Creating a Distribution File

During the process to design and send a survey, you will have the opportunity to upload an employee register (or data) file. This data import typically covers your employees’ names, their email address (to send the survey invitation), where they sit in your organisation’s hierarchy, as well as any additional demographic information you want to use when analyzing your results. In the Product, you can download an excel (.xls) template to get started.

The Process

The distribution file (sometimes referred to as a send list) is used to setup your employees in our application, send them invitations, record their responses and help structure the analysis of the results.  It is only required when using Confidential-style surveys.

If you have not integrated your HRIS with the Qlearsite platform, then you will need to prepare your send list in Excel. We have made this easier for you by including a simple template to get started.

Follow these steps:

  1. Download your employee data from your HRIS system, this is often referred to as register data. You will need your source data to cover:
    • A unique identifier for each employee
    • Employee Name
    • Email address
    • Hierarchy information so that your analysis can group employees into their teams
    • Any demographic information you want to use in the analysis, for example, gender or age.   
  2. Download the template from the Qlearsite platform. This is accessible in the “Distribution” step when designing your survey.
  3. Once you open the spreadsheet template, you will see a single sheet in the file. The table below walks through the columns and describes what is required.

The File

Below is a guide to each column:

Column name Configuration Mandatory
Employee ID A unique alphanumeric identifier Yes

In a consistent format such as ‘Firstname Lastname’, to be used in the addressing of emails.

Tip: Do not separate out first and last names into different columns. 

Email Address Must be unique and valid and all in lowercase.  International characters (àäôçé) and sub-addressing in the email prefix (for example, ‘’) are allowed. Yes
Hierarchy Level 1

Hierarchy Level 1 is the first level of your organisation beneath your whole “Organisation View”. Up to 9 additional levels of Hierarchy can be added with each new column on the excel file being a new level on the hierarchy.

Most international characters (àäôçé) and the following special characters are accepted: & . , – ( ) * ‘ ” + 

You cannot use these characters:    # / ;  ? \

Yes, even if the same value is used for all employees
Hierarchy Level 2 As above No. If not required, leave the column title Labels (Hierarchy Level 1, Hierarchy Level 2, etc) and remove the dummy text in the cells below, leaving them blank
Hierarchy Level 3 As above As above
Hierarchy Level 4 etc… As above As above
Attribute 1, 2,3,…

Change the column title to the label you would like to see in your analysis. Make sure each column title is unique and keep the labels short and easy to read. E.g. Gender, Tenure, Location etc…

You can add as many attributes as you think will be useful when analysing your results. Add additional attributes as extra columns in the sheet.

Optional, if not required, remove the entire column (including the heading and dummy text)

Some additional tips:

  • Don’t change the name of the tab in the spreadsheet file.  It should remain as ‘Sendlist’.
  • Take care to use the right data in Attributes.  For example, don’t include dates for age or tenure. Instead, transform your raw date data into buckets which will make your analysis easier.

Once your file is completed, upload into the platform. The platform will perform validations and let you know if there are any issues that need to be corrected.

Distributing surveys based on a set of rules

For example, send to all staff in Dept X in Region Y with Tenure > 2 years?

No. However, we have a simpler solution to this – as creating and managing rules often takes a lot of time to test, and can still give you some nasty unintended surprises!

Here’s our method: each survey can have multiple distributions. Our customers use this feature to segment their audience and create a distribution for each segment. That way, the survey manager has full control and transparency over the invitations.

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