How to Translate Employee Survey Results into People and Culture Strategies
A Practical Approach to Employee Engagement
by Bonnie Nixon
You have done your employee surveys. Now comes the tough part - turning numbers into action. The survey can be either your greatest weapon in employee engagement or your worst enemy. If you act on and follow through with the surveys, people will become engaged because they feel that they have a voice. If not, it will have a detrimental effect as 'another empty iniative'.
Here are some practical ways to turn surveys into action:
- Review your survey results. Where are the weakest areas? Where area the strongest areas? Categorize into 3-5 topic areas.
- Present to your executive management group with numbers and any qualitative data you may have. Get their support to pursue specific areas. Identify an executive “champion”.
- Present a “task team” approach of utilizing a horizontal slice of employees to pursue in more detail the areas to be worked on.
- Put in place an overall team to chart progress and troubleshoot.
- Solicit employees to put their names forward for the task teams. Identify the areas and ask them to select their top 2 choices to work on.
- Put together teams of 6-10 individuals. You may have to look for people to round out your horizontal slice.
- Prepare team training. Bring team members together over a half to one day.
- Provide information on team forming, conflict resolution, consensus making, how to run effective meetings, and present team mandates. Provide a specific timeline for teams and ask them to pre-book team meetings.
- Offer support to the teams. Get copies of their team minutes to be aware of progress and any need for input. Allow teams to interface with staff to get more information to go behind your survey results numbers.
- Book a date for teams to make presentations to the task team overview team and provide general format.
- Review the draft presentations and make recommendations to the task teams to ensure positive outcomes—similar formats, similar style of presentation, comfort with content and questions. The task teams are now ready to present to the Executive Committee. Set up the teams for success (important to developing the organizational culture you desire).
- Schedule the Executive meeting and have the teams do the presentations.
- Review the team recommendations with the Executive and look for “quick wins” to implement immediately and for ways to work on longer term recommendations.
- Develop an overall implementation plan and present back to the Executive for approval. Utilize the task team members and employees wherever possible.
- Establish a communications plan and provide constant, upbeat, positive communications for all staff on an ongoing basis.
- Look for an opportunity to present the implementation plan and communications plan to all staff (or as many as possible) as soon as possible. Have the tasks teams present their findings. Look for ways to engage the rest of the staff in the event.
- Recognize the task team members for their work and contributions (building a positive culture in action).
- Get going on implementation and communication.
This can be a fun and rewarding process both for the organization and for you. Good luck and good organizational culture!