DOT seeks employees' views

“I wanted to do surveys using the Web and found SurveyWin very difficult,” he
said. EZSurvey 98’s $399 price—low when compared with other survey packages,
which had price tags as high as $5,000—persuaded him to give Raosoft a second shot.


Woodmansee, a personnel management specialist in human resources automation at the
office of the Transportation secretary, used EZSurvey 98 to query 100,000 civilian and
Coast Guard employees via DOT’s Web site.


Nearly 10 percent of them responded to the survey, which asked more than 40 questions
about topics such as telecommuting. “The idea of getting employees’ views is
pretty new,” he said.


Human resources departments are “rating themselves based on what people think of
us. It helps us to identify employees’ priorities,” he said.


Some DOT employees such as air traffic controllers could never telecommute, Woodmansee
said, but many others could reduce highway congestion by doing so.


He himself was working at home on a management report when he spoke with a reporter
recently.


Woodmansee said he likes the way Raosoft built in some hidden questions that appear
automatically when users answer certain questions yes or no. Automatic branching skips
over areas based on previous answers, so users need not manually scroll down to search for
the next appropriate questions.


The average survey response time was eight or nine minutes, he said. Woodmansee and his
colleagues decided not to include any artwork because “it’s distracting. You
want to get their attention on the questions” right away, he said.


EZSurvey 98 automatically collected the surveys, which are in ASCII text into a
response database file. DOT officials can make bar graphs, pie charts and tables with
EZSurvey 98, he said.


“Before, it would have been a huge task to mail out surveys, collect them and type
in the results,” Woodmansee said. Human resources departments within each DOT
administration publicized to their employees the uniform resource locator for the survey
on DOT’s Web site.


Woodmansee said he impressed his colleagues by easily converting the EZSurvey 98 text
into Hypertext Markup Language files for Web posting.


“I looked like a guru to them,” building the survey on a Micron Electronics
Inc. 200-MHz Pentium PC running Microsoft Windows 95, he said.  

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