Anonymous surveys have the potential to improve the athlete experience and address concerns and potential violations proactively. But not all survey platforms are created equal. Below are some key features to look for as you evaluate different options. You can also download this handy, printer-friendly checklist.
Team Roster Integration
Sports organizations will see a greater impact from a tool that is built specifically for sports teams and integrated with your rosters. Not only will this help you more easily and efficiently distribute the anonymous surveys to the necessary athletes and staff, it also avoids respondents having to enter data you already know, like team, gender, or graduating class.
Some organizations rely on generic survey tools like Survey Monkey or Google forms. Because they don’t integrate with your team roster, they often require more time to distribute and ask users to enter basic details, making surveys unnecessarily long and reducing the response rate.
Secure Mobile App
The best thing you can do to increase your anonymous survey response rate is to make it as easy as possible to complete. For today’s athlete, that means delivering it and allowing it to be completed on a smartphone.
Look for a survey solution that provides a secure and reliable mobile experience – ideally within an app athletes already use every day like Teamwork’s Hub. A website isn’t good enough, as it often requires additional steps to notify them that a survey is requested and authenticate the user. Even when designed to be mobile-responsive, web-based surveys can be unreliable and difficult to complete.
Respecting anonymity while still keeping your surveys in a closed, secure, and owned environment can be challenging when using generic tools or third-party companies.
First and foremost, you’ll want a survey tool that provides admin and coaching staff with a view of aggregate and individual responses that strips away any identifying data. This will allow them to analyze the responses, slicing and dicing them based on different variables, while protecting the respondent’s identity.
At the same time, you’ll want a solution that can close the loop with the respondent, sending them a message when their feedback is reviewed or providing a direct response from your staff – all while respecting anonymity. Without this, your surveys will feel like a black box with your athletes putting in the effort to provide thoughtful responses but never hearing anything back.
Finally, ensure your anonymous survey tool can help you in the unfortunate event of an audit or investigation where you may need to quickly provide a record of survey responses and related communications.
Real-Time Reporting & Analytics
Coaches, staff, and admin don’t have the bandwidth, or likely the desire, to interpret raw survey data. That’s why it’s important to find a tool that provides real-time and visual results (charts & graphs), the ability to easily filter and sort data, and display and compare results over time (e.g. month over month or season over season).
In addition to survey metrics like the number of surveys sent out and completion percentage, you’ll want to look at individual questions, both as a snapshot and over time so you can identify trends. If you’ve collected a significant amount of data, you may also want the ability to export it for more sophisticated analysis.
Easy to Build and Manage
The best vendors understand what it’s like to walk in your shoes, and design their solutions accordingly. Look for features that allow you to easily create, maintain, and distribute standalone surveys (e.g. end of season or seniors’ exit interviews) and ongoing surveys that solicit feedback throughout the season.
As mentioned earlier, integration with your roster helps you automate the distribution of your surveys by easily indicating which groups or individuals should receive them. A versatile system will also give you the ability to customize surveys for various teams or groups.
Finally, the ability to set an expiration date on surveys and automatically send reminders to athletes will help drive completion rates and ensure the integrity of your data.
Notifications & Escalations
Simply capturing your athletes’ feedback, concerns, and complaints is only the first step. It’s what you do next with this information that really counts. The ability to create dynamic alerts, assign responsibilities and workflow steps, and escalate issues if needed ensures you’re closing the loop on athlete feedback, taking decisive action, and triaging problems effectively.
What Do Customers Say?
Review any case studies or customer testimonials to see how other organizations like yours have used the tool. Additionally, any reputable vendor should be willing to provide you with a few references you can contact directly. Below are some suggestions of things to ask those references:
- What was the original problem you were trying to solve by using [name of product]?
- Why did you ultimately choose [name of product]?
- What was the implementation process like?
- What has athlete usage been like? Have you run into any obstacles?
- What impact has [product] had?
- Have you been happy with the support they provide?
- What do you wish the product or vendor did better?
- Would you recommend using them to help me solve [describe your problem]?
To learn more about how the full-featured Pulse anonymous surveys solution can benefit your team, visit https://www.teamworks.com/pulse.