Employee engagement is an increasingly important metric for companies of all sizes to track throughout their lifetime. From employee satisfaction and happiness to retention and productivity, there are a huge number of benefits correlated to improving the level of employee engagement.
With the growing awareness of employee engagement came a rise in the popularity of engagement surveys. Many companies have found out, however, that simply taking an annual survey isn't enough to improve survey results and get the added benefits of employee engagement. To get the most from your employee engagement survey results, follow the six steps below.
1. Analyze the employee engagement survey results.
Before you take the results to the entire company, take some time to analyze the data and figure out what the employee engagement survey questions are actually saying. Look at the areas that have improved the most, and then look at which have declined.
It can be easy to get frustrated with the results of employee engagement surveys, especially if you have spent a lot of time and energy on improvements with no results to show for it. In this case, instead of having a knee-jerk reaction and taking out your frustration on the employees, sit back and figure out the story the data is telling you.
2. Share the results with employees.
Transparency is key in any company that wants a great company culture with high employee engagement. It creates a sense of trust when critically important information is always shared openly. After employee engagement survey results have been analyzed thoroughly, come up with the best way to share the results for your company.
At a larger company, that might mean having a day where departments break up into teams to hear the results and discuss them together with their manager. In comparison, a smaller organization could have a company-wide meeting to share the survey results. Every company has a slightly different internal communication structure, but no matter what, it is crucial that employees know the results of the engagement surveys. Good or bad.
3. Create a plan of company-wide action.
These follow-up meetings where employees discuss survey results are a great time to open up the conversation to creating an action plan. Employees get a chance to share what they think the next steps should be for improving engagement at the company.
When everyone is able to contribute, it's less likely the responsibility for improving survey results will fall on the primary employee base. Instead, there is room for company-wide collaboration and action, from C-level executives to managers to entry-level employees.
There may be some employees who don't feel comfortable sharing their ideas publicly. Many times, however, these are the perspectives you should be the most interested in hearing when it comes to employee engagement. Try sending a survey where employees can answer and submit anonymously, and give them a night or two to complete it outside of the office for full privacy.
4. Follow through on the action plan.
It's easy to be motivated to follow an action plan right after its initiation, but many times, the energy dies down over time. When it comes to employee engagement, however, consistency is a major key for successfully improving survey scores. If you start out the year strong but engagement initiatives have petered out by the end of the year, the year-end engagement survey is unlikely to produce the results the company wants to see.
Whether it's implementing and using an employee recognition platform or scheduling monthly team activities, it's important to build these ways of improving engagement into the company culture throughout the year.
5. Check in and revaluate if necessary.
Unfortunately, not every action plan does what we think it will do. Rather than be surprised at the end of the year when the new company initiative has done nothing to increase employee engagement survey results, check in throughout the year to see how engagement is trending. Some companies do this with a "pulse check" every six months, while others do it quarterly or even monthly.
If your company finds its survey results continually dwindling or holding constant despite effort to increase them, checking in more often is beneficial. If a check-in proves that results aren't going in the right direction, you have a chance to revaluate what you are doing and add in any additional engagement strategies.
6. Bring it back to engagement.
It helps when everyone at a company knows the overarching value of employee engagement. From business performance metrics to emotional benefits like increased happiness at work, there's no doubt engaging employees successfully is a huge win.
While your company is continuing to iterate its action plan, bringing it back to engagement can be a good reminder what is truly at the core of these initiatives. There isn't any one benefit, such as improved employee performance, that makes employee engagement worth it.
Rather, it's all of what employee engagement brings that makes it an important office metric to monitor throughout the life of a company.