Putting a survey together and gathering data is only as valuable as the willingness to act on the feedback to implement positive change. Don’t consume precious time and resources just to satisfy curiosity or check a box in your HR to-do list. Do it because you want to improve your culture, which will lead to improved bottom-line results.
This becomes that much more important when you consider recent research from BlessingWhite, an employee engagement consulting firm. BlessingWhite found that nearly a third of all employees become disengaged when employers ask for feedback but do nothing about it. Fielding a survey without the commitment to act on its findings is a recipe for apathetic employees.
ACTION BEST PRACTICES
While we’ll go into far greater detail about how to collect, share, and act on survey information in future chapters, the following four tips are your go-to best practices for showing true commitment:
1Explain the survey: If you want your employees to complete the survey, give them a heads up. Let them know it’s coming, why you’ve decided to implement it, and what you plan to do with that information. Having that understanding helps them get on board.
2Share all feedback: You’re about to hear good news; you’re also about to hear bad news. You must be ready to share all of that news with your team, a sign that you’re receptive to hearing everything they have to say.
3Schedule review meetings: Don’t expect that you’ll remember to schedule meetings to review survey feedback with your team. Put a recurring meeting in everyone’s calendars to review feedback at least monthly. It’ll keep you honest.
4Do something with that feedback: Listening without action leads to disengagement. A truly committed manager takes advantage of this wealth of knowledge and puts it to action.
Story: Our client, the CEO of a construction company, was relatively new to conducting regular employee surveys. Nevertheless, he was ready to dive into the deep end and to turn to his employees to look for ways to improve staff satisfaction and processes.
After investing a good deal of time educating himself on survey best practices, he sent an email to everyone in his organization explaining why he was implementing a regular survey tool. He followed up with in-person meetings with each department head to emphasize his commitment and to let them know that they would be empowered to drive change at the department level. Finally, to establish ultimate accountability, he also sent a calendar invite that highlighted which date they would review the first batch of results before the first survey was even sent out.
This level of commitment created a rich stream of feedback from all levels within his organization. It did require a high level of time and investment to analyze all the responses. But with the date set to review the responses with his team, he and his department heads worked diligently to identify high-level themes (many of which pleasantly surprised them). The CEO then shared the high-level themes with everyone in the company, and each department head followed up with more granular themes unique to their group.
Though early in the process, the CEO shared that he’s been extremely encouraged by the small changes that have taken place already. Plus, he feels that everyone from entry-level individuals to executives are now all bought in to the process of regularly assessing, monitoring, and improving employee happiness.