Improving employee engagement: actionable tips from client success

Improving the experience of your people

You’ve done your employee survey…now what?



Your employees want to hear “We have heard you”

Just completed an employee survey and have the results in hand? Great! But you might be thinking “where to next?” We always tell our clients that the employee survey is just the beginning. You’ve done the “measure” part, now it’s time to get stuck into the “improve” part.

We’ve put together a handy best practice guide for responding to survey results. Because it’s what you do with the results that will drive real change.

6 best practices for responding to your employee survey

Video: turning employee survey results into action

Listen to our Principal Murray Chapman talk through the 6 best practices for responding to your employee survey.

6 simple steps you can follow

1. Communicate the results promptly and effectively.

Employees need to hear “we have heard you, and here’s what we plan to do”. Here are 5 ways to do that:

  1. Share and discuss the results and their implications with your executive and senior leadership teams.
  2. Your CEO should thank employees and give a brief summary of the key messages.
  3. Then conduct face to face discussions with all staff or split into departments and/or teams.
  4. A communique highlights what you are doing well, where you need to improve and how you will respond.
  5. Provide regular updates on how you are doing. We recommend at least quarterly updates.

2. Take the time to go deeper to understand the results

The results may be unexpected to you and your leadership team and it can be hard to understand why employees responded to a survey item as they did. There are two ways to gain a deeper understanding of the underlying problems and to find out your employees’ desired state:

  1. Ask managers to seek more information in one on one or team meetings with questions like “what does good look like” or “what do we need to do differently”
  2. Hold focus groups of 6-15 people to explore a small number of topics in more depth.

3. Decide which issues to address

Your results may have uncovered many different issues to address. We suggest prioritising no more than 3-4 actions and then focus on areas already in your business plan where implementation effort is lowest, to get the biggest bang for your buck.

4. Set specific goals

Choose a small number of survey items that relate to your chosen priorities, where you can move the dial and where an increase in your percentage favourable score would indicate that your planned actions have made an impact.

5. Evaluate your response options

How you decide to act on your results will fall into three broad categories: initiatives, simplification and behaviours.

  • Initiatives are projects that have goals, tasks and responsibilities, but consume time and money.
  • Simplification means to identify and remove barriers that make it harder for employees to get the job done.
  • Behaviours relate to changing the way you do things, creating new norms, having different conversations – all of which build a desired culture that can drive engagement and performance.

6. Don’t forget to follow through

As a team, agree on how you are going to track your progress. You might make it a regular meeting agenda item or set up a subcommittee responsible for your action plan. Setting specific goals, measuring progress and keeping up the communication will help to keep people focused on implementing the agreed actions.

Download our best practice guide below.

Ready to take the next step with your employee experience?

We can help measure and improve your employee experience with our evidence-based survey frameworks, focus groups and action planning, and best practice advice that will create real change.

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