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Why Open-Ended Surveys are Vital to Employee Retention

Why Open-Ended Surveys are Vital to Employee Retention

79% of employees leave their jobs due to the lack of appreciation from the company that they work for, according to Forbes. This is mainly because most bosses fail to appreciate their efforts, not to mention that they ignore some of their complaints. Realizing this, most bosses have come to agree with the pivotal role that surveys, in the façade of stay interviews, play in enhancing employee retention.

These surveys help to point out the pain points of the employees at an early stage and change the narrative before they lead to the loss of valued talent. However, your ability to improve employee retention is only as good as the survey method you choose to stick with. In most cases, choosing to walk the open-ended survey path will provide you with enough information.

Here is why you should embrace using open-ended surveys:

Open-Ended Surveys Are Qualitative

Closed-ended surveys will only need your employees to answer questions using expected answers. This is quite favorable in situations where you want to get statistical data on what makes your workforce tick. It will help you answer questions like how many employees love the new renovations or management and how many are displeased with it.

However, this data is as far from qualitative as it can be, which tends to help make the approach of your interviews in-depth, according to Dooblo – creators of the Capi survey app. Such an approach only answers the ‘what’ of the data but doesn’t offer you a ‘why.’ As such, it might not offer insights on the best way forward for eliminating a problem.

These Surveys Offer the Respondent a Voice

Close-ended surveys do not aim to identify what makes the subject tick. As far as the information is concerned, you cannot form personas from these surveys. For instance, you cannot know that the employees in your company that are mothers would like to have more time to care for their kids using close-ended surveys.

During open-ended surveys, a mother might fit their kids into the answers that they have for your questions. While this information might be irrelevant to the current survey, it might help guide other future decisions for your company. Furthermore, using such information in making future decisions makes the employees feel appreciated. Since you took their comments into consideration, employees are bound to respond even better to your internal surveys.

They Cover the Uncovered

Close-ended survey questions might only ask half of what might be wrong with your organization, and since they allow little to no room for explanation, they may show only part of the truth. For instance, an open-ended question that only asks if employees are unhappy with a manager might not offer you the whole scoop. An employee who is mildly unhappy might tick the box that says that they are unhappy since they have no other option.

Perhaps, the employee was unhappy that the manager didn’t respond to their emails quick enough, but the employee still thinks that the manager is great at his job except for that part. With an open-ended survey, such information will not fall through the cracks. Furthermore, these suggestions provide answers to complex issues that can’t be solved with preset answers.

Be Sure to Balance off The Questions


As much as open-ended surveys are a great source of qualitative data, it might be too cumbersome for the employees to answer every question in an open-ended manner. The idea of a survey is to ensure that the highest levels of convenience are used when answering the questions to avoid untruthful or biased answers. As such, it is wise to balance off the survey by using both open and closed-ended questions. The latter can be great for simple questions while the former is sufficient for complex questions.

Every employee needs to feel appreciated, but closed-ended surveys might not suffice in knowing how to achieve this. A combination of both options might be best to both save time and provide quality. Consider embracing open-ended surveys during stay interviews to improve your employee retention rates.



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