Employee Survey- Next Steps

The results are in! But now what?

Less than a third of employees believe that a survey will result in significant organizational change. With so many companies setting ambitious goals and administering employee surveys, why is it that so few actually realize the changes they seek? Because turning survey data into an action plan is difficult, data can be overwhelming, management is busy…the list goes on and on.

For companies who have gone through the Best Small & Medium Workplaces list application process and have purchased the Trust Index© Scores Report, The 2012 Great Place to Work® Small & Medium Business Conference presents a unique opportunity to review employee survey data with a Great Place to Work consultant. Our experts will help you identify your company’s areas of strength, opportunities for improvement, and compare your company’s survey results to the Best Small & Medium Workplaces benchmark.

For companies who have surveyed their employees but are unable to attend the event, don't worry. We have some tips for you, too:
Communicate the results to employees, and fast
Your employees are excited! You asked and they answered, so don’t leave them hanging. You don’t need a high-level interpretation to let employees know how much you appreciate their feedback- simply sharing an area or two that received high marks or needs improvement will let them know that you are listening and that you appreciate their feedback.

Select a committee to lead the initiative
Probably the biggest hindrance to following up on an employee survey is that it falls to management, and management is busy. It winds up on the To Do list and loses priority as each week passes by.  Appointing a few key players to lead the initiative will keep your survey results a top priority and ensure that employees receive a speedy response.

Invite employees to participate
The committee in charge of interpreting results and developing an action plan should not solely consist of executives and managers. If the goal of the survey is to start a dialogue with employees, the worst thing you can do is cut them off right at the start. Invite frontline staff to take an active role in the process by appointing a representative to the survey committee.

Select 2-3 priority items
Data is overwhelming. One of the biggest challenges faced by companies today isn’t a lack of information, but quite the opposite. Sometimes there is so much information that we don’t even know where to begin. Instead of throwing the whole thing in a drawer, simplify your task and narrow down two or three areas to focus on.

Don’t ignore the positive data
Too often companies zero in on the negative. While it’s great that you recognize areas that need work and want to jump in and get your hands dirty, don’t let it be at the expense of what is already working well. Your employees take pride and satisfaction in some aspects of your company culture. What are those? Pick one and step it up a notch.

Communicate your action plan with employees
Once you have identified the areas you will be working on and determined next steps, let your employees in on it. Again, the goal of an employee survey is to open up a dialogue with employees, so don’t drop the call! Keep employees informed every step of the way, and it never hurts to invite further feedback. These are the people you are trying to engage and they are your best resource for advice on achieving your goals.

Tiffany Barber is the Associate Manager of Marketing and Communications and an avid blogger for Great Place to Work®.