Battle Tested Tips to Better Communicate Employee Engagement Survey Results

Battle Tested Tips to Better Communicate Employee Engagement Survey Results
Facebook Twitter Email LinkedIn

Battle Tested Tips to Communicate Employee Engagement Survey Results
How you communicate employee engagement survey results can make or break your engagement initiative.  Why?  Because how you communicate survey results to your employees is as important as what you do with the data.

Communicate Employee Engagement Survey Results in 3 Phases
Based upon communication best practices and hard-learned experiences in the trenches, we recommend communicating employee engagement survey results in three main phases.

  • Phase 1 – Thank You For Participating
    The first step to better communicate employee engagement survey results starts once the engagement survey has been closed.  We recommend immediately sharing the following.  Keep it short and to the point.

    Thank everyone for participating.  Reinforce how employee engagement fits into your overall business and talent management strategies.  Share the participation rate.

    And then be crystal clear about what is next in terms of timing, information flow, and next steps.

  • Phase 2 – Initial High Level Results
    The second step in how to communicate employee engagement survey results is to share the initial high level results with the organization. At this stage, you are not sharing any detailed analysis or actions plans.  Your objective is to maintain momentum to help ensure employees feel heard and appreciated.

    Typical engagement communication components in addition to the above include sharing the overall engagement scores along with the top 5 most and least favorable areas.  Note: You can also share anything else that people should know regarding any demographics or items that are important and can be shared without additional context.

    And then be clear about what is next in terms of timing, information flow, and next steps.  

  • Phase 3 – Detailed Results
    The third step in how to communicate employee engagement survey results is to share the detailed survey results with the organization. At this stage, you are sharing overall company and team-specific results, analysis, and actions plans.

    Your objective is to move from analysis to action in a way that makes sense for your unique talent management strategy and workplace culture.

    Typical engagement communication components in addition to the above include employee engagement profiles detailing the engagement levels, benchmarks against similar industries, sizes, and locations, favorable and unfavorable categories and items, and the top engagement items with the highest correlation to engagement for your company.

    The final step is to share recommended actions, rationale, and next steps.

Four Tips for Each Phase
In each phase of communicating employee engagement survey results, follow these battle-tested tips.

  1. Accept and Appreciate The Results For What They Are
    Employees should never feel guilty or threatened about providing their feedback.  Thank them regardless of the results to help them trust the survey process and your leadership team.

    All follow-up conversations, communications, and focus groups should be about understanding and creating positive actions to increase employee engagement levels – not placing blame or making excuses.  Do not debate opinions, get defensive, or try to change opinions.  Be humble.  Employee engagement surveys expose employee perceptions.

    To increase engagement, you want to validate employees’ feelings and experiences, not try to change their minds.

  2. Focus On The Feedback, Not The People
    Survey responses should be 100% confidential. When reviewing employee survey results, focus on the insights, trends, and potential actions for improvement.  Do not waste your time or your leadership credibility trying to guess who said what.
  3. Be Open, Objective and Clear
    How you talk about the survey results sets the tone. If you want to improve survey participation and engagement, be open, objective and clear. Talk openly about the results – both good and bad.Communicate the findings objectively and be as clear and concise as possible about what you intend to do next.
  4. Be Collaborative and Inclusive
    Encourage and invite employees to provide additional feedback and ideas as you review survey findings. Foster an ongoing dialogue, ask for questions, and ensure that they can review the data and create their own plans for improving employee engagement.

    You want your front line managers and employees to own the process of making it a great place to work.

The Bottom Line
How you communicate employee engagement survey results can make or break your ability to increase employee advocacy, discretionary effort, and intent to stay.  Follow these battle tested tips to get it right.

If you liked How to Communicate Employee Engagement Survey Results, download The Relationship Between Employee Engagement and Manager Effectiveness to learn more.

Evaluate your Performance

Toolkits

Get key strategy, culture, and talent tools from industry experts that work

More

Health Checks

Assess how you stack up against leading organizations in areas matter most

More

Whitepapers

Download published articles from experts to stay ahead of the competition

More

Methodologies

Review proven research-backed approaches to get aligned

More

Blogs

Stay up to do date on the latest best practices that drive higher performance

More

Client Case Studies

Explore real world results for clients like you striving to create higher performance

More