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What to Do With Employee Engagement Survey Results: 8 Steps to Follow

Employee Survey ResultsResearch shows 71 percent of managers believe employee engagement is one of the most critical factors in organizational success. We're excited to see that figure rise as more organizations focus on improving employee engagement.


But all too often organizations interpret “engagement” as conducting an annual survey and... that's about it.




Download the ebook: A New Era of Employee Engagement


It’s important for companies to listen to their employees, but listening isn’t enough. Organizations must carefully consider survey results and commit to meaningful and lasting change. 


Here are 8 steps for improving employee engagement after your survey:


1. Interpret the Results


You need to know where your organization stands before you can start making changes that move the needle on engagement. There are many ways to analyze survey data, but examining these three areas gives you a sense of your strengths and areas of opportunity:


Lowest scoring questions: these are the areas where you stand to grow the most.


Questions with the largest year-over-year decline: if you have multiple years of survey data, identify areas where engagement has dipped and consider why it has declined.


Questions where a team scored below the organization: slice the data into smaller groups such as teams, locations, or departments so you can pinpoint areas where specific groups are falling short and what they could learn from others excelling in that area.


2. Communicate the Results


Have a communication plan in place to ensure survey results are shared clearly and objectively with employees. Follow up with an email that:

  • Thanks employees for their participation
  • Provides a brief overview of the results, including participation rate, overall engagement statistics, and top and bottom items
  • Fills employees in on next steps, such as focus group opportunities and team meetings about the results

3. Encourage Teams to Discuss Results


Teams should gather to discuss organizational and team results with their managers. Which questions were highly rated? Which questions were rated the lowest? Have teams identify two or three areas on which to focus. Choosing focus areas should be a collaborative effort—the more invested employees feel in a plan, the more likely they are to follow through. Encourage employees to share ideas.


4. Discuss Critical Areas and Ideas for Improvement


After you’ve chosen your areas of focus, discuss each question in more depth. You should:

  • Define the survey question and what it means to your team specifically
  • Discuss why your team performance is lacking on this question
  • Provide examples of when things have gone well and poorly related to this question
  • Identify possible solutions

5. Make Decisions


Once the group has selected and discussed areas of improvement, start brainstorming ideas to move forward. Have managers gather opinions from team members, ultimately deciding on next steps that will lead to long-term improvement.


6. Implement Decisions


Taking action can seem overwhelming, especially if the long-term goal involves major changes. To make the process more manageable, break up larger initiatives into smaller steps for multiple individuals, ensuring all stakeholders are involved and accountable. If you aren’t 100 percent certain of your strategy, conduct small experiments (also called pilot tests) before committing to a major change.


7. Check in and Evaluate


Have managers schedule team meetings to revisit strategies and determine whether the team’s initial goals are attainable and the agreed-upon actions are working. Ask your employees if they’re seeing change. If the adjustments don’t seem to be working, discuss alternative actions.


8. Update Goal Progress


Hold all stakeholders accountable by publicly posting team goals and routinely updating progress. Check in with each employee to ensure they’re making adequate strides. Celebrate small wins to motivate the team and keep things moving forward.


These steps will help you use your survey results to drive action that improves the employee experience.


Want more ideas and best practices around modern employee engagement? Download our free ebook, The New Era of Employee Engagement, to unpack more difference-making strategies.


Employee Engagement


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