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By David Sharar and James Harting

Most EAP providers offer some sort of survey to supply feedback to their corporate clients. These typically include surveys downloadpertaining to overall “satisfaction”, clinical outcomes, workplace outcomes, or some combination.

Results are typically indicated by “response rates,” which refers to the proportion of the number of surveys returned out of the total number sent out. But response rates are often not very high. Why is that? What can be done to improve best practices for surveying EAP clients? We will address these questions in this fundamental and yet neglected EAP topic.

Tips for increasing response rates include:

* Mix up the delivery methods (e.g. email, phone, etc.);

* Make survey projects a specific staff responsibility;

* To reduce chances of emails going to spam, get on a certified whitelist;

* Remember that short, appealing, colorful surveys work best.

* Obtain consent and reassure that the survey is confidential;

* Consider issuing a reminder about the survey before actually sending it.

Improving EAP Surveys” was the topic of the March and April cover stories in “Employee Assistance Report”. For more information on this newsletter or to sign up for a free trial, check out the “Employee Assistance Professionals” link at http://www.impact-publications.com and/or phone 1-715-258-2448.  

David A. Sharar, Ph.D., is the managing director of Chestnut Global Partners  http://www.chestnutglobalpartners.org

James J. Harting, LCSW, CEAP, is the president of Harting Associates, Inc., The Center for EAP Benchmark Surveys    http://www.daybreakeapsoftware.com