Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Hamas, Back To Square One Or A New Start?

Hamas has been branded a terrorist organisation by Israel, the US and the EU, but it is seen by its supporters as a legitimate fighting force defending Palestinians from a brutal military occupation.

Hamas was formed in 1987 at the beginning of the Palestinian uprising against Israel's occupation in the West Bank and Gaza.

Since the death of Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat, it has taken part in local elections that have culminated in them winning the parliamentary elections with enough seats to form a Palestinian government.

The UN, US, EU and Russia have said that the future aid to the Palestinian Authority will hinge on the Hamas government's commitment to peace and recognising Israel.

How should the world deal with Hamas? Should the Israelis and the wider international community try and negotiate with them?

Participate in this weeks free survey Hamas, Back To Square One Or A New Start?

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Bolivia's New Beginning

Bolivia have voted in Evo Morales as their president, the first of Bolivia's president to be of indigenous Indian heritage.

With a pro-coca leaf-farming policy, plans to nationalise the Bolivia's natural resources and in support of the anti-Washington coalition based around Cuba's Castro and Venezuela's Chavez he is adding to Washington's concerns for the whole region.

Evo Morales was voted into power, with a clear absolute majority, do you think he will have what it takes to improve the economy of one of the region's poorest countries and what do you think US policy towards Bolivia will be?

Participate in this weeks free survey Bolivia's New Beginning?

Thursday, January 19, 2006

The Advantages, Considerations and Risks of Employee Satisfaction Surveys

There are a number of distinct advantages to conducting regular employee satisfaction online surveys but there can also be risks.

Here are listed some of the main advantages, considerations and the possible risks to conducting online employee satisfaction surveys.


Mood and Moral

Provides a simple but effective method to measure and monitor the mood and moral of an organisation.

Identify Problems

Surveys are can be very effective in identify problems areas before they become serious, especially those that are hidden from senior management.


Lack of proper training is a common cause of dissatisfaction among employees and can lead to more serious problems such as stress.

Processes & Procedures

As businesses evolve some of the traditional processes and procedures can become antiquated, personnel are often the first to know and the last to be asked. Businesses evolve and the business processes need to be regularly re-aligned


For an organisation to run efficiently good internal and external communications are essential, surveys can provide a method to help organisations to monitor and measure how well an organisation communicates.

Working Environment

From something small like a broken chair to the more serious problem of sick building syndrome that can result in personnel experiencing headaches; eye, nose, and throat irritation; a dry cough; dry or itchy skin; dizziness and nausea; and difficulty in concentrating. Surveys allow environmental problems to be identified in a measured and controlled manner.

Goals and Objectives

Surveys can measure and monitor the extent that the personnel are aligned with the senior management's business goals and objectives.

Remuneration & Benefits

Measure and monitor how satisfied personnel are with their remuneration and benefits.


To properly comply with an ever increasing array of regulations the modern organisation needs to be able to disseminate information throughout the organisation and ensure, through records, that the information has been received, and importantly, understood. Online surveys provide organisation with a cost effective method to meet many of their obligations.


In the same way that an organisation will consider their financial position by comparison with previous years, so the regular use of online surveys will allow an organisation to monitor and measure their progress and development in non-financial terms.

Keeping the Initiative

It is always better for management to ask than be told. By conducting regular employee surveys management are able to keep the initiative in trying to identify problems that may otherwise manifest into demands.

Cost Effective

Using an online survey service such as www.surveygalaxy.com survey are quick and easy to create, simple to deploy and will provide real-time results.



The decision to allow respondents to remain anonymous or not needs careful consideration. A survey that is conducted anonymously may allow employees to be more candid, however, anonymity may encourage some individuals to make wild accusations that can not be substantiated and cause considerable concern. When in doubt it is often better to keep everything 'on the record' rather than 'off'.

Where survey respondents are known there is the opportunity to chase for surveys that have not been completed and also to follow up on some issues directly with those employees who have raised them as problems.

Management Backing

A survey that is both sanctioned and has the support of senior management will go some way in ensuring that any action required, based on the survey findings, will be implemented.


Most employees will feel that by being able to give their opinions that they are already stakeholders in the exercise and will be happy to participate in the survey as they will expect to benefit from the process.

However, some incentive may help improve the overall response rate or could be used to encourage early participation.

Smaller incentives could be handed out to all employees or all participating employees could be entered into a lottery to receive a more substantial prize.

Ask the right questions
Consider careful the questions being asked. If employees feel that the survey is just trying to tick the right boxes the survey could backfire.

A survey that is to be conducted annually should try and ask questions that will provide senior management with an overall health check of the organisation.

Avoid questions that will only apply to specific departments or personnel. If some areas of the organisation require detailed investigation consider running separate one-off surveys that can be targeted at specific personnel.


Keep free text comments to a minimum because they are difficult and time consuming to measure and analyse.

Consider limiting free text comments to one at the end of the survey or, in the case of surveys that are not being conducted anonymously, allow for a post-survey follow-up to obtain more information where additional and more specific detail is required.



Many employees will invest time and effort in participating in a survey and their hopes and expectations will be raised. Any post-survey non-action is likely to promote cynicism and jeopardise any future initiatives to obtain employee feedback.

Management should formally respond to the issues raised in surveys even if the demands of employees are not to be met. If senior management agree to address and resolve some issues then action needs to have started before any further survey is scheduled.


Some managers can regard any form of employee consultation as a sign of weakness and may have a tendency to dismiss out of hand any negative comment.

Warts and All

A survey is likely to reveal warts and all. Senior management should be prepared for discovering that the top down view can differ from the bottom up view and that ignorance, of any identified problems, can no longer be used as an excuse.

Can Cause Problems

Where surveys reveal, or bring problems, to the surface there could be a tendency for senior management to blame the messenger.


The potential benefits of conducting regular online employee surveys are considerable, but for surveys to be effective important upfront considerations need to be made. Although the process of conducting a survey can be therapeutic in itself it is the post-survey analysis, response and action that will ultimately determine how useful and effective the process has been.

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Bizarre or Exotic Children Names?

Although the majority of US and British parents still prefer traditional names for their offspring, more and more parents are now choosing to give their newborn unique and unusual names.

For obvious reasons celebrity parents who give their children unusual names are in the spotlight but will they start a trend or just be viewed as bizarre?

We have made a short list of some celebrities who have given unusual names to their children and we ask you to say that having such names their children should grown up feeling that they are blessed, or cursed?

Participate in this weeks free survey Bizarre or Exotic Children Names?

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

What are your predictions for 2006?

Looking ahead to what 2006 might bring.

Yes it's time to predict what 2006 will bring, peace in the Middle East would be nice but do we really think that is possible in twelve years let alone twelve months?

From a short list of events we ask you to pick those events that you would most like to happen and also ask you to rate the chances of some predictions we have thought up coming true.

Participate in this weeks free survey 2006 Predictions

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

Customized Style

Want to know how easy it is to customize the style of your survey so that it compliments your corporate style, or just stands out from the crowd.

We have just released a short tutorial that demonstrates how easy it is to change display attributes such as the background colour and the default font.

Because we break the survey down into groups of common elements you can change the style of your survey quickly, for example changing the style of one question will automatically change the style for all the questions, and new items added will automatically adopt the new style.

The customized styles are all stored in your personal library so they can be applied to other surveys making the whole process quick, easy and efficient.

For more details please see Customize the Style of your Survey

Sunday, January 01, 2006

Happy New Year

Wishing everyone a Happy New Year and all the very best in 2006.