It’s a classic situation employees the world over experience…

Why do we do an engagement survey but then never do anything with the results?  What’s the point?

The sad thing is that there is almost always a great intention to do far more.  Managers and HR teams have most likely planned to do follow up sessions, but then busyness and new priorities have taken over.

Or maybe you’re in the position of doing some follow up but wondering how much difference it’s really making.  This article suggests a few ideas on how you can make the most of your engagement survey follow up.

  • Ask for more
  • We as well as they
  • Champions and accountability
  • Book the review now

Ask for more

The data from your survey gives you an indication of what’s working well and what needs to be better, but numbers can be hard to bring to life.  Run focus groups / think tanks to ask for more insight.  “The data tells us that X is seen as not working well right now.  Tell us more about that.  What is working there and what could be better?  Do you have any examples you can share?”

We as well as they

The tendency in these focus groups is for the magical “they” to be blamed for everything and tasked with fixing everything.  “This company should…” And “senior management need to…” Are common comments.  The challenge with this is that it can remove any personal accountability for change.  You could add in questions like, “ok that’s what senior management need to do in your mind, and what could you do as well to make things better?”

This is where you can combine some personal development into your focus groups, teaching people a few tools for resilience and dealing with uncertainty.  You’re giving them immediate ideas on how they could react differently to what they find frustrating whilst also helping them clarify what needs changing within the company structures and ways of working.

Champions and accountability

It’s always great to have people within each team or function taking the lead on follow up with specific actions, as it highlights it is not HR’s job to fix everything.  Ask who will take the lead, what that means they need to do and what support they might like.  Then hold that person to account by agreeing milestone dates, what follow up there will be etc.

Book the review now

Even after all this good work it can be easy for the follow up to get lost.  So book in a review date or ideally a series of review dates right at the first meeting when champions and actions are agreed.

These small steps can make all the difference to your people, feeling that the time they have put into the engagement survey has been well spent and seeing that things are improving in the business.

And tying everything together, you’ll often find that the themes coming out of those focus groups tell you the highest priority areas that need covering in your management and leadership development.  If you’d like more information on engaging engagement, you can follow me.