Taking Employee Engagement Actions

Taking Employee Engagement Actions
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The Purpose of Employee Engagement Surveys is Taking Employee Engagement Actions
Unfortunately, 80% of employees believe that engagement surveys do not drive meaningful outcomes.  Of what use are employee engagement surveys if nothing changes as a result? Not much. Employee expectations are raised thinking there might be some improvement and then dashed as time goes on and the status quo reigns in force.

If you are considering a company-wide employee engagement survey (or any survey for that matter), first be sure that you are committed to taking meaningful action on what you learn. And second, do not delay. Data from our organizational culture assessment tells us that employees want to see change.

The Problem with Annual Surveys
The problem with annual surveys is that it takes too long to implement any recommended changes. You need a campaign to introduce the initiative, distribute the surveys, collect the surveys, analyze the results, propose changes, discuss changes, cascade recommendations to managers, and so on. It is a huge project whose purpose gets lost in the time-consuming steps it takes from initiation to execution.

The Answer
None of this is to suggest that engagement surveys do not add value. On the contrary. They are crucial to keeping in touch with your employees, so you measure their commitment to their jobs and understand what they see as their future with the company. The answer is to conduct the surveys more frequently.

Taking Employee Engagement Actions
If you want to improve your ability to implement employee engagement survey results, purposefully design more agile and action-oriented practices by:

  • Getting Feedback More Frequently
    More frequent pulse surveys produce feedback that is timelier and more relevant. Often in the form of one-on-one check-ins, these less formal opportunities to understand employee engagement keeps managers in closer contact with their team and better able to address issues before they become systemic problems.
  • Simplifying the Process for Everyone
    Rather than multiple questions that take time to answer and time to evaluate, short surveys feature short, simple to understand questions. Not only are they quick, but more frequent surveys are also easier for employees to take and easier for leaders to interpret. The real advantage is that managers can more quickly zero in on what their team wants and needs to stay engaged.
  • Being More Action-Oriented
    Even when the more traditional annual surveys were completed and analyzed, they were subject to a lengthy planning phase. Instead, the key to successful survey impact is less planning and more action. Focus on the one or two key short-term actions that will make the greatest difference in engagement.
  • Making It Easier to Course-Correct
    Is one of your agreed-upon actions not working? You will know quickly if you check in frequently with your team and you have the opportunity to tweak until you get it right. Incorporate a 10-minute segment of each weekly team meeting to assessing how well the process is going and adjust it according to the feedback.

The Bottom Line
Do not undertake an employee engagement survey unless you are committed to taking immediate, meaningful, and visible action. The good news is that employees who see action after an engagement survey are twelve times more likely to be engaged the following year compared to those who do not see follow-up.  Are you ready, willing, and able to take action after your engagement survey?

To learn more about how to improve employee engagement, download Research Report – The Surprising Relationship Between Employee Engagement and Manager Effectiveness

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