As contingent workforce (CW) program capabilities mature in the marketplace, more and more program managers are formally surveying their stakeholders for program service satisfaction and talent quality measures. This is an important step, from gauging the overall health and value of the program to defining the most critical path forward in growing program service capabilities. But how does a manager execute a survey regimen that will be relevant and drive impactful change?

First and foremost, you need to establish a survey strategy that defines the goals and purpose of each data point captured. Most of us have been surveyed ad nauseam, so executing a survey that you don’t leverage to drive change is a considerable waste of time. And executing an arbitrary survey will negatively impact your program’s reputation and brand.

Strategically, one has to define what action will be taken with each piece of knowledge captured by the survey. Survey real estate is limited, so it’s important to prioritize the data points. At the end of the day, a you need to be able to explain and defend what actions will take place for each data point sought and captured. This strategy will also define number and frequency, timeframes, statistical relevance, segmentation requirements, respondent targets, methods and visibility of reporting results.

Two-Way Street
People like to know their input is being considered, not just collected in a mysterious black hole. Hence, the most effective form of communications is a two-way engagement. Key to establishing the relevance of your survey is sharing the results of the survey with respondents in a timely fashion. So prove to your stakeholders you have heard what they said and are making attempts to meet their expectations.

Understand the difference between transaction process measurements and statistical strategic program change knowledge. Some surveys measure tactical compliance requirements or track the ongoing satisfaction levels of service delivery. But annual or semi-annual, survey research is required to understand the status of stakeholder’s wants, needs and requirements and that is best understood by executing survey focus group engagements or statistically relevant survey tools. Having a statistically measured understanding of your stakeholder requirements enhances your program “change” cases and your confidence in communicating the status and value delivery of your program’s mission and goals.

For example, if your survey instrument can execute the proper sample size for your targeted stakeholder population, you could statistically establish a roadmap for your program maturity enhancements. This can be accomplished via a number of surveying techniques, but an approachable method is cross referencing stakeholder respondents “Importance” and “Satisfaction” levels on key program elements. This fairly basic service importance/satisfaction matrix will enable the program manager to understand where to allocate limited enhancement dollars and program improvement efforts, and gain visibility to where the program is actually over-investing in its service delivery efforts.

Measuring ongoing Net Promoter Score loyalty or satisfaction is fundamental, but leveraging planned survey efforts to strategically drive your program enhancements will deliver a bigger return on investment and make your efforts critically relevant.