Creative Evaluation Methods
Few people enjoy filling out endless surveys and participating in dull focus groups. Fortunately, these are not the only ways that companies can gather data from their employees about their satisfaction and their gripes with the workplace, their thoughts on current projects and initiatives and how they feel the company can better support them. Employers can borrow fun assessment games from the classroom to conduct creative evaluations and gather the data they need to drive their development.
When employees are engaged in an evaluation, they are more likely to give their true thoughts and feelings on the topics being evaluated. They are also more likely to give detailed responses to questions and prompts because they are enjoying the evaluation exercise rather than simply trying to finish it as quickly as possible.
In schools, assessment games for the classroom work because they engage students in evaluations and make them excited to participate. These fun evaluation methods can be used the same way with adult participants. A few creative evaluation activities, some of which are also assessment games for the classroom, include:
In this activity, participants respond to a prompt in 140 characters or less. This character limit forces them to be concise and to highlight their most pressing concerns.
Talk It Out
This is a form of role playing where one participant is assigned the role of talk show host and others are the guests. The host (or potentially a panel of hosts) writes relevant questions and then interviews the guests, prompting group discussions and allowing participants to discuss their thoughts in an open, nonargumentative environment.
Roll the Dice
Each participant is given dice, and each number on the dice is assigned to a question, such as:
- What did you learn from the presentation?
- About what are you unsure?
The participants then roll the dice and answer the corresponding questions aloud, prompting group discussions.
Are We On Target?
In this activity, the leader draws a large target on a dry-erase board or paper. This target, shaped like a bullseye, represents an issue on which the company needs feedback. Participants place sticky notes in the area on the bullseye that corresponds with their thoughts on the company’s performance, with areas closer to the center being more on target.
Complete the Sentence
With this activity, participants are given open-ended sentences to which they respond with their thoughts and assessments. These sentences can be on paper, spoken aloud or written on a dry-erase board in a conference room. Example sentences include:
- One way the company can improve communication is:
- My biggest operational challenge is:
- If I could change two things about my work day, they would be:
Peer quizzes are a fairly simply way to gauge employees’ understanding of a subject. Employees write quizzes, trade with partners and complete the quizzes they are given. Reading employees’ answers shows team leaders how well they understand the subject of the quiz, and reading the questions they write shows how they think about the subject and which aspects and issues they consider most important.
The data a company recovers through evaluations are crucial to its ongoing initiative and policy development. A few areas where creative evaluations can be extremely helpful tools for company leaders are:
- Professional development planning.
- Solving internal challenges.
- Developing new company policies.
- Determining new operational directions.
- Developing business strategies.
Fun evaluation methods for the workplace can be just as effective at gathering necessary data as traditional evaluation methods like surveys. When designing evaluation activities, team leaders should determine the most effective way to collect the information they need rather than hoping for the best with the methods they are used to.