Analyze Employee Engagement Results
Far too few organizations fully analyze employee engagement results to identify what matters most to attract, develop, engage, and retain their key talent. They take a simple, bird’s eye view of their employee engagement survey results. They look at overall scores, weaknesses, and strengths, and then decide to work on a couple weak areas.
This is a fine place to start, but if your approach is feeling stale and has little result, it’s time to take on more advanced data analysis.
10 Ways to Better Analyze Employee Engagement Results
If you want to get the most from your engagement survey results, follow these ten tips to understand what it will take to improve employee advocacy, discretionary effort and intent to stay.
#1.CONDUCT A DRIVERS’ ANALYSIS
Engagement drivers are survey items that are actionable, as opposed to survey items which purely diagnose the level of engagement. All survey drivers impact engagement; however, some make a larger impact on engagement than others for your unique situation. Engagement drivers vary from organization to organization and from year to year, from department to department, and from person to person within an organization.
A driver’s analysis identifies which survey items have the biggest impact on engagement in your organization. A natural response to survey results is to look at your lowest performing items and work on improving them. But, what if your lowest performing items don’t show a comparatively high correlation with overall engagement?
#2. SEGMENT YOUR RESULTS
Undoubtedly, your organization is not exactly the same from location to location, department to department, or team to team. Different types of employees experience your workplace differently, due to a variety of factors, such as who their manager is, what kind of work they’re doing, and who they interact with. This is why it’s important to dig deeper than aggregate organizational survey results and segment your results based on demographics that make sense to your organization.
By segmenting your results, you might discover some that areas are more engaged than others. Use these differences to your advantage as you create your follow-up plan. You can also apply the same drivers’ analysis to targeted demographics like department, location, age group, etc. You might discover that one department is more driven by recognition than another or that your younger employees are more driven by professional development opportunities. Use this insight to develop targeted plans for improvement.
Segmenting your results allows you to develop a tailored and more strategic engagement follow-up plan. Engagement isn’t one-size-fits-all. To really increase engagement, you need to understand your people, their workplace experiences, and what drives them to work for you.
#3. COMBINE MULTIPLE SURVEYS INTO ONE
Who ever said your engagement survey should only be an engagement survey? Sometimes it makes sense to broaden your scope to tackle more survey topics at once or to include other topics you’d like to compare to engagement. What other surveys does your organization conduct over the course of the year?
If none, what other non-engagement topics (safety, strategy changes, org. changes, sales effectiveness, etc.) would you want to collect feedback on? You could combine these questions on one survey and leverage a savvy survey system with built-in demographics, so only the right people see the right survey items.
#4. ASK FOLLOW-THROUGH QUESTIONS
One popular topic for our engagement surveys focuses on company and manager follow-up. Adding a couple questions about whether or not the employee’s boss followed up after the last survey can give you the ability to analyze employee engagement results among those whose managers followed up and those who didn’t.
#5. MAKE EMPLOYEES ACCOUNTABLE AND PART OF THE PROCESS
Who is responsible for employee engagement in your organization? Most will answer HR and leadership; some will also include managers. But one important group is rarely held accountable: employees.
After you analyze employee engagement results, employees have to bring themselves to the table. They have to accept that there’s an unwritten agreement between them and the organization, and each entity has to deliver on its end of the deal. The employee has to choose to be engaged, and the organization has to foster the choice that the employee continues to make every day.
#6. ACTIVELY INVOLVE MANAGERS
Managers play a critical role in engagement, both in impacting employees’ experience and understanding the unique challenges and opportunities of their teams. It is important to equip your managers with the time, resources, and tools they need to impact employee engagement.
One way to segment, analyze, and act on results is to look at the results of individual departments or teams within departments. Presenting organization-wide results is important, but take the next step and empower managers to look at results within their teams. As part of this process, managers should address results with their individual teams and work with their employees to dig deeper and brainstorm ways to improve engagement on their team.
Most often, managers will look to you for guidance on how to follow up with employees. Since there’s opportunity for managers to become defensive, you want to make sure they understand how to handle employee feedback appropriately and continue conversations with their teams.
A recent study showed that employees whose managers didn’t follow up showed a decrease in engagement by 6 points the following year. Even if you effectively analyze employee engagement results, without follow-through, the work is wasted.
#7. HOLD MANAGERS ACCOUNTABLE
If you’re taking engagement seriously as a core competency of your organization, your managers need to share in this skill and responsibility. One surefire way to gain their involvement is to hold them accountable. Here are some ideas:
#8. GO ABOVE AND BEYOND ACTION PLANNING
So you’re involving managers in the action planning process. They have access to their reports and they’re meeting with their teams to share results and make plans. And now they’re ready to take action. But are they equipped to make improvements?
Most managers have made their way to their position because they are experts in a specific skill set, not because they are experts at managing and engaging employees. Take action planning a step further and provide managers with resources to support their next steps and analyze employee engagement results.
Ideally, for each driver item on your survey (each item that a manager’s team might choose to work on), you should have related resources, such as articles, books, or videos that can provide managers the insight they need to move forward.
You can’t expect your managers to improve things like recognition, trust, or goal alignment without help. Providing managers with resources on the areas they’re working on can help ensure they are successful in their efforts to improve their teams.
#9. CELEBRATE & COMMUNICATE ENGAGEMENT SUCCESS
How often is employee engagement part of your workplace’s conversation? When you make it a topic of ongoing discussion, employee engagement can become a sustainable, business-driving part of your culture. One way to do this is to incorporate it into your internal communications. Here are some ideas:
#10. TAKE A HOLISTIC APPROACH
Stop thinking engagement is just a survey project. For organizations that want to make their workplace a “great place to work,” employee engagement is an ongoing strategic initiative. A holistic approach to engagement involves Leadership, Managers, Employees, and HR consciously making it a priority and part of discussions all year round.A holistic engagement approach also leverages tools outside of the regular survey to help analyze employee engagement results such as:
The Bottom Line
If you want to get the most from your engagement survey results, follow these ten tips to better analyze employee engagement results. They will help you to identify what matters most to attract, develop, engage, and retain key talent by improving employee advocacy, discretionary effort, and intent to stay.
To lean more about improving employee engagement, download 10 Most Powerful Ways to Boost Employee Engagement
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