The Top 4 Reasons Engagement Survey Results Languish

The Top 4 Reasons Engagement Survey Results Languish
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Engagement Survey Success
What are the reasons engagement survey results languish?

The success of your employee engagement survey relies upon sound planning and a commitment to take meaningful engagement actions when the results are in.  A survey that does create visible improvements can be worse than no survey at all.  Employees participate believing that something will change once their views are known.

If nothing meaningful changes, they won’t trust the process — or their leaders — next time.

Why Engagement Survey Results Languish
Far too many talent leaders assume that their work is mostly done once they gather engagement feedback from their workforce.  And far too many well-intentioned organizations do not follow through like they should on their survey results; they allow potential areas of improvement to gather dust.

The fault?

Inadequate prior planning and explicit commitment to follow-through on the survey results before the survey has even been administered.

Four Top Reasons Engagement Survey Results Languish — and Their Cures

  1. Disappointing Employee Feedback
    Leaders hope for high participation rates and encouraging scores but often they get just the opposite. Sure it’s hard to confront a low survey participation rate or negative employee feedback.  However, now you know for sure that there is important work to be done.

    Focus on the key areas of strength and the key areas of weakness.  Look carefully at the employee comments and address their concerns.  Work with employee-led focus groups to figure out what needs to change and set up the specific steps you need to take to improve engagement ratings.

  2. Lack of Clarity around Ownership
    Far too often clients tell us that the data has been gathered, but no one feels responsible for analyzing it and dealing with the results.

    Before you even begin an employee survey, make it crystal clear who will have responsibility for analyzing the responses and taking concrete action.

    Will HR take the reins or will the leadership be accountable?  Where will managers fit into the implementation?

  3. Too Little Time and Too Low a Priority
    Clients also report that addressing employee engagement issues often seems just like another duty that no one has time for. And yet we know how closely managers are linked to employee engagement and how closely employee engagement is linked to business success.

    In fact, studies show that engaged workers are over 40% more productive and effective than their unengaged counterparts.

    It’s time to switch your thinking from looking at employee engagement as just another “to do” and, instead, make it an integral part of your everyday talent management strategy and performance management processes.  Engaging and retaining your top employees should provide the basic structure for how you manage talent.

    Otherwise save your time and do not run a survey.  Stop pretending that assessing employee engagement currently matters as much as other priorities.  This is not “wrong” or “bad”: it is just being real.

    Wait until engagement matters enough to do something with the feedback.

  4. Too Complicated a Process
    Simplify the steps toward action before you even distribute the surveys. Clarify who will collect the info and analyze the data, who will put together a suggested plan, who will review and revise the plan, and who will communicate the message and action steps.

    Line up your people so they understand the specific part of the process they will handle.  Then it doesn’t seem so overwhelming.

The Bottom Line
You deserve kudos for checking in with your employees for their suggestions on how to create a better and more healthy work environment.  But make sure you take the next steps to implement what you learn from the results or you’ll deserve a grade of a big fat zero.

To learn more about how to engage and retain top talent, download Tips to Increase Employee Engagement through Communication

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