After an employee survey closes and all the results are in, the focus naturally shifts to analysis. What new insights does the data offer? Has the needle moved on areas of action?
While HR and leaders are understandably hungry for insights, it’s important to not overlook the other major benefit of surveying—communication. The survey represents employee communication to the leadership of the organization. Communicating back to employees following a survey is just as important as analyzing the data.
Sharing employee engagement survey results is critical for maintaining employee trust and two-way communication. In several previous posts (this one, too), we’ve addressed the issue of the employee engagement survey which, once completed, disappears into a black hole, never to be referenced again. Failure to follow up with communication after a survey sends the message that the survey wasn’t important and no one is really listening to what employees have to say. This can erode trust—as well as discourage participation in future surveys.
Communication can make or break your listening program, so for this article, we’ve compiled the six key steps for post-survey communication and presenting employee survey results.
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6 Key Steps For Sharing Employee Engagement Survey Results
Communication around surveys should be planned as carefully as survey questions. Before launching a survey, make a communication plan that defines audience segments, timing, and responsibilities. Maintain continuity in communications by building on what’s been done previously, and reinforce the ongoing nature of your listening program with branding. Develop a logo and/or tagline for your survey program to help establish that it’s not a one-off but a continuing program.
As soon as possible after the survey has closed, follow up with communication to employees, managers, and the leadership team, being sure to take all the following key steps:
- Thank employees for participating in the survey and providing feedback. Shortly after the survey closes, senior leadership should send a message to employees:
- Thanking them for their participation
- Outlining the timeline and next steps for presenting employee survey results
- Provide an initial overview of the results and personal reactions or reflections.Depending on how quickly survey results are available, this can be combined with the thank-you message from senior leadership. Whether it is included in the initial message of thanks or not, it should include:
- Information related to the survey response rate, high- and low-scoring themes, identified opportunities for improvement, and areas of improvement or decline
- The leader’s personal reaction to the results
This message can be delivered via email and may include graphics; a video message from the leader is another option.
- Build consensus for follow-up priorities. Establish senior leadership consensus with:
- A well-planned employee engagement survey results presentation
- The goal of securing buy-in from all on priorities for follow-up action
- A highly interactive session, seeking input from all parties
- A prompt discussion of survey results, so that action planning can move forward
- A set of clear priorities and responsibilities for implementing agreed-upon actions
- Prepare managers to review and share survey results quickly.Even with fast turnaround on survey results and analysis, it will likely be several weeks before managers have team-level results to share. Help managers prepare with:
- Information about when they should expect to receive survey results
- Encouragement for sharing results with their teams as quickly as possible
- Understand, discuss, act, and monitor.Survey results can seem daunting, especially for those who are not accustomed to dealing with a large volume of data. For best results:
- Keep the needs of end-users in mind and provide online dashboards or downloadable reports in engaging, easy-to-understand, and intuitive formats.
- Provide managers with guidance and explanations of findings and data points where needed.
- Give managers guides clearly outlining their responsibilities in regard to understanding and sharing survey results with their teams, prioritizing and taking action, and monitoring progress and providing updates.
- Provide managers with effective action-planning guidance. Perceptyx has developed a 1, 2, 3 action planning model that works for action planning at the team level or company-wide: Choose one priority topic or issue to focus on; take two actions to address the issue; and communicate with employees at least three times about the actions, why they were implemented, and seeking feedback about their effectiveness.
- Ask and share. Don’t go it alone. Encourage managers to adopt the following practices to avoid information becoming siloed:
- Ask questions to find out what other managers are doing.
- Share what you are doing in regard to follow-up actions with other managers, perhaps via internal message boards or group messaging apps.
- Organize informal information exchanges or meetings to catch up on what others are doing.
- Add “survey follow-up” to the team meeting agenda at least three times per year to keep communication lines open and active.
Following these steps when sharing employee engagement survey results will ensure that no one in the organization is left out of the loop—and no opportunities for action or improvement are missed. While the employee engagement results presentation needs to be clear at both the organization and team levels, putting a communication plan in place that extends well beyond the initial presentation of results will pay dividends in the form of successful action initiatives that can be replicated throughout the organization.
Need help designing and implementing a robust survey program to see what matters most to your employees?
Knowing where to focus your engagement efforts can feel overwhelming. Perceptyx believes the path to greater engagement lies in the ability to identify and contrast the perspectives of engaged and disengaged groups. Every company and culture is distinct; there is no one-size-fits-all approach to people analytics, so we deliver specific insights to uncover the unique barriers to engagement deep within an organization, in real-time.
As a partner to more than 20% of the Fortune 100, Perceptyx helps the world’s largest and most complex multinational organizations see the way forward to improving employee engagement. Contact us today and see how we can put the power of data to work for your business!