How to get most out of an engagement survey?

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It is well known that running an engagement survey is all about uncovering insights into your organization, such as strengths and development needs. However, questions remain on how to ensure that the participation rate is high, and the results are followed up. For meaningful action to occur that can create a lasting change on all levels of the organization, it is necessary to involve managers.

Involve the management

We at Tripod firmly believe that management’s deep involvement throughout the whole process is paramount in creating a lasting impact. Our vision involves, first and foremost, strong and clear communication from management to employees.

By providing a vision of what we are trying to achieve in a simple and concentrated manner, we create a possibility for the management to communicate to their employees an easily understandable message that entails only the most vital information about the survey, whilst emphasizing its importance to the organization. This process, in turn, creates an atmosphere which motivates employees to give their honest feedback, leading to high response rates and data which facilitates generalization across the organization.

What about the results?

The way of presenting the results to the management is a key element to achieve lasting changes stemming from the survey. If the management cannot understand the results on a deep enough level, there is no chance for them to form a plan of action for the future.

This is why we present the results on multiple levels across the organization. For the top management we provide a bird’s-eye view of the whole organization to create a broad understanding of the results of all the larger structures within the organization. For lower-level managers, we create individual reports of their units or departments which lets them have a look at their strengths and weaknesses. Such an approach gives way to creating change not only on a broad scale within larger departments, but also allows managers to guide their units based on feedback that is directly relevant to them.

What if you are not sure how to tackle the results?

In addition to helping with communication and in-depth presentation of the outcomes, Tripod offers group coaching to help managers devise follow-up actions based on the results.

First and foremost, all actions taken must be planned beforehand, which is why we help managers of all levels come up with a structured action plan. Mapping out all the aspects is extremely important: how will the change be implemented; when will the implementation of changes take place; who are the people implementing these changes and on what levels; which focus groups to target; and last but not least, what are the most important topics to discuss.

The second step would be to answer the two most important questions that arise from the survey results: which are the strengths of the organization and how to keep them, and which are the development needs of the organization and how to tackle them? The key to answering the first question lies in finding best practices to follow based on previous experience and examples from other successful organizations. Development needs, however, must be tackled from a stance that visualises an ideal situation for your organization and figuring out the steps needed to be taken to achieve it.

And then, communication. Without properly communicating the results of the discussion and goals, from both bottom-to-top and top-to-bottom management levels, it is extremely difficult to create a coherent action plan for the organization as a whole. Providing clear and unobstructed communication avenues for every manager allows the top management to set realistic development goals, focusing on more critical aspects for the near future, while at the same time not losing track of long-term goals. Lower-level managers receive important knowledge and skills to lead their teams in a constructive way with the help of the top management.

To conclude:

·       management needs to be intensively involved in communication processes regarding the survey,

·       results must be presented in a way that allows for a thorough understanding of the results on all managerial levels,

·       guided development of an action plan along with implementing follow-up actions is a must in order to cement changes.