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Follow-up to Employee Engagement Survey

PSG’s experience is that nothing is more important than follow-up to and accountability for addressing the issues raised in your employee engagement survey. The fundamental is that expectations for change have been raised. Our suggested approach, based on the many surveys we’ve conducted, is as follows:

  • Review the results at leadership team level as soon as possible.
  • Identify the low-hanging fruit and potential action steps so that early communications demonstrate management’s intention to respond positively.
  • Identify the line item scores that relate explicitly to employee engagement (e.g. commitment and willingness to go beyond the call of duty, confidence in leadership, pride in the organization, connection to the mission, effective managers, etc.) and evaluate the overall score for these key indicators of employee engagement.
  • Consider an overview email communication of results by the CEO, followed by town hall meetings with all staff, preferably by individual department. These should, ideally, be conducted by the CEO, if possible and if not, by
    senior managers.
  • Communicate the actual results, warts and all!
    • Provide all scores, otherwise it looks like a cover-up.
    • Summarize themes from comments, including the negatives.
    • Celebrate the positives!
  • Take action on issues requiring senior management involvement. In determining action priorities, pay close attention to the employee engagement indicators.
  • Communicate clearly why certain actions cannot be taken either because of other priorities, lack of resources, sensible phasing etc. Don’t ignore the issues. Remember, you’ve raised expectations.
  • Require each department with its own report to develop action steps to be taken to address issues raised in their departments. (Bear in mind that you need the breakouts by as many departments as possible to locate problem areas while not making them too small to compromise anonymity.
  • Where appropriate, appoint internal teams to investigate issues and develop recommendations (part of the action steps). This builds buy-in and employee engagement while being a practical, cost-effective way to solve problems.
  • Use the consultants who designed and conducted the survey, where appropriate, to facilitate action planning meetings or other follow-up activities. PSG has just completed a series of facilitated meetings of this nature with a
    major client. This is also a strong message to the non-engaged that management is serious about addressing the issues.
  • Hold managers accountable for executing their actions plans.
  • As indicated in the article above, to maintain employee engagement, communicate! Keep employees informed of progress and celebrate success!
  • Most importantly, remember that employee expectations have been raised.

Don’t measure employee engagement and fail to respond. It reduces leadership credibility, is perceived as wasted effort and reinforces that management goes through the motions with no intent to change. Worse, it leads to more disengagement. The intent is to improve engagement!

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