Wondering how well your content is doing? Just ask your customer.
Online surveys are an easy way to gather customer feedback and research that helps you make better-informed business decisions. At USGBC, we recently launched a global language survey to see how we could enhance our international audience’s LEED experience.
Here are several guidelines to follow when launching a survey, from writing the questions to sharing the final results with coworkers.
Define your survey’s purpose, and write a marketing plan.
Before you get started on drafting any survey questions, ask yourself: What do you want to know?
After determining what information you’re looking to collect, write it all down by creating a marketing plan, which should include target audience and promotion tactics, to share with your team.
Our survey aimed to capture key demographic information about our international audience, so we could sketch a customer profile in terms of industry, job level, age, location and primary language.
We opted to keep the survey open for three weeks and distributed it through an article, emails and USGBC’s social media channels. We also leveraged our staff’s international contacts to help promote the survey.
Draft your survey questions, and share them with your team for their feedback.
Keep your questions as simple, direct and short as possible, so there’s no confusion about what’s being asked. Avoid any leading questions.
Since we were looking for demographic information about our global audience, our questions centered on profession and industry, location and language. Some of our survey questions included:
- What is your primary language?
- What is your country of residence? How long have you lived in your country of residence?
- What is your primary language? Are you fluent in any other languages Is English the primary language you use at work?
- Which of the following most closely matches your job level?
SurveyMonkey has a great list of tips on writing effective survey questions.
After you’ve finished writing your questions, make sure to share the draft with your team for their input and pick a survey platform to use, such as GetFeedback or SurveyMonkey. Ask your team to do a beta test to get an average on how long the survey takes to complete and to determine if any questions need additional polishing.
Reporting the results: Make sure to include key takeaways and charts.
After your survey is over and you have all the data, build out several charts and graphics to share within your company. Make sure to include within your report your survey’s duration, number of responses, methodology and high-level observations.
Our survey results suggested our international audience is fairly young, fluent in English and mid-level in their industries, with the top three being in design, engineering and construction.
Spanish is the most popular native language, followed by Portuguese, English and Chinese. Interestingly, we found that the majority of our users preferred to use English resources in studying for a LEED professional exam or working on a LEED project.
High on my list of goals for the year was to take more time to recognize—and celebrate—our amazing creative services and marketing team at USGBC. If you’ve spent any time on USGBC Studio, you’ll have seen the caliber of talent stockpiled within the team, and you’ll understand why gratitude topped my to-do list.
My plan? Submit some of our favorite creative work from the past year into industry competitions. (Usually we’re too busy doing the work to take time to applaud the work).
SITES advertising creative piece
- Winner of 2017 American Inhouse Design Award
Screen-printed USGBC T-shirt
This limited-edition tee for Greenbuild 2016 honored industry champion Rick Fedrizzi and was featured previously on Studio.
- Winner of 2017 American Inhouse Design Award
- Winner of 2017 Hermes Creative Award
For communications professionals who work in sustainability, earning the LEED Green Associate credential is the best way to learn about green building principles—and in turn, to help you produce stronger, more engaging content.
That’s why I took the test, along with my colleagues, communications manager Ali Peterson and content specialist Amanda Sawit. As any marketing and public relations professional knows, the key to being an effective communicator is knowing your subject matter like the back of your hand.
Ali, Amanda and I recently gathered with moderator and content marketing specialist Heather Benjamin to discuss tips on studying for the test, why we decided to pursue our credential and how earning our LEED Green Associate credential improved our content strategy and workflow.
Listen to our conversation:
About the LEED Green Associate Exam
The test involves 100 multiple-choice questions that you have two hours to answer on a computer. There are no eligibility requirements to sit for the exam. The test costs $200 for USGBC members, $100 for students and $250 for all others. Check out our Beginner’s Guide to the LEED Green Associate Exam for more information.
Looking for additional resources? Here were our essential studying materials while gearing up for the test:
- LEED Green Associate Candidate Handbook
- LEED Core Concepts Guide
- LEED BD+C Reference Guide (Introductory and Overview Sections)
- LEED v4 Impact Category and Point Allocation Development Process
- LEED Green Associate exam: Two-week study plan
- Practice tests on Education @USGBC platform
The National Retail Federation projects that Americans will spend approximately $8.4 billion to celebrate Halloween this year, a record high in the annual survey’s history. Save a bit of green while being green, and make your home spooktacular with these seven eco-friendly DIY decorating projects.
1. Paper origami bats made with 100 percent recycled construction paper
Trick your guests into thinking there’s a flock of bats in your home by creating 10 or so paper versions to stick on a wall (instructions are at AGirlAndAGlueGun.com). You’ll need recycled black construction paper, which should cost $2–3. You also could create a paper bat mobile as Martha Stewart advises, by tying your winged creations to a tree branch.
2. Spooky terrarium jars
Decorate your windowsills with these DIY Network spooky terrarium jars, using recycled glass jars with spiders, cotton ghosts, moss and branches. Making these terrarium jars is fairly easy, and it’s a great project to get kids involved in. You can let them fill their jars with whatever tiny, terrifying toys they like.
If you have some old gauze tape lying around and extra glass jars, you also can make your own mummy luminaries from the blog “A Little Clairification.”
3. Dark paper flowers
Add a touch of shadowy glamour to your space by making a black flower arrangement using biodegradable crepe paper. If you have extra paper, you also can make a black paper wreath, as seen in “Country Living.”
4. Wooden pumpkins
Try something new this year, and make your own version of a pumpkin as Today’s Fabulous Finds suggests, by reusing old wooden blocks.
5. Spirit jugs
Light up the pathway to your home for trick-or-treaters with “Eighteen25″‘s spirit jugs. Take any old, used milk gallon jugs, and draw silly faces on them using a permanent marker. Make these ghost-like containers shine at night with low-wattage christmas lights.
6. Apple tea light holders
These apple tea light holders from “Woman’s Day” are an easy and quick way to illuminate a room during Halloween. After using the apples, you can give them to a local farm for animal food or add them to a compost bin.
7. Recycled K-cup garland of lights
Big coffee drinker? The “KimSixFix” shows you how to put those old K-cups to use by making a garland of lights to hang across your fireplace’s mantel for Halloween. Like the spirit jugs, you can draw a variety of scary faces on each cup.
A transition has been taking place in the green building office world over the past few years. Companies are not just building buildings that are better for our environment overall—they are actually building offices that are better for their employees.
Many companies have realized that not only does their space need to be environmentally friendly, but it also needs to keep workers happy and healthy to increase productivity. For example, McKesson in Richmond, Virginia, took strides to implement WELL Building Certification and focus on wellness for its employees. WELL believes that buildings should be developed with people’s health and wellness at the center of design.
So what does this shift in focus mean for all office spaces? Consider the effect of indoor environmental quality (IEQ) in office buildings on employee health, well-being and productivity. Healthy buildings do more than mitigate our impact on the environment—they can have social and emotional effects as well. Studies have shown that employees in buildings with adverse health conditions are absent more often, lose more work hours and are less productive than employees without these conditions.In some studies, there have been 11 percent gains in productivity from improved ventilation and 23 percent gains in productivity from improved lighting design.
Having healthy buildings can make a huge difference. My friend Anne recently was fortunate enough to move to a new office space. Her company left a relatively old, unhealthy building and has relocated to a much newer, LEED-certified building. She shared with me some of her reactions to moving into a more wellness-focused space, giving us a personal look into how healthy buildings can really improve daily work life for us all.
In your previous building, what was noticeably unhealthy to you during a workday? The air quality was definitely subpar—the dust that accumulated and the allergens we all noticed inside were all frustrating. In addition, I think there were questions about the cleanliness of spaces based on their age. But as an employee, you don’t have a lot of options!
Were you ever worried the IEQ could have longterm negative impacts on your health? I think I was conscious of how dust and mold might be impacting me every day, but it was easy to blame that on my allergies or my problems. But recognizing how a work space can exacerbate those problems—and that it isn’t OK—was definitely a shift that resulted when I had access to a nicer, high-quality space.
What does your new building have that has made your workday seem better? Improvements in technology, better spaces for meetings and group work, and even higher-quality materials in the furniture all result in positive impacts on work. It feels like the space is designed to be productive—not that it just happened to be occupied by a business. The space also has a great employee kitchen, privacy rooms for breastfeeding or other personal needs and a fitness center. It would be easy to call these things perks, but they are important parts of having healthy employees.
Are there things you think we take for granted, but are actually very important to improving productivity in the workplace? Designing spaces where groups can work, I think, makes a difference.
Do you believe that your new space will directly impact your workday mentality? Absolutely, the space is now an easy and comfortable part of my day-to-day. That it isn’t a stressor already helps!
We saw at Greenbuild this past week that the health and wellness of workers is becoming a larger focus across the board—there was an entire section of the Expo Hall floor dedicated to health and wellness. Not only can it help your employees feel better, it can serve as a competitive asset for companies. We heard Rick Fedrizzi say, “We have more to do to extend the focus from inside our buildings to inside our bodies.” A report released during Greenbuild last week shows that employees who work in certified green buildings have higher sleep quality scores — and who doesn’t want better sleep just by going to work every day?
“At their best, our buildings and communities are powerful promoters of health and well-being. At their worst, they contribute to some of the key public health concerns of modern society, from asthma to cancer to obesity.” —Mahesh Ramanujam