We Love Quizzes


Saturday evening watching television and I was surprised at the number of quiz shows being broadcast. Clearly we are a nation of quizzers. Try as you might it is impossible not to shoutout the answer, if you know it. And the more answers you shoutout the more you get sucked into the show. 


How could an organisation make use of our love of quizzes? Trying to get service users or potential service users to complete a questionnaire is hard enough trying to get those who work in the organisation to complete an employee survey is a real challenge. Most people can’t be bothered, those who do often have their own agenda and ,”encouraging” employees to complete a survey can be counter productive. But quizzes are fun. A carefully designed quiz can reveal a lot about how how the organisation is viewed by those who work in it. 


Quizzes are commonly used in training to check out what information has been retained. The Health and Safety course might finish with a quiz or the induction program for new employees might contain a quiz. These are often completed on line which is an efficient method of checking how effective the training has been but it’s not particularly exciting. To raise the level of excitement you need to make it competitive ,   Inclusive and live. The obvious model is the pub quiz where teams compete and the questions are on general knowledge but themed such as Sport, Popular Music, History, Films and T.V.  Shows. Alternatively the model could be Egg Heads, in which senior management were the Egg Heads who were challenged each week by a team from a  different department. 


The skill is to insert questions within the quiz that reveal what employees know and feel about the organisation they work for. There are software packages that promise to illicit useful information but I think HR and Operations could identify questions that would be specific to their organisation. May be the starting point is questions from the various in-house training courses , Health and Safety, Induction, Recruitment, Equality and Diversity. Then identify material from the traditional employee survey that could be turned into quiz questions such as access to training and development, confidence in senior management, supportiveness of line manager, fairness of the recruitment and appraisal processes, effectiveness of internal communication. Teams/employees  could be asked to submit questions for the quiz to ensure that it is not just management setting the agenda. 


Typical inserted questions might be-


What percentage of employees have been on at least one course in the last 12 months?

What do the initials  LGBT+ stand for?


What is the main reason given for absenteeism in the organisation/in your department? 

What are the average employee turnover statistics in your area of work/the organisation as a whole, 3% ,  6% , 18% or 21%? 


How does the hourly pay rate for front line workers compare to the sector average higher, lower , about the same? \  How does the salary of senior managers compare with other similar organisations, much higher, higher, lower much lower, about the same? 


Typically what percentage of managers are promoted /appointed from internal candidates, less than 10% more than 50%? 


In the annal employee survey what one thing did the majority employees say would make their work life better- reduced working week, pay rise, improved computer system, free car parking, working from home? 


What is the main reason given for leaving the organisation- promotion, better pay, more flexible hours, more supportive management, more secure employment?



If the format could reproduce the engagement and excitement of some of t.v’s most popular quizzes then not only would the organisation know a lot more about it self and be a better place to work it would be more effective. 


Blair Mcpherson former Director, author and blogger www.blairmcpherson.co.uk 





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