Improving employee engagement: actionable tips from client success

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Principles of employee survey action planning

Action planning | Insync

Principles of employee survey action planning

Much like an X-ray or blood test, the results of well-constructed and validated employee surveys serve as an invaluable tool to gauge employee engagement and sentiment within organisations. They will tell you what is working well and which areas need attention. 

Yet, the survey results are just the start of the journey. 

The real value is when organisations use the survey data to develop action plans. This step is particularly challenging as it transitions from measurement to the execution of improvement initiatives. Through action planning, organisations align on key priority areas, define initiatives and prioritise their course of action. 

As the new year begins, many organisations are re-engaging with their post-survey action planning process. To drive momentum, we’ve developed four core action planning principles. 

Drawing from our experience partnering with hundreds of organisations, we’ve crafted these principles by reviewing the approaches of organisations that have excelled at planning and executing actions arising from their employee survey results. 

Principles of employee survey action planning

1. Sustain the momentum

Momentum is crucial. The faster you transition from survey implementation, to deeply understanding the results, and finally, to the crucial action planning phase the better. We recommend mapping in detail the entire action planning process well in advance – this will help to ensure that agreed timelines and deadlines are met, at all levels. From our experience, reigniting action planning after a lull in activity poses a significant challenge, often attributable to shifting priorities. In organisations where we have seen significant improvements in survey results, action planning has always remained a top priority.

2. Phase the actions

Sometimes organisations can get caught up working on important issues where improvements are slow to take place and/or are not very visible. Employees may think that the process is losing momentum or has halted. Identify the ‘low hanging fruit’ so that results from the action planning process become apparent quickly. It is important to identify the quick wins (short-term gains with relatively less effort) and the strategic priorities (long-term with significant effort). Organisations can and should continue to work on the more complicated, intricate actions in the background. 

3. Communicate progress

Effective action planning hinges on continuous communication with employees. The wider organisation must have clarity on focus areas and the ongoing action plans. It is crucial to keep employees informed of the progress. While many organisations conduct extensive action planning in the background, failing to widely share this work, especially when focus areas aren’t readily visible to most employees, can inadvertently convey a lack of action. 

4. Involve employees

Building a great workplace is a collective journey that involves everyone in the organisation. While senior leaders and People and Culture teams spearhead initiatives, it is imperative to involve employees in the process.

Organisations should involve employees to gather more qualitative data (if required) and develop or refine action plans. This ensures action plans are not ‘thrust’ upon employees, but rather fosters a sense of partnership and cultivates ownership among the broader employee group. 

Offering overview

Download our focus groups and action planning offering guide by clicking here. Alternatively, gain further insight into action planning workshops by watching the video below.

Get started with Insync

We’re here to ease any stress you may feel about the action planning process. 

We can help with your action planning. Our expertise lies in measuring employee perceptions through proven feedback methodologies and frameworks and offering expert advice to support your journey towards success. 

Get in touch with us to discuss your needs. 

Sanjaya Gunaratne

Senior Manager - Government & Utilities

Sanjaya has 10 years of experience in research and consulting and has carried out projects in multiple countries. He has managed a variety of projects including employee and customer engagement surveys, stakeholder research exercises, 360-degree reviews, people practice audits, focus group discussions, action planning workshops, formulating and operationalising organisational values as well as formulating employee value propositions. He has also worked on projects aimed at boosting employee retention and improving the people management capability of leaders.

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