How to Develop an Internal Communication Survey & Questionnaire in Government

When designing an employee survey, the questions should cause the survey taker to think.
When designing an employee survey, the questions should cause the survey taker to think. (Image: Jupiterimages/Pixland/Getty Images)

A government agency that surveys its employees on internal communications wants serious feedback to learn how its internal communication efforts are working. So, if you have been assigned to design such a survey, take the assignment seriously and put thought and effort into the project. Following are a few simple steps can help you succeed in carrying out the assignment.

Find out exactly what whoever has commissioned the survey wants to learn. If you don't know that, your chances of success are minimal. When you learn precisely what information and insights are sought, you will know how to structure your survey and how to frame your questions.

Include questions aimed at learning employees' attitudes toward the internal communications program if that is one of the insights sought. You want to determine whether employees feel the communication efforts are genuine attempts to keep them well informed about agency-related things that affect them or consider such efforts to be offensive management propaganda. You also want to know whether they feel the internal communications have been sufficient.

Make sure questions are clear and unambiguous. The questions should also be short. Long, detailed questions on a survey tend to make takers of the survey lose interest.

Make the form you choose for each question is best for getting the information you want. Forms include fill-ins, short answer questions, multiple choice and true or false. Another common form is a question with a rating scale, where the survey rates something on a scale, such as one to five points. When you provide rating-scale questions, make clear what each numerical rating means.

Include some open-ended questions, where the employees write in-depth answers. Leave generous space for the answers.

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