Established in 1995, Railway Children is an international children’s charity working with street children in India, East Africa and the UK. They provide protection and opportunity for children that have run away or have been forced to leave homes that have become unbearable through poverty, abuse, violence or neglect.

The Challenge

Following substantial change to the organisation, the Railway Children charity was looking to undertake their first ever employee engagement survey to enhance their understanding of their employees’ overall experience within the organisation and obtain that all important baseline. They were specifically looking for a reputable company that could assist with the design of the survey and provide valuable advice on how to encourage maximum participation while ensuring the utmost confidentiality for all respondents. In addition, due to their presence in India and East Africa, they were also exploring cost-effective solutions to translate the survey into Hindi and Swahili – making it accessible to as many individuals as possible.

They explored their options and spoke to two companies, but instantly felt a connection with Gary. It was evident that he understood the organisation, and his thorough knowledge of employee engagement was reassuring.

The Results

The survey was conducted over a period of 8 days – covering two working weeks, which was advised in order to create a sense of urgency and to reach as many people as possible.

The survey results have unveiled some valuable insights for Railway Children. But one particular outcome that took them by surprise was the incredible 100% response rate they received from their 121 participants – in our experience that doesn’t happen very often!

They also received confirmation that their engagement levels were high, this was something that they suspected but proof of this was encouraging, especially as their score was above both the external norm and charity norm. What truly amazed them was the consistency across the entire organisation in all three countries of operation.


As they embark on their action planning, we have helped them to identify two key areas to focus on based on the survey results. Firstly, as they recognise the importance (and challenges) of maintaining very high engagement levels they are delving into understanding their strengths and successes further in order sustain their levels of engagement. Secondly, they are turning their attention to analysing the data at a local level and developing action plans to address any specific points that have arisen.


The Survey Initiative acted as an extension to the HR function which, with just one person, did not have the resources to run the survey and undertake in-depth analysis. The Senior Management Team (SMT) were thrilled with the exceptional response they received and were impressed by the depth of observations and suggestions given. We leave the last words with Carole Noble – Group Director of People and Culture:

TSI provided a fantastic hands-on service throughout the survey period from design through to report writing. They were very responsive to specific requests, and it felt like a very personalised approach, where they took the time to listen to what we needed and were prepared to go out of their way to make something work for us, even when it meant additional work for them. We got a phenomenal 100% response rate to our survey, really helpful analysis and insight and some useful thinking on next steps – all of which could not have been achieved without their input. Gary and Ralph have a lovely, engaging style which made it a pleasure to work with them. I cannot recommend The Survey Initiative highly enough.”