Getting organised for engagement survey action planning

If you’re doing an employee engagement survey for the first time, or perhaps reviving a previously underwhelming programme, you may be wondering how you’ll ensure that effective action takes place as the result of a survey. You’re not alone!

There isn’t a small answer to that sort of contemplation, but at the very least, there are some common stumbling blocks you can avoid.

Planning your engagement programme – top tips

  • Many an organisation has suffered a tedious, drawn out results cascade because they couldn’t get a slot on leaders’ calendars quickly enough. As soon as you embark on your employee survey programme, book in presentations for all relevant leadership groups. Without their support, you’ll get nowhere. 
  • Consult with influential stakeholders across your organisation during the design phase. Meaningful questions that they have had input into will get them interested in the results and action opportunities. Of course, too many chefs spoil the broth, so manage this carefully.
  • Make sure you’re on good terms with your internal comms team. Plan communications for as many existing channels as possible (newsletters, intranet, emails from leaders) but try and introduce one or two fresh channels to generate a buzz. For example, videographics are a great way of summarising results for employees.
  • Give your engagement programme a brand of its own and use it through all of the communications. Not just for launching the survey, but for keeping employees posted on actions that take place. One of my clients created a stamp so that they could literally stamp action outputs (and who doesn’t enjoy a bit of stamping? It’s very cathartic!)

Choosing the right actions to drive engagement and getting on with it

Once you’re (hopefully) celebrating a high response rate to the survey and wading through the data, it can be a rather overwhelming task to work out 1) what action to take and 2) how you’ll get the business to own and drive actions. Here are some key points to consider:

  • Don’t just use the bottom scoring questions to identify your actions (which are undoubtedly about pay). Instead use key driver analysis, a form of regression analysis, to highlight the questions with the greatest impact on your engagement score. If the idea of stats makes you shudder, get an enthusiast to help you – they’re out there I promise you.
  • Identify no more than three organisation wide actions, communicate those promptly and get employees involved in driving them forwards. It works well to have a combination of tough, long-term actions and some smaller quick wins. For example, Orchard Marketing introduced a number of simple but highly valued initiatives to help contribute to an engaging and fun culture, including:
    • summer hours
    • regular company functions
    • birthdays off
    • a talent of the month recognition scheme
    • chocolate fountain day
    • matching charity donations
    • providing fresh fruit.

These sorts of initiatives are highly visible and help create a positive culture. Just remember to tackle the big stuff too, or your programme will become too superficial.

  • Finally, provide teams with their own data so that they can make local improvements. Be mindful that managers are likely to need support in understanding how to drive that process, so prepare guidelines/ briefings/ training sessions to give them confidence to tackle local action planning.



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