Measuring employee engagement annually via a survey is a regular practice in many companies. A good thing, if you take this process seriously. This blog shares the do’s-and-don’ts when conducting a employee engagement survey in your company. Valuable reading for management, hr and anyone who leads people.
Engagement survey? A good idea!
Engaged and loyal employees are the best ambassadors for any organisation. Not surprisingly, the engagement survey is well established at numerous medium sized to large companies. There are quite a few providers on the market that make sending out an engagement questionnaire to all your employees quite easy and that provide you with insightful reports on the results.
But what is the best way to go about this? How do you get the most out of this survey?
Moving beyond HR
A staff survey creates expectations. You offer employees the opportunity to have their voices heard, express their satisfaction and commitment and share any concerns or suggestions. It is therefore logical that they expect something to be done with their input. Think about this in advance. A common pitfall is to appoint only human resources to work with the survey results. But fostering engagement is not just the work of HR. Achieving engagement is an everyday task and has more power through direct managers, with the help of HR.
Communication and customisation as accelerators
Timely and clear communication about the engagement survey with proper framing is necessary to generate impact. One e-mail, often sent centrally, calling for people to complete the survey will get less response than if the questionnaire is additionally framed and motivated by the direct manager, at a team meeting for example or through an additional messaging. It’s important to explain the context, why you are launching this survey and what you will do with the results.
“Can I share my opinion anonymously?” “What happens to my answers after the end of the previous survey?” “How will we be informed about the results?” These are just some of the questions you should answer in your accompanying communication when sending out the survey.
The results are available, now what?
The management team puts its heads together and chooses a number of targeted actions . Driven to move from result to action, they sometimes forget to give proper feedback to employees: What were the main results of the engagement survey? What did we as management learn from it? What are the results we already want to work on or the actions we have already identified?
If you want to get the most out of your employee engagement survey, go one step further and actively involve the employees themselves in working with the survey results: As a manager, enter into a dialogue about your own team’s results, ask for additional interpretation, let team members make their own suggestions or set up small working groups around certain themes.
Say what you do, and do what you say
As well as a few ‘quick fixes’ that can be implemented quickly and are easily visible to everyone, there are also issues that take more time and may be less visible. Employees are often left wondering where the survey has led, and if this is not clear to them, the desire to have their voice heard next time will diminish. Square Circle therefore stresses the importance of communication and follow-up communication. “Say what you do, and do what you say”. Link back to actions that have been taken or are in progress, and take the liberty to say where you do not plan to invest for example. Continue to involve employees wherever possible and systematically strengthen their commitment to your company.
Square Circle’s senior hr and communication experts are available to strengthen your hr, communication and leadership skills within this framework, making your next edition a success.
Listening sessions that reduce distance and increase engagement
Square Circle deepens your employee engagement survey with listening sessions. Confidential group discussions with several employees holding different positions in preparation for or after the survey. They allow you to delve deeper into hot topics, discover drivers and throw up initial solutions. Our experience shows that listening sessions give more meaning to survey results. This leads to higher awareness among management, HR and leaders on the one hand, and to more commitment by staff on the other. A win-win!