Employee engagement surveys have been around for several years now however, many organisations don’t understand the true value and benefit these surveys can bring to the organisation when used effectively.
My first experience with employee engagement surveys involved a paper based, 6-page survey (yes! no e-survey), with a tea bag and chocolate frog attached to encourage me to step away from my desk and complete the survey. As a human resources team member, I played a role in the coordination and change that soon followed to ensure we got the most out of these surveys. We focused greatly on a lot of internal communications, numerous presentations to staff, focus groups, action plans, and taking action on the outcomes and then doing it all over again 1 year later.
As a test to see if the outcomes of the earlier survey’s were successful, one section asked whether the employee agreed or not with this following statement, “This is a great place to work” (which the employer deemed the height of employee engagement). Second time round, this section received a result of 54% of participants agreeing with this statement when compared with previous survey results that were around the 35% mark. A tremendous result!
There were a few takes outs from this experience that I encourage clients to embrace when tackling employee engagement surveys:
Campaign for increased participation rates!
Participation rates are an integral part of ensuring results are an accurate snapshot of employee engagement. The higher the participation rate, the data and information collected is more reliable. Tea anyone?
Listen to your employees.
Take notice of what employees have said. Accept the feedback as an opportunity for the business to learn, grow and move towards being a great place to work for your employees. Share the results and interpretations with your employees and follow through in taking action. This valuable information will help your business move to the next level.
Take action and make positive changes!
Especially when results are not so positive by encouraging everyone to participate in either small teams or departments. Understand the benchmarks, develop priority action plans and work on implementing them. Don’t forget to include realistic time frames for completion too. Some employers like to include such action items as part of their people strategy or broader business strategy. Keep in mind, some things can’t be changed overnight so, take small steps when working towards achieving big goals for positive change.
Measure for success when creating an action plan.
Some questions to ask yourself or team, “How can the success of this be measured?” and “How will we know we have achieved this goal?”. This will of course, largely depend on the survey results and what systems are in place that can adequately detect and report on the success of implementing the change. One of the best measures is to conduct another employee engagement survey in 12 months time.
Repeat the process in 12 months time.
As the business evolves and workplace culture changes, keep your finger on the pulse by staying on top of employee engagement. You now have a line in the sand and benchmarks to meet. Increased employee engagement results in increased employee performance and increased business performance. It’s a win- win.