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It’s not a survey; it’s a facilitator for action

27 Jan 2016 - Blog

It’s not a survey; it’s a facilitator for action


Last week we published a post in response to talk that it’s time to scrap employee engagement surveys, sometimes thought of as expensive and time-consuming, and not getting the results businesses need.

Be it a survey, the latest platform, a strategy, or even a simple conversation; every tool used to increase employee engagement is only a facilitator in the process. The tools alone will not achieve the outcome; the real value comes – and employee engagement increases – when employees feel their views are listened to and action is taken to improve their organisational experience.


Feedback provides direction

The tools mentioned above give managers insight into what employees are thinking, feeling, and experiencing in the workplace. This feedback should be used to guide managers into taking relevant action to help to improve how employees perceive their workplace.

A survey is a particularly useful way to gain this information because it allows you to ask pointed, tailored questions across a broad range of employees, and each set of results provide a baseline to measure the impact of any action taken.

“Taking appropriate action as a result of a survey is the key differentiator in whether your company will improve your employee’s engagement levels.”

Employee engagement is the outcome of all of the factors in an organisation being right for your business and its people. This includes communications, line management, and reward and recognition, to name but a few. If all of these things work well, engaged employees will follow.


Using feedback

They say they’re sick of emails

Too many communications get lost in the email or social media ether; everyone has something to say and many ways to say it. To get the attention of your employees, what you communicate need to be necessary, timely, and easy to absorb. Say what needs to be said in as few words as possible and make the message attractive not arduous. Consider new ways to communicate information by asking people how they would like to communicate. Tools like Yammer or Slack can be good ways to share news without needing to send lots of emails.

Ensure you are communicating in line with one core set of values and towards one organisational vision or goal. Align messages across departments and create a consistent voice from all who communicate both internally to employees and externally to customers.


Trust in management is low 

Line managers are critical people in the engagement equation. They have a significant impact on the experience each employee has for the duration of their role. Creating positive and trusting relationships between employees and their line managers is vital for an engaging workplace.


“When the ongoing exchanges between a leader and a team member are either negative or infrequent or both–especially when team members see leaders having positive interactions with other employees–employee’s attitudes to their work can be affected.” Madison Performance Group


If manager and employee relationships are a strained in your company, consider coaching or training for managers and review feedback and recognition practices in your company. Do your people know what they need to achieve and are they recognised for their efforts?


People say don’t they feel appreciated – but we pay them every month!

Giving people a pay cheque every month is not enough to keep them engaged. Employees want to feel they are making a difference. How people are rewarded and how frequently they are recognised for good work has a significant impact on their level of engagement. Be mindful about rewarding for actions that link to the organisation’s goals and strategic plans for the future and reward with the recipient in mind. What kind of compensation would your employees like most and will it motivate them to continue doing good work?

Using employee engagement surveys as the action driver

Asking people questions, in whatever way you choose to do so, is vital to understanding how people are perceiving the culture of your organisation and gives you major clues about what you can do to help your employees to feel happier and more connected to your workplace. There are many ways to give people a voice in your organisation but a survey ensures you can:

  1. Ask the questions that are right for your organisation
  2. Gain a holistic view of engagement across your organisation
  3. Ask many of the same questions in future surveys and, therefore, measure the impact of results over time
  4. Keep abreast of what is changing by administering regular  ‘pulse’ surveys
  5. Compare different departments, teams and employee groups to see where pockets of best practice exist.

These are just a few of the many benefits of using employee engagement surveys as the action driver for your organisation. By remembering the real purpose of the survey – as an action facilitator – you will be encouraged to act quickly and to ensure the questionnaire process is seamless and simple for employees.


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