IBM Best Workplaces

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Further Survey Options

Survey Communication and Processes

Technical Requirements

Confidentiality & Privacy

Further Survey Options

There are four options for you to choose from, depending on whether you want a full survey or pulse, or Best Workplaces branding or your own:

‘Best Workplaces’ survey branding Your own survey branding
Survey length Full survey IBM Best Workplaces Survey New Zealand Workplace Survey
Pulse survey IBM Best Workplaces Pulse Survey New Zealand Workplace Pulse Survey

Q: What is the IBM Best Workplaces Pulse Survey?

The Best Workplaces Pulse Survey is designed to give organisations a high level view with which to check in on their progress following a previous survey. The core 20 questions are on the topics of Engage, Enable, Involve and Lead, and include the most common questions we see driving employee engagement and performance enablement. As always, you have the ability to add extra questions if you wish.

Participating in either the full 62-question Best Workplaces Survey or the 20-question Best Workplaces Pulse Survey enables your organisation to be considered for the Best Workplaces Awards, providing the eligibility requirements are met.

If you’d like more information about the content of the Best Workplaces Pulse Survey, or would like to discuss your specific requirements and get a quote, please contact us.

Q: What are the options for branding our survey?

Your organisation can participate in the Best Workplaces Awards by either running the branded ‘IBM Best Workplaces Survey,’ or the brandcustomisable ‘New Zealand Workplace Survey’ (i.e. add your own logo and survey title if you wish).

Participation in the Best Workplaces Awards is automatic if you participate in the Best Workplaces-branded survey, and is optional if you participate in the New Zealand Workplace Survey.

We suggest that all organisations opt in to the Best Workplaces Awards. It will be your choice if/how you communicate this to your people, and should your organisation rank as a finalist, then you can still opt out - we will get your consent before making any public announcement of award finalists. You will still need to meet the eligibility requirements.

Q: What does it mean that participation in the Best Workplaces Awards is available year-round?

Business planning cycles, seasonal variations and simple preference mean that different organisations choose to survey their people at different times of the year. Our goal is to recognise New Zealand’s Best Workplaces, and we don’t want timing to stand in the way of participation. Therefore, we are maximising the availability of the programme, making it available from 1 September to 31 October the following year, capturing 12 months of survey results and recognising the top performers at our Awards Evening in February 2018.

If you survey more than once in that 12 month period, the most recent survey will be the one that is considered for the Best Workplaces Awards.

Survey Communication and Processes

Q: How soon should we notify staff we are running a survey, and what should we tell them?

We recommend that you notify all staff at least one week before you launch your survey, providing the following information:

In addition, we would strongly recommend that your survey communications have the clear support of your Senior Management Team. In practice, the best way to do this is have your communications go out in your CEO's name and from your CEO's email address. Queries about the survey can be directed to someone else if you like, but do not underestimate the value of displaying this sort of high-level commitment.

Q: Where can I find some examples or templates of pre-survey communications?

IBM can provide examples of effective survey communications to help you plan your own. Please contact your survey project manager at IBM for more information.

Q: How can we increase our survey response rate?

Incentivising participation in the survey is a great way to increase your overall response rate. It is important though that this incentivising participation is not interpreted as incentivising a particular result.

Ways to incentivise participation include:

The important thing is to communicate the reasons why you are offering an incentive. You want everyone to 'have their say,' you want to get results that will be representative of all staff and you want everyone to be involved in the building of a great workplace—their great workplace!

Please note that you should always emphasise that your incentives will not affect the confidentiality of their responses—make sure any prize draw entries are kept separate from completed surveys (applies particularly to hard copy questionnaires). Please advise your project manager if you would like some text added to the front page of the survey to aid your plan.

Please also refer to the next topic about the difference between incentivising participation and incentivising a result—the former is acceptable, the latter is not.

Q: What is the difference between incentivising participation and incentivising a result?

There is a big difference between incentivising participation and incentivising a result.

Incentivising participation is about encouraging as many people as possible to complete the survey. The more people complete your survey, the more confident you can be that the results you get at the end are representative and accurate.

Incentivising a result is about encouraging people to respond in a particular way. It is an attempt to positively affect people's instinctive, true responses in a way that makes the organisation's results appear better than they would otherwise be. Incentivising a result is strongly discouraged. Please note that one of the conditions of participating in the IBM Best Workplaces Survey is: Your organisation agrees to participate in the IBM Best Workplaces Survey in good faith. The Organisers reserve the right to investigate and disqualify from the competition any organisation considered to have acted in a way that brings the validity of the survey into disrepute.

Examples of incentivising a result include:

Incentivising people in management roles to achieve performance targets is acceptable; allowing influence on the way individuals respond to the questionnaire is not.

In addition to incentivising a result, it is also unacceptable to manipulate your results by not making the survey available to particular people/parts of the organisation who you may feel may respond negatively. A requirement of the IBM Best Workplaces Survey is that all employees must be given the opportunity to complete the questionnaire (including full time and part time staff, excluding contractors or casuals).

Note that in our experience, attempts at incentivising a result normally backfire as staff resent being told how to respond to a questionnaire that asks them for their honest feedback—there is a good chance it will do more harm than good.

Our position on offering a treat, etc. for completing the survey is that we don't believe that chocolate has the ability to change the way a person responds to the survey, this is why it is an appropriate incentive.

If you have any questions about this topic, please contact IBM.

Q: What should we do after the survey closes?

Do you need help with action planning? If so, contact IBM or your project manager to discuss how we can help you.

Technical Requirements

Q: What do we need to do to prepare our IT network for running a survey?

To ensure the smooth running of your online survey, there are a couple of changes your IT people need to make to your organisation's network settings to ensure everyone can receive our survey emails and access our survey website. Even if you have successfully conducted a survey with us before, it is still imperative that the instructions below are followed, as spam filters learn, adapt and have their configurations changed over time .

If you have any questions about the IT requirements for running a survey with IBM, please contact us at

Confidentiality & Privacy

Q: Is the data collected secure?

Q: As a respondent to my organisation’s employee workplace survey, are my personal responses confidential?

Absolutely! Understandably, survey respondents occasionally raise questions over the confidentiality and security of their survey responses. We would like to assure everyone that we take the issue of confidentiality very seriously. The confidentiality statements below apply for the workplace climate surveys that we run (including the IBM Best Workplaces Survey).

Q: Can a respondent’s demographic answers be changed after they submit the survey?

Q: What is IBM’s demographic reporting and data integrity policy?

Q: What is IBM’s Software Products and Software-as-a-Service Privacy Statement?

You can view IBM’s Software Products and Software-as-a-Service Privacy Statement here (US) .

IBM Best Workplaces Programme is proudly supported by:


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