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10 reasons why start-ups should be using market research

#1. Make Incremental Improvements to your Business Model

  • Gain insightful feedback on all aspects of your customer journey to better understand your businesses' strengths and improvement areas.

#2. Make More Confident Businesses Decisions

  • Test the market by measuring consumer demand before throwing money at an unproven idea.

#3. Become a Thought Leader in your Industry

  • Become an authority in your chosen field by sponsoring and communicating industry research.

#4. Expand into New Markets by Understanding the Needs of the Consumer

  • Use research to test and trial new concepts, user experiences and even marketing copy.

#5. Generate Great PR Content from Market Research Surveys

  • Make your press releases more interesting and relevant by citing stats from your latest research study. Great for improving brand awareness and reputation.

#6. Measure and Track Consumer Perceptions of your Brand

  • Gain robust feedback on your brand awareness, favourability, brand attributes, purchase intent and more.

#7. Track Customer Satisfaction Scores

  • Ensure fast business growth does not negatively impact your customer experience.

#8. Monitor Competitor Activities

  • Identify competitor best practices and opportunities, ensuring you stay ahead of the game.

#9. Gain Feedback from your Employees

  • Employee engagement surveys will measure the morale of your workforce and help you improve staff motivation and retention.

#10. Support a Business Case

  • Use robust data to prove to your investors that you understand the market and your target customers

100+ Sample Employee Engagement Survey Questions

To download the full PDF version please CLICK HERE.


The following guide includes 100+ Sample Employee Engagement Survey Questions.


  • This document is a detailed library of questions to be included in an Employee Engagement Survey
  • These questions include a combination of demographic fixed-choice questions, statements on a 6 point agreement scale and open questions
  • The key driver statements are the only mandatory questions – all other statements are optional and dependent on your requirements
  • New questions or statements can be added to suit the nature of your organisation and workforce structure


  1. Review the questions provided in the document
  2. Select the categories to be included in your survey
  3. Select the statements to be included in these categories
  4. Select any fixed-choice, demographics and open questions
  5. Add in any additional categories, questions, options or instructions

Employee Engagement Survey Categories

The following categories have been shown to make up the majority of an employee’s day-to-day engagement at work.

  • The Organisation, Strategy & Culture
  • Communication
  • My Work
  • Management
  • Leadership
  • Opportunities
  • Reward
  • Recognition
  • Training and Development
  • Quality of Life
  • Teamwork

Key Drivers (Hewitt’s methodology)


Given the opportunity, I tell others great things about working here

I would not hesitate to recommend this organisation to a friend seeking employment


I rarely think about leaving this organisation to work somewhere else

It would take a lot to get me to leave this organisation


This organisation inspires me to do my best work every day

This organisation motivates me to contribute more than is normally required to complete my work

The Organisation, Strategy & Culture

Producing quality work is a top priority within this organisation

This organisation encourages new ideas and innovation

I can approach management with suggestions and criticisms

At work we are direct and honest in all our communications

Employees are always treated with respect

Changes to the way we do things are well managed

This organisation has a good reputation as an employer

I can envisage myself working at this organisation one year from now

I have a sense of security in my job

My position in this organisation is strong

Health and safety is a top priority within this organisation

We are quick to apply resources to new ideas that will drive future success

Changes to the way we do things are well managed and help us to deliver better performance

The organisation is well prepared to meet the challenges of the next 12 months

I am confident the company will grow in the next 12 months

The organisation is going in the right strategic direction

The organisation is changing for the better

The organisation is getting better at utilising new technology

This organisation is responsive to the changing needs of our customers/clients

I feel a strong connection to this organisation's brand and culture

The organisation’s strategy drives our plans and what we do

This organisation's goals and objectives provide meaningful direction for me


If asked, I could clearly explain the vision for this organisation

I have a good understanding of the organisation’s goals and objectives

I understand how my work supports the organisation’s goals and objectives

I have access to the information I need to do my job well

I am consulted, where appropriate, when major changes are made which affect me

Employee opinions and suggestions are given significant consideration in the organisation’s decision making process

Communication at this organisation keeps me up to date with what I need to know

I feel I can trust what this organisation tells me

There is good communication between the different departments

I get to find out the reasons and rationale behind any key changes that happen within the organisation

My Work

I know what is expected of me at work

I get a sense of accomplishment from my work

I know clearly whether I am making progress towards my goals

The work processes we have in place allow me to be as productive as possible

Our tools and technology allow me to do my job well

I look forward to coming to work every day

I feel involved in decisions that affect my work

The technology, tools and resources I have access to, allow me to be as productive as possible

As long as I get the job done, I have the freedom to work in a way that suits me

I feel I am contributing towards the organisation’s overall goals

I have a clear understanding of what is expected of me at work

I am given enough authority to make decisions I need to make

I am given enough freedom to make decisions I need to make

I have a very clear job description for my role

I can see how my role contributes to the success of the wider organisation

The volume of work I have in my role is manageable

Taking everything into account, the targets (standards) that I am required to achieve in my role are set at a fair level

I feel that I am trusted to make my own decisions about how best to do my job

I am happy with the way that work is allocated in my part of the business


My manager provides me with the support I need to succeed

My manager keeps me informed about how well I’m meeting my goals/ objectives

My manager provides valuable feedback that allows me to improve my performance

My manager appropriately recognises my efforts and results

My manager develops a positive team atmosphere

My manager acts with integrity

My manager has the skills, knowledge and resources to manage the team well

My manager encourages and empowers me to take the initiative and suggest improvements

My manager inspires me to higher levels of performance

My manager holds all employees accountable for setting and working towards agreed goals

My manager encourages different points of view

My manager is available to coach and develop each team member

My manager and I have regular discussions about how well I'm meeting my goals and objectives

My manager allows me the time to undertake career development activities

My manager regularly seeks feedback on his/her leadership style

My manager treats me with respect

My manager treats me fairly

My manager asks me for my input to help make decisions

My manager handles my work-related issues satisfactorily

My manager is open and honest

My manager is available to coach and develop me


I see strong evidence of effective leadership from my department leader

My department leader is open and honest in communication

My department leader cares about what is on employees’ minds

I trust the directors / senior management to deliver that vision and the goals of the organisation

My department leader is appropriately visible and accessible to employees

I trust the my department leader to appropriately balance employee interests with those of the organisation

My department leader acts in ways to inspire a strong commitment to our goals

I see strong evidence of effective leadership from my department leader

My department leader acts with integrity

My department leader fills me with excitement for the future of this organisation

My department leader treats employees as this organisation’s most valued asset

I understand the mission/purpose of my department

I have a clear understanding of the organisation’s direction

My department leader helps me to see how changes made today will affect the organisation in the future


My future career opportunities here look good

The performance review process helps me focus my work efforts to help the organisation achieve its goals

I have opportunities to develop skills to achieve my career goals

There are sufficient opportunities within the organisation for me to advance and take on greater responsibility

The organisation focuses on promoting the people best equipped to meet the future needs of this organisation

I want to develop my career within this organisation

If I perform well in my role, it will lead to opportunities for me to progress


My performance has a significant and direct impact on my pay

I am paid fairly for the contributions I make to the organisation’s success

My pay matches my job performance

I feel I am adequately paid compared to my colleagues at other organisations

The way this organisation rewards people helps produce the results we want

My salary and benefits package meet my (and my family’s) needs well

My pay is fair for my responsibilities

I am satisfied with the organisation’s overall benefits package

I feel that I am fairly paid in comparison to similar people in similar roles WITHIN this organisation

I feel that I am fairly paid in comparison to similar people in similar roles OUTSIDE this organisation


I receive appropriate recognition (beyond my pay) for my contributions and accomplishments

The organisation recognises employees for good work performance

The organisation recognises employees for the behaviours and results that will help the organisation succeed

I am rewarded for exceeding my goals

I receive recognition when I do a good job

In the last week I have received recognition/praise for doing good work

Employees are recognised for good work performance

Training and Development

The organisation provides training to help me build skills that are valuable to me

There is an effective process to help me identify any development needs

My manager encourages and supports my development

In the last 6 months my manager has talked to me about my progress

When I started work I received as much induction training as I needed

My manager has regular meetings with me to discuss my progress

The performance appraisal process clarifies my objectives for the year

Quality of life

The physical work environment is appropriate for the type of work I do

The balance between my work and personal commitments is right for me

My regular work location is convenient for me

My work-related stress is manageable for me

I can keep a reasonable balance between work and personal life


My co-workers and I work well together to achieve our goals

My co-workers respect my thoughts and feelings

My co-workers and others increase my overall job satisfaction

I enjoy the organisational culture and my interactions with colleagues

My fellow employees are committed to doing quality work

I feel part of a team working towards a shared goal

At work my opinions seem to count

Teamwork is valued and encouraged by my manager

I have a good friend at work

I see teams working together effectively across different departments

I believe that someone new coming in to the organisation would see it as a place that values teamwork

Demographic Question Categories

The following demographic questions are useful for sub group analysis

  • Department
  • Location
  • Length of service
  • Job seniority e.g. director, manager, supervisor, employee
  • Job role e.g. full time or part time
  • Contract e.g. permanent member of staff or contract worker
  • Age
  • Gender
  • Nationality
  • Highest educational qualification

Open (Free Text) Questions

The following open questions can help deliver richer insight and add meaning to the quantitative results

What are the best things about working for this organisation?

What would you like to see improved?

Based on your previous experiences, is there anything the organisation does not do that you feel it should be doing?

If you could give your Manager advice on how to more effectively manage your team, what would that be?

If you could give the Leadership Team advice on how to more effectively lead the business, what would that be?


10 Simple Tips for Running Great Market Research Surveys

To download the full PDF file please CLICK HERE.

The following is a SIMPLE, but not EASY, guide to running great market research surveys.

#1. ASK (Always Seek Knowledge)

Become the subject matter expert on your given research topic before writing your survey. Read the latest reports and whitepapers, check out blogs of key influencers in the field and interview thought leaders & industry professionals. Find out what questions have so far been unanswered and what future developments are in the pipeline.

#2. Refine your research objectives

Write down 5 key questions which must be answered by the research. Test these ideas with others and invite them to challenge you about why they are interesting and relevant to the business.

#3. Define your target audience and sample size

Your target audience might include customers, general consumers, employees or other business professionals. Use a sample size calculator to work out the number of responses you will require to have confidence in the data. You should be aiming for a margin of error of around +/-3%. If you plan to analyse the results by demographic sub groups make sure you get at least 30-50 responses per group.

#4. Create an engaging survey

Now you have an idea of what questions need answering start to think about the structure and flow of the survey. The way you ask the questions will depend on the methodology you are using – this might be online, over the phone, via a text message or face to face. Use a variety of question types including single/multiple choice, matrix tables, sliders, ranking scales and open text boxes. If your survey is being distributed online make sure it is accessible on all devices. A well designed survey will maximise response rates and keep participants engaged throughout.

#5. Think about data analysis in advance

While your survey is live use that time to create an analysis tab spec. This details all the questions in the survey and then considers which other questions may have a relationship with them. For example, when asking someone how satisfied they were the last time they used your website you may want to look at differences between gender, age and device used.

#6. Produce a top line report

You will find that once you have closed your survey others will be impatient to find out the results. It can take a couple of weeks to analyse the results and produce a glossy report so pick out some of the highlights and send it around interested parties to wet their appetite for the main event.

#7. Analyse your results

Now the hard work of getting responses is done it is important you get the most out of your survey results. Refer back to your analysis plan and run a set of tables detailing the overall results and key sub group splits. Look for significant differences in the data and explore trends. If your survey has lots of likert scale questions it might be useful to show mean scores or top 2 box results. If you want to try your hand at more advanced analysis consider regression, segmentation, max diff, conjoint analysis and text analytics.

#8. Create an engaging storyboard

When you start to think about presenting the data create a storyboard first of what you consider to be the most interesting findings – and refer these back to your initial research objectives. You don’t need to report on every question if you found some added less value than others. Focus on the story the data is telling and start to build your presentation from here.

#9. Visualise your insights

Try to avoid the eighties style  “Death by PowerPoint” approach.  If your presentation is more than 20 slides you have probably gone into too much detail. Instead use infographics  to visualise a number of key stats on  one slide. Be inventive with the types  of charts you use – think about a variety of bar, pie and scatter charts, plus word clouds to visualise free text comments.

#10. Deliver your findings in style

It is likely you will be asked to present your survey findings to a room full of key decision makers. This is your chance to impress and show off all the exciting findings you have uncovered. Make sure to engage the audience as you go through – ask them questions, facilitate debate and don’t be afraid to offer up your own opinions. Bring a colleague with you to take notes and communicate actions to ensure the findings are implemented within the wider business.

10 ways to increase response rates for online surveys


With response rates for online surveys plummeting to less than 15% in most cases we outline 10 practical ways to increase response rates for online surveys.

1. Shorter surveys delivered more often

Many companies choose to conduct research with their customers or employees once a year. These surveys tend to be all-encompassing documents jumping from one topic to the next. I have seen surveys with 50-100 questions which can take respondents over 30 minutes to complete, so it is no wonder respondent fatigue kicks in and drop-out rates soar.

Shorter surveys asking 5-10 killer questions are more likely to deliver considered responses from participants. They are less likely to drop out and more likely to write meaningful comments in open-text boxes which can be used to maximise insight.

Shorter surveys should be topic-specific. For example asking customers about your latest product idea or marketing campaign. This approach allows you to conduct more agile market research. Surveys can be developed quickly and the results can be disseminated to key decision makers on one page of A4.

TIP: If you already have some respondent information on file don’t ask those questions in the survey. Most survey systems can integrate respondent data during the invitation process. This typically includes demographic and purchasing information which can be cross-referenced with survey responses in the analysis stage.

2. Smart questionnaire design

If you ever look at a fall-out report from an online survey you will see most respondents drop out when confronted by a matrix grid style question. These questions typically ask respondents to rate their opinion of various attributes on a likert scale. The trouble is that these types of questions have become very useful to analysts and also deliver great sound bites i.e. '75% of our customers agree our product is value for money'.

Try using a variety of question types to ask this type of question. This might include drag and drop options to assign importance or sliders which can quickly by dragged from right to left.

TIP: If you are sending your survey to a large sample use branching to reduce the questionnaire length. If you want respondents to agree/disagree with 10 statements show half to one section of respondents and the other half to the remaining respondents. A large sample will mean the results are still statistically robust and your response rates are likely to be higher.

3. Multi-platform

There is no one size fits all approach for distributing surveys. Most companies have a wide variety of customers who all have their own individual preferences. If the goal is to get as many responses as possible consider distributing the survey via a variety of channels.

These channels include an online survey link in an email, an announcement via social media, SMS text message via mobile phone, a link on the bottom of a receipt or a paper version sent out in the post.

Be careful mixing telephone or face to face surveys with online or paper surveys as questioning techniques can deliver varied results.

TIP: Before designing your questionnaire consider the most appropriate distribution channels. Your question techniques may need to be adapted depending on whether the survey will be distribute online, mobile, over the phone or on paper.

4. Insight-based incentives

Most companies will realise that to increase response rates for online surveys they need to offer some sort of incentive. These are typically not given much thought and end up being the usual Amazon voucher or iPad.

One way to increase response rates is to offer more ingenious incentives. These do not need to cost any more than your usual incentives but will motivate respondents to click on the link and start the survey.

Insight-based incentives offer different prizes to different groups of respondents. For example, females may prefer the chance to win a spa weekend, whilst males may prefer a track day. Younger respondents may prefer an Apple voucher whilst older respondents may be more motivated by high street gift vouchers.

This principle also applies when conducting B2C and B2B online surveys. Whilst consumers are not bound by any restrictions businesses may have policies on receiving gifts. So why not offer a free catered lunch for up to 20 employees or a donation to the charity of their choice for B2B respondents.

TIP: If you need responses fast offer an incentive to the first 25 respondents to complete the survey.

5. Pre-communication publicity

A great way to increase response rates is to create a buzz and a sense of anticipation around your survey. ‘Coming soon’ messages can be publicised through social media, via your website, on receipts/invoices or posters. For employee surveys an announcement from the CEO or MD will give your survey added importance.

TIP: Think of creative ways to give your survey a brand identity. This might include a name, logo or email address so people can find out more about it or send in ideas prior to launch.

6. Timing is everything

Many people believe response rates tend to be lower over the holidays and at weekends. The safe bet would be to launch your survey mid-week in a month with little distractions. However sites like Facebook tend to be at their busiest during these times as people have extra downtime to surf online.

Depending on your target respondent it is worth testing the launch of your survey at a variety of different times during the week. You may find launching your survey on a Sunday evening delivers significantly higher response rates than on a Tuesday lunchtime.

TIP: Send at least one reminder during the fieldwork period. This is usually sent a week after the initial survey communication is sent out. Response rates tend to peak on launch and after reminders.

7. Make it personal

Try to include the respondent's name in any survey communications. Research shows that personalised emails are more likely to be read. You could even include the respondents name in the email subject e.g. ‘Hi Tom, we would really like your feedback on our new product idea’.

Also try to merge in any personal or behavioural information you know about the respondent as part of the survey. This will make them feel like you know them as a person and a valued customer e.g. ‘We saw that you recently purchased a pair of Levi jeans from our website. Can you please tell us about that experience?’

TIP: Linking in actual information about the customer with their responses in the survey is an extremely powerful tool. Decision-makers are more likely to take notice if your biggest spending customers have a bad experience.

8. Accountability (employee surveys)

This is probably more relevant for surveys distributed to employees. Employee engagement surveys tend to get higher response rates than customer surveys. However, despite the captive audience, many employee surveys achieve response rates of less than 50%.

Much of this is related to the involvement of the senior management team and in particular departmental directors. Those who value employee feedback will encourage their team to fill the survey in promptly and honestly. Those who dismiss research or who are scared of the results will be less motivated to encourage their team to fill it in.

It is important to make departmental directors accountable for their own department's response rate. This should include setting minimum benchmarks of at least 75% and offering prizes for the departments with the highest response rates.

TIP: To fully engage departmental directors involve them in the project from the start. Ask for their ideas about the type of questions that should be asked. Allow them to express their concerns and inform them how the results will help improve their performance.

9. Communicating the results back to respondents

Polls on social media websites like Facebook receive thousands of responses. This is partly because they are quick and easy to complete. However, respondents are also given the option to see the results. Most customer surveys do not allow respondents the opportunity to see how others responded.

At the end of the survey consider including some key charts on the closing page and inviting respondents to make any final comments about the overall results.

TIP: Also summarise the results in your next newsletter, thanking respondents for taking part and telling them what action will be taken based on their feedback.

10. Act on the results

If your customers can see your organisation improving and evolving on the back of research they will be more likely to offer feedback in the future. This means customer research needs to be at the heart of decision making. Often survey results provide useful information but the results are not acted on. This only serves to disengage customers who might look to do business with a more customer-centric organisation in the future.

TIP: If respondents are particular dissatisfied or have had a bad experience offer to follow up with them to resolve their issue.