7 Guidelines for Handling Open-Ended Comments

  1. Maintain respondent confidentiality. Survey results, especially comments, are confidential for a reason.
  2. Focus more on the numeric results from the engagement survey. Comments help add context to those results.
  3. Interpret them as generalities, rather than only their specifics.
  4. Look for groups of related themes.
  5. Avoid assigning too much weight to a few extreme responses.
  6. Respond to their ideas. Don’t spend energy on “who said what”.
  7. Don’t allow comments to replace conversations.Continue to have post-survey conversations with your team. Discuss the results and where to focus on improving with your team.