Article by Molly Burke, RMS Research Analyst –


A regional cancer treatment center recently partnered with Research & Marketing Strategies, Inc. (RMS) to conduct market research to gain insight about the leadership team within their organization. The client wanted to hear from their employees about what their supervisors are doing well and what they need to work on. This was achieved by collaboratively developing a survey instrument that was administered directly to the client’s employees. The survey was an online survey instrument that allowed RMS to easily track the response rate and send reminders to non-responders if needed. The convenience of the online survey was also easiest for this organization’s busy healthcare employees.


The main objective of this market research study was to understand the strengths and weaknesses of the leadership team within the client’s organization. This included supervisory-level employees as well as upper management positions. Based on the survey results, the client developed strategies to both highlight the strengths of their leadership team and improve upon their areas of weakness across the organization.


RMS administered a brief 5 to 10-minute survey to the organizations’ employees (both leadership positions and subordinate employees) through an online modality with a unique link sent directly to the employee’s work email. The survey was developed collaboratively with RMS staff and a designated client project team. It consisted of less than 20 questions of various types, including Likert scale, open-ended, single-choice, and multiple-choice questions. The research gathered information from the employees about:

  • Overall job satisfaction
  • Overall satisfaction with the upper management
  • Overall satisfaction with their direct supervisor
  • Satisfaction with various sub-categories in regard to their direct supervisor:
    • Communication
    • Ethical values
    • Fairness
    • Administration of corporate policies
    • Caring about their employees
    • Listening and responding to their employees
    • Being open to change and new ideas

The survey was sent directly to the client’s employees via an email database provided by the client. All findings were kept confidential and anonymous, and reported in the aggregate.


Overall, the survey yielded some very beneficial insights into the organization’s leadership team. After analyzing the data, the themes that developed included:

  • A very high overall satisfaction with an employee’s job
  • A high overall satisfaction with the organization’s upper management team
  • A very high overall satisfaction with an employee’s direct supervisor

The data analysis clearly revealed that employees are very happy with their direct supervisors. The open-ended comments for each question provided insight into what specifically each direct supervisor is doing well and areas for improvement. Overall, the qualitative analysis of the open-ended comments revealed there is room for improvement with direct supervisor communications; although, overall, this rating was still statistically very high. Areas where direct supervisors excelled were their strong ethical values and caring about their subordinates’ well-being.


After analyzing the results of this leadership satisfaction survey, RMS provided the client with a detailed report which included the analysis of each question and delivered several key recommendations to help them achieve their stated goals. RMS provided these recommendations to encourage the client to take action on items as appropriate and leverage the data from this study to work toward an improved workplace culture and workflow. Ultimately, this survey provided several important takeaways for the client as well as the potential for future projects to delve deeper into the client’s workplace culture, leadership structure, and supervisor training.

Relational RMS Blogs:

How to Overcome Common Barriers to Employee Satisfaction Surveys
Satisfaction Surveys for the Win
8 Benefits of Using an Employee Survey

About the Author – Molly Burke

Molly supports the design, administration, and analysis of RMS Research Analytics Division projects works to ensure that all reporting follows RMS guidelines for quality and leverages her industry knowledge to enhance recommendations, particularly for RMS healthcare clients.


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About RMS

Research & Marketing Strategies, Inc. (RMS) is a full-service market research firm in Central New York. Formed in 2002, RMS helps organizations that are looking to know more about their customers and/or potential customers. They conduct surveys, focus groups, mystery shopping, studies and analysis. Each project is customized and gets personal attention by the best in the business. RMS has a reputation for getting results and offers an independent means to conduct telephone, on-line and mail surveying, In-depth interviews, intercept interviews, and participant recruitment as well as focus group hosting through QualiSight, its onsite call center and focus group facility. Taking advantage of the region’s reputation for being a great market study barometer, RMS recruits and moderates for focus groups, community forums and town meetings.