Collecting employee attribute data

Employee attributes are incredibly valuable when you are analyzing the feedback from your organization as they allow you to analyze and compare different employee groups. This is why it is important that you ask the right questions and setup answers appropriately when you are collecting employee feedback.

What are attributes?

Attributes are the specific characteristics or demographic information about your survey respondents. These are really valuable when you are analysing your survey feedback because they allow you to segment your organisation and compare groups against each other.

There are two primary types of attributes:

  1. Personal attributes – e.g. age, ethnic group, religion
  2. Employment attributes – e.g. department, tenure, manager

Why is attribute data useful?

Your workplace population isn’t one homogenous group. Each employee has different experiences, and those experiences are often affected by who they are and their demographics. 

Someone who’s been with the organisation for ten years will have a different perspective in comparison to someone who joined last month. An employee from a minority ethnic group won’t have the same experience as those from a majority group.

Incorporating attributes into your analysis can help you understand the experiences of different groups of people and shed light on any challenges within the organisation. You’ll be able to identify patterns and trends across various dimensions, and these insights will help you take impactful action.

How do I collect attribute data?

How you collect this data depends on what kind of survey you choose to do.

If you have chosen to do a confidential survey then attribute data will be collected as part of preparing a distribution list. This typically includes data that has been exported from your HR system. However, it is important that this is setup correctly and you can read about that here.

If you have chosen to do an anonymous survey, then you will need to collect attribute data by adding questions for your respondents to answer. You can read recommendations on how to collect age and tenure data here.

What can you ask in an attribute question?

Please note that Qlearsite cannot provide guarantees about the collection of demographic information, including the social propriety and/or the legality of collecting this information in all places around the world. We recommend that you always consult your legal counsel prior to survey distribution.

Attribute questions help you get deeper insight into your employee data, so think about how you might want to segment your organization to understand the employee experience. Some topics you could ask about include:

  • Age
  • Tenure
  • Sex and gender identity
  • Ethnic background
  • Religion or belief
  • Disability status
  • Marriage or civil partnership status
  • Sexual orientation
  • Pregnancy and maternity status

Give people the option not to answer an attribute question

Attribute questions can be personal and sensitive so it is important to give people the option not to respond. When setting up the answers that a respondent can select from, always provide the option “Prefer not to say”

How to setup an attribute question

  • Select the the appropriate question type. For most attribute questions, the Select One question type is most appropriate. Respondents will select one answer from the list. However, some attribute questions should allow a respondent to select more than one. For example, when asking an individual if any conditions or illnesses affect them, they should be able to select all that apply.

  • Make sure you tick the checkbox to make this question an attribute. This means that you’ll be able to easily filter and segment your respondents using this question.

  • Enter a short name or label for this attribute. The attribute name is displayed in the Respondent widget so it’s best to keep it concise.

Attribute questions enable better analysis and insight of your employee feedback. Attributes cannot be added once a survey is live or when it has closed, so it is very important that you include these questions when designing your survey.

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