As Human Resource professionals know all too well, employee engagement surveys face the danger of being seen as a check-the-box, HR initiative. However, when done right, feedback from engagement surveys can have a major impact on the execution of strategic objectives. Here are 10 ways to make your employee engagement survey more strategic.
Customize your survey. Off-the-shelf engagement surveys often don’t ask about key issues that are required for strategic execution. Tailor your engagement survey to address the topics that are most critical to current business goals.
Involve senior leaders in survey design. When senior leaders are included as part of the survey design process, you can ask targeted questions to address the topics that are front-of-mind for executives. As a result, leaders are often more motivated to take action on the feedback.
Take top-down, bottom-up action. We often see executives try to solve engagement concerns on their own, but often the best ideas come from those who are experiencing the problem. When both executives and individual teams are involved in driving change, a greater impact happens more quickly.
Focus on strategy, not norms. While reflecting on survey results in comparison to benchmark data can give you context, it often takes your eye off the ball. Instead, focus on what is most critical to your organization, its culture, and strategic goals.
Link employee feedback to business goals. Often engagement data is viewed in a vacuum, but it is most powerful when it is connected to other key metrics, such as safety, turnover, or quality. Linkage studies can help identify where to focus in the employee environment to have the biggest impact on critical outcomes.
Dig deeper with pulse surveys. The annual employee engagement survey is great to understand big picture trends that can spur action. To understand if change efforts are effective, use short pulse surveys to check in on key issues.
Link employee data to customer data. Given that employees are often the key to a positive customer experience, employee feedback should be connected to feedback from customers. Doing so will help you predict how an improvement in the employee experience will impact the customer.
Link engagement data to onboarding and exit surveys. Employee engagement is only one piece of the puzzle – linking engagement data to onboarding and exit survey data can help you better understand the employee life cycle to impact key areas like productivity and turnover.
Focus on behavior changes. While it is tempting to reward leaders for an X point improvement on their survey results, that often leads to a focus on the numbers (which can be manipulated), rather than true changes in the work environment. Instead, hold leaders accountable for taking action on ONE key issue and really doing it well.
Incorporate feedback into the work you are already doing. Rather than creating a separate initiative to take action on survey feedback, consider it in the context of the work you already have on your plate. For example, if recognition is a key concern, discuss how employees would like to be rewarded for the accomplishment of key milestones.
What have you done to make your employee engagement initiative more strategic?