You've done an employee survey, now what?

Conducting an employee survey is an important step in measuring employee satisfaction and engagement. But what do you do once you have the results in? Interpreting, communicating and applying these results is essential to creating positive change within the organization. This is because if employees don't see positive changes in response to their input, they will be less motivated to provide feedback in the future. This can ultimately lead to lower engagement, resulting in lower retention, poorer performance and reduced productivity. Therefore, the six key steps for following up on an employee survey are explained below.

1. Thank employees and communicate next steps

First, following up on an employee survey begins with thanking employees and communicating follow-up steps. Thank your employees for their time and effort. This shows that their feedback is valued. Also explain the follow-up steps. Be transparent about when the results will be shared and what will be done with their feedback to avoid impatience and frustration.

Key Actions

  • Create a project plan with a timeline for sharing the results.
  • Send an email or schedule a meeting to explain the next steps.
  • Share preliminary findings such as response rates and overall scores.

2. Analyze the results

Employee surveys help get feedback on your company's performance, but the real value is in the data analysis. By taking the time to analyze and benchmark engagement scores, and diving into the qualitative feedback, you get a good picture of the employee experience. This helps you build an effective strategy that ensures a highly engaged team.

  • Segment the data: Analyze data by demographics, department, years of service and job level to better understand how different groups experience the organization. A good overall score is nice, but by segmenting you may discover that some departments or groups have a very different experience.
  • Contextualize the data: Consider recent events within your organization, such as layoffs, management changes or changes in bonuses. Putting your engagement data in this context gives you insight into temporary factors affecting satisfaction.

3. Communicate the results in the organization

Sharing the results is one of the most important steps in following up on an employee survey. Celebrating successes and what you perform well at reminds everyone why they love working at your company. However, it's not just about the great numbers. It's also important to acknowledge areas for improvement and have an open dialogue about the biggest challenges. This fosters trust among your staff. Read Here more on how best to deal with negative results.

Key Actions

  • Inform managers and executives first: They should be the first to know about the results.
  • Share insights by department: Use internal dashboards so department heads can view and segment results themselves. Encourage them to share these insights with their teams.
  • Communicate results with staff: Schedule a team meeting or send an email with key results so everyone understands where you are now.

4. Engage Employees

It is important to actively involve employees in interpreting research results. We can do this by organizing focus groups or conducting individual interviews. This gives us deeper insight into feedback and the root causes of certain problems. By using survey results, we can start conversations about ways to improve things within the organization. This gives employees a chance to make their voices heard and increase support for change.

Key Actions

  • Help teams come up with ideas: What employees see as a good solution to a team-level problem may not match our view at the organizational level. Try to allow teams to come up with solutions to problems specific to their team, and guide them in this.
  • Provide a safe space for individual feedback: Employees are likely to have their own feedback that is not addressed at the organizational level. It is important to create a safe space where they can discuss this feedback so they can share more detailed feedback with confidence.

5. Getting started with an Action Plan

One of the biggest disappointments after an employee survey is that the results just sit gathering dust. Setting measurable and achievable goals in your organization creates momentum and builds trust with your team. However, that only works if you really go for it. Work with all stakeholders to create a detailed plan. Assign tasks, set deadlines and provide the necessary resources. It is crucial to take action based on the research and re-engage employees.

  • Set goals at the departmental level: Work with department heads and the management team to set goals that stem from results. Make sure these goals align with strategic objectives and designate clear owners.
  • Work with managers and supervisor to set team goals: Integrate responses from employee discussions and team results to help managers set meaningful goals at the team level. Make sure these goals align with departmental and corporate goals.

6. Follow-Up

Following up on an employee survey does not stop when changes are implemented. Therefore, it is important to constantly check how things are going and regularly evaluate whether the actions taken are working. This allows you to look at what has been accomplished and what changes have occurred as a result of the actions taken. Finally, new research can help understand how the organization is evolving after all those changes and to identify any new challenges that need attention.

Key Actions

  • Monitor progress: use repeat measurements to monitor whether goals have been achieved.
  • Celebrate the successes: Momentum and progress keep engagement high. When you close a goal, make sure the company knows about it! Celebrate successes throughout the company and let employees know how their reactions have affected cultural change.

Conducting an employee survey is just the first step, but the real impact comes from following up on an employee survey. Thank employees for their feedback, be transparent about next steps, and analyze thoroughly to develop effective strategies. Share the results, involve employees in coming up with solutions, and establish clear action plans. Continuous monitoring and evaluation ensures that the organization is actually making progress. Celebrating successes and pursuing continuous improvements creates a positive and productive work environment.

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