Is Your Engagement Survey Sending Mixed Messages?

Linda Dulye's picture
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confusion mixed messages.jpgIt's the time of year when we start to hear a lot about engagement surveys. In our experience the focus seems to center around getting heavy participation, not in making important changes to the business or driving employees' engagement in their work.

The difference between engagement surveys that transform the business and those that are merely check-the-box exercises is what happens after the data is collected. Does your company allow only a select few to review the data and map out improvement actions? This approach sends mixed messages to your workforce: We want your input on what's wrong, but we don't want your input on fixing it.

Before you arrive at that point, though, the organization needs to ask itself the most basic question: Why are we doing this? The answer cannot be: "Well, we always do this survey every eight to 12 months." It must be because a survey is a vital organizational practice -- and not because you want to get 100-percent participation.

For now let's assume that your organization views engagement surveys as mission critical. How can you ensure that your actions and words are in alignment? Once the survey period has closed, avoid making data analysis an exclusive, executives-only process. Instead, bring everyone to the table.

Broaden the scope to include employees from every area and every level in your organization. After all, these are the people who raised the issues and chances are they are well equipped to help shape corrective actions, recommend new process and workflows.

Bottom line: Don't disengage the folks that you wanted to hear from most. Let them contribute to the solutions.

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