Toolkit

The Manager’s Toolkit

To help managers at all levels throughout your organization with action planning, we have created an action planning website called The Manager’s Toolkit. This is a one stop website for managers to become even stronger, more effective leaders. Once managers receive their results and recognize their strengths and areas with room for improvement, they can access this site to help develop their action plan. They can navigate to desired topics and review recommendations and sample action plans. They can also download templates and step-by-step instructions for creating their action plan. Learn more about The Manager’s Toolkit.

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The Manager's Toolkit

The Manager's Toolkit is the one stop action planning website for becoming an even stronger, more effective leader. Managers will read recommendations, related articles, suggested actions, and watch informative videos that will guide them through improving their leadership skills.

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