What NOT to Do with Employee Survey Results

What NOT to Do with Employee Survey Results
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The Employee Engagement Survey Is Over
You did it.  As a leader who believes that employee engagement matters not just as a reflection of employee satisfaction but also for its impact on the bottom line, you conducted an employee engagement survey.  The employee survey results are in.  What now?

Here’s What NOT to Do with Employee Survey Results
We know from organizational culture assessment data that there is no better way to decrease employee engagement than to ignore the feedback from your employees.  Employees may not have told leaders what they wanted to hear, but they often tell leaders what they really need to know about how their employees feel about their work and the organization.

  1. Do NOT Dismiss the Findings
    As painful as some of the employee engagement survey results may seem, the feedback is real and needs to be addressed. If you let the survey results lie fallow, you disrespect your workers and destroy their trust in your professed intentions to make things better.

    By discounting or ignoring employee suggestions, employees can rightly feel that their opinions don’t count and that company leaders don’t care about them – the exact opposite of what you are trying to accomplish.

  2. Do NOT Assume Your Initial Interpretation of Data Is Correct
    Your interpretation of some low scores may not be accurate. For example, if the question on having the resources needed to do the job was rated low, you shouldn’t assume employees meant that they didn’t have the right computers.  Perhaps they simply meant that they didn’t have sufficient parking.

    How do you find out?  Ask teams what the word “resources” means to them and how additional resources would help them to succeed.

  3. Do NOT Dictate Solutions from The Top
    The entire workforce needs to be involved in the action-planning process to improve employee engagement. This is not a time for leaders to dictate solutions. This is the time for leaders to actively involve employees in engagement focus groups to design what it will take to make things better.

    Sure, you probably need to create some boundaries about “what is” and “what is not” open for change, but you should explicitly empower employees to own the improvements that they seek within an agreed-upon framework.

  4. Do NOT Punish Employees for Low Ratings
    Remember the fundamental purpose of an engagement survey. It is to find out what matters most to employees in terms of their discretionary effort, intent to stay, and advocacy for you and your company to improve employee engagement, retention and performance.  There will always be some comparatively low marks.  That is not the fault of your employees.

    Be honored that you received candid employee feedback.  Negative feedback should lead you to areas that can not only increase engagement and performance but also decrease unwanted turnover.  Suck it up and be grateful for the opportunity to make things better. Do not take it personally.

The Bottom Line
Employee engagement surveys are invaluable tools to take charge of how employees feel about their work and harness their help in improving their work environment.  Handle the findings right and all will be winners.

To learn more about how to better engage and retain employees, download Top 10 Most Powerful Ways to Boost Employee Engagement

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