Your organization just completed an employee engagement survey so what comes next?
Lately, more and more connections on LinkedIn have titles listed as Engagement Officer or Director of Employee Engagement. In addition, we’ve recently seen a growth in popularity of tools such as mobile apps and software that measure engagement. So, to say employee engagement has become a hot topic in business would be an understatement! The term “employee engagement” first appeared in 1990. Can you believe it’s been 30 years? Yet, 70% of employees are disengaged at work. And, with so many tools, technology, software, and applications providing us with information and insights into a company’s current state of employee engagement (or employee data), they often fall short on offering solutions to improve it. So how can companies currently focused or intending to focus on employee engagement make improvements?
- Plan early and communicate the initiative to all employees.
- Have a communication plan for how the results will be cascaded down throughout the organization.
- Design action planning workshops for both leaders and managers.
If you’re not going to do anything with employee data, it’s best to not survey at all. Because what will happen is you’ll ask your employees to provide feedback and when they see or hear nothing happening as a result, their respect and trust in leadership will decrease. And, if your employees don’t feel valued or heard, engagement decreases. This is why it is so important to have a project plan created prior to launching an engagement initiative. Some commonly missed items in this stage are:
- All-employee communication about the survey prior to launch (when it will be sent, how long it will take to complete, why your organization is making this initiative a priority, and who to reach out to for additional questions)
- Schedule and design action planning workshops where leaders can gain meaningful insights from their team’s data and create an action plan they can share back with their team members for buy-in and input
- Create a communication plan on how to share results throughout the organization (this should also include action commitments the organization and leadership plan to address)
We have data, now what?
Many companies are already collecting employee or engagement data. In fact, they may have so much data they’re experiencing “analysis paralysis” as a result. They’re sitting on a gold mine of information but don’t know what to do with it.
First and foremost, it’s critical to stay open and be receptive to your employees’ valuable feedback. Remember, your employees are telling you about their experience at work and it’s important to objectively review the results.
Next, start working on your communication transparency by delivering the results to the senior leadership team. Encourage them to also be receptive to the results. Walk through the analysis and celebrate the wins! Your team works hard each day and it’s important to recognize what initiatives your employees have indicated are working or going well.
Then comes the leadership action planning, focusing on areas of opportunity. Leadership should be focused on items related to the organizational culture and cross-functional areas. Part of this session should be addressing the organization-wide communication plan and alignment on next steps of cascading down the information.
Managers play a critical role in the communication plan. Depending on the size of the organization, it may be wise to hold another action planning workshop for managers who will be held accountable for their team’s employee experience. During this workshop, managers can focus action planning around their team’s job fit and manager alignment scores. Again, in closing out this session it will be important to address how and when managers should be communicating the results to team members. They will also want to share their personal action plan and meet with their team for their feedback and input into other action steps.
Bottom line, if a company is serious about measuring its employee engagement, it must also be committed to sharing the outcomes with everyone. This sets the organization, leadership, and managers up for success in improving the employee experience. It also lets team members know their voice has been heard. The next important step in the process is using that data to gain meaningful insights that lead to action planning at both the organizational and manager levels.
At ADVISA, we can help you every step of the way. From selecting an engagement tool and developing a project plan, to gaining insights and creating action from your employee data. We are here to be your trusted thought partner in optimizing your greatest asset, your people.
Learn more about employee engagement and how you can instill confidence in your workplace by reading this blog post from ADVISA President Heather Haas.