Our customers often want to know what are the best practices in a wildly successful employee survey project. Perhaps as important as reacting to employee feedback, is communicating effectively about it. Here are the important steps used by our most successful customers, those that see improvements in the areas they're trying to impact.
[Step One] Say Thanks
Your employees went out out on a limb to tell you what they think. If they were like most employee respondents, they were concerned about confidentiality. They may have even wondered if their feedback would be taken seriously and acted upon. Take the first step by acknowledging receipt of their feedback. Here are some ways to do just that:
- Send a thank you note from your CEO
- Snacks in the break room to draw attention to a high response rate
- Celebrate some things that are going very well, according to your survey results (i.e. great supervisor relationships, etc.)
[Step Two] Validate the Feedback
Your respondents want to know that you heard them, so reflect it back. In your analysis call you'll learn not only what's driving employee engagement, but which areas of your organization need action to increase engagement. More simply put, you'll know what's most important to your employees. If, for example, your biggest opportunities for improvement are helping employees to feel valued and to understand what is expected for career advancement, then reflect back to employees that you understand these things are important and may need to be improved. Emphasize your willingness to take action.
[Step Three] Get Clarification
Unsure of what your employees meant by that? What would make them feel valued? Are they dissatisfied with the leadership of the business unit or the corporate entity? An engagement survey is not designed to be the beginning, middle and end of a dialogue between employees and leadership. Instead, use your feedback data to open dialogue that invites greater alignment.
[Step Four] Indicate Specific Forthcoming Action
More than once, we've seen employers want to promise more than they can deliver. Be very thoughtful about each commitment you make before you share it. While it might feel good at the outset to say "every employee on staff will feel valued," be ready to back that up in short order. And speaking of time, it's important to communicate in what time frame employees can expect action. Instead of "we're going to provide every employee with a career path," try "over the next 30 days, managers will meet with each employee to discuss individual career goals."
[Step Five] Connect the Dots
We're all busy doing the actual work, so make it easy for your employees to understand that an action you've taken is the direct result of the feedback they've given. When those managers have career goals conversations, ask them to point out that this activity is a result of the feedback employees shared in the engagement survey. When we connect the dots like this, it's more likely that we'll be on the same page about what happened as a result of that survey.
[Step Six] Measure Your Progress
Is this working??! It's important to confirm or deny that your efforts toward improvement are paying off. That's why nearly all of our employee engagement customers use Pulse Surveys to measure their progress against improvement goals. Don't wait a whole year for your next full engagement survey. Instead, use Pulse Surveys as a low-impact way to collect the feedback you need to be successful.
You need to know what your employees think. Are they happy? Are they engaged? Do they plan to leave? Would they go the extra mile to see you succeed? That’s where we come in.
Have you considered using a Pulse Survey to measure your progress against improvement goals? Most Pulse Survey projects ask less than five questions and cost less than $1,500. When you’re ready to learn more about employee survey timelines, process and pricing, schedule a time to meet with one of our employer coaches. We'll get all your questions answered.