Go Beyond the Survey with the Six C's

Linda Dulye's picture
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It wasn't long ago that internal survey processes were closed-ended, linear activities. Employees provided feedback. Leaders saw the results. Binders full of data gathered dust for another year.
 
Things have improved dramatically in the past several years to make employee surveys more than mere annual check-the-box activities. But companies still have far to go before making their survey processes a closed loop system that delivers rich, actionable data.
 
To transcend event-based measurement and weave a measurement mindset throughout the organization, apply the Six C's:
 
1. Calibration. Evaluate the underlying purpose and approach to your measurement practice. Is it simply a routine -- "We've always done an employee survey each year"? Or is there something related to the business strategy that really is driving the need to get a better read on the workforce.
 
2. Communication. Share – quickly and broadly – the results of the survey and next steps you'll take with the data. And, of course, follow up on what you're doing to improve areas identified in the survey results.
 
3. Coaching. Use survey data to improve the attitudes, behaviors and actions of your leadership team. Coach leaders on how to use the data to further engage front-line workers – to show that it's more than simply completing a survey, it's driving meaningful change.
 
4. Collaboration. Forge partnerships between senior leaders and front-line employees to find new ways to improve the low-performance areas cited in the survey data. 
 
5. Continuous Improvement. Don't wait 18 months for the next survey. Keep measuring through informal pulse checks as you're implementing improvement measures from the survey.
 
6. Celebration. Recognize publicly – in Town Halls, internal articles, podcasts – the involvement and contributions of employees as owners of the measurement program. It ends the era of measurement and feedback existing only the realm of the C-suite.
 
Among the many benefits of this approach is a steady flow of data from the workforce, their opinions and insights about what's happening on the front lines.
 
We have more information about going beyond the survey, including a replay of a recent webcast, at dulye.com.

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