Written by Jeremiah Martin
Published: 16 September 2019
All right, so you’ve gone through all of the project planning, completion rate checking, and response window timeline extensions necessary to bring your engagement survey process to a close. You may have even chosen to make this process as simple as possible on yourself, by using Engage SURVEY. Now you are left with the most important question:
What to do next?
The first key step, covered in our previous post, is contextualizing the meaning of the results of the organization. Once you have a good idea of what the metrics mean in the context of your organization, you have the opportunity to start exploring how you can address how low engagement is impacting your business. The responses or organizational initiatives you consider will depend on the nature of the issues identified.
Step 2: Evaluate Possible Responses
After you have completed a thorough review of the results and have a good understanding of how they speak to employee experiences within your organization, you are left to decide what to do in response to your findings.
The kinds of responses that you may make largely depend on the overall feedback from the survey that you are using to collect engagement data. The diagnostic Flow@Work model used in our survey process, for example, directly measures key drivers of engagement, so you have a clear understanding whether low engagement scores are due to under-trained leaders, lacking needed resources, or general relations with the organization and team. This information can also be established as part of your contextualization process.
Given that leaders are one of the strongest drivers of employee engagement, one popular response following engagement surveys is leadership training. These trainings could range from helping them serve as a more inspirational leader to help them effectively manage communicating the vision of the organization. The content of the training ultimately depends on the nature of the issues uncovered as part of the survey and contextualization process.
Another common form of response is changing the work environment to be more conducive to employee engagement. An example of this would be making sure that needed printing supplies are consistently available. Efforts to change the work environment are generally the result of survey findings that indicate that employees do not feel secure within the work environment, feel that they lack the needed resources to complete their job, or are unclear on what work they should be doing on a regular basis. The proposed changes would then attempt to address these issues by directly altering an aspect of the physical environment or altering regular business processes (e.g. the on-boarding process) to avoid the issue all together.
Another type of response would be training directed at employees that aims to address social and motivational components of their relationship to the business. These kinds of trainings can be focused on better informing employees on personal development opportunities within the business, clarifying how their role aligns with the goals of the overall organization, and improving team relations. These forms of responses generally focus on better informing employees about company culture, processes, and effective working relationships. These also tend to be some of the largest scale responses because they involve greater numbers of people than training focused solely on leaders. Given this, the need for these responses should be evaluated carefully to understand precisely which parts of your business are most likely to be affected.
Just as you have to decide the kind of response needed, it is also critical to determine where and to whom to deliver your response. This will partially be addressed by your contextualization process, wherein you might look at which segments of the business are being affected by engagement issues. However, some problems within the organization might be prevalent across the organization, but not strongly represented within one business unit to justify a response targeted at the departmental level. Often, a training aimed at the whole organization may be too costly or time consuming of a solution. In these cases, engagement platforms that provide feedback directly to the leaders and employees who are experiencing issues can be a massive time and money saver.
Once you have settled on the kinds of responses that are appropriate given the recent engagement survey findings, it is critical that you consider building buy-in for any of these solutions. A key step in creating that buy-in will involve talking through the scope of the problem via engagement survey results. A great way to further increase the chances of your recommended response being adopted by the organization is by paring with other initiatives within the organization. For example, say your organization is interested in being included in one of those “Greatest places to be employed” listings. You can then leverage the insights you have gathered from your engagement survey (i.e. a finding which suggests that employees often lack needed resources to complete their work), into a recommended response involving allocation of office resources to alleviate the problem. This recommendation can then also be internally marketed as jointly addressing a pressing engagement issue, as well as improving your businesses chances to be recognized as an exceptional place to work.
The beautiful part about engagement results is in how they speak to so many core issues of a business, so much so that addressing engagement issues becomes another driver for improving the business as a whole. Similarly, this means that much of the time the response you develop to address engagement issues often closely resembles some initiatives that already exist within the business. This is a wonderful opportunity partner with those initiatives to increase everyone’s chances of success. They are now able to talk about their initiative in terms of its benefits to engagement, your team gets the benefit of increasing the chances that your recommendations are adopted, and the employees of the organization benefit by having a more engaging place of work.
So, now that you have a broad outline of how to address any engagement issues that you have uncovered, we can turn to discussing how to adapt your survey process in the future to help you ensure your organizational initiatives are a success.
At least, we can turn to it in….our next post where we will deal with developing key questions for follow-up surveys.