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Activate Human Capital Group Blog

The internet is ripe with surveys of all types. We can identify which character we are most like from Game of Thrones and what type of cheese best represents us with ease. Finding surveys to assess employee attitudes, happiness, engagement, and/or desired benefits is an amazingly cluttered space.

But just because a survey is accessible, doesn’t mean it is a good fit for your organization, and few surveys offer validated metrics that will deliver real results if the survey results improve. A study by Bersin & Associates reveals that close to $720 million is spent each year by organizations to evaluate and improve employee engagement. But somehow, engagement levels continue to stagnate. To ensure the difference between SPENDING money on an engagement survey that doesn’t deliver results and INVESTING resources in an engagement program that delivers tangible ROI, here are some key considerations to use:

Quality Survey Construction

The precise wording and format of an engagement survey is vital to collecting the data needed. Instead of using words like “good” which may imply different meanings to different employees, using words like “perfect” better quantifies if an employee is “all in” at work. The word “perfect” still has personal meaning for each employee but assesses how managers are providing for their team.

Quality Survey Administration

There are a number of components needed to ensure quality administration. There should be a high degree of confidentiality given and that assurance should be communicated. Another aspect of communication relates to pre-survey information that needs to be distributed to each employee. Demographics should NOT be entered by the respondent as this only lengthens the survey as well as creates a respondent-level fear of retaliation. An additional component is the length of the survey – be sure to keep the number of items under 30 or you’ll risk survey fatigue setting in and employees dropping off prior to completion.

Sharing Survey Results

Once the data is collected, independent of the results, there should be a method in place for sharing these results. If the data is not shared with every employee, there is a tendency for employees to disengage from subsequent administrations or similar attempts at gathering large scale data. The reporting of data must be localized, clear, and straightforward. Clear, simple, scorecards should be delivered to each work team where possible and while combining 4s and 5s as “top-box” scores to show a favorable outcome may be common, it is far from best practice.

Discussing Survey Results

After sharing the results with each work team in a straightforward way, each team should discuss the results and their reactions. If the survey items were written correctly, the results should be the beginning of a conversation for the team. At this stage, action plans should be made with clear goals timelines based on the current results and desired areas of progress.

Progress on Action Planning Goals

The action planning goals created during the discussion phase need to see progress over the weeks and months to follow. Setting clear, measurable goals with definite timelines helps keep teams focused. After an arranged time has passed, employees can be reassessed to evaluate progress. One note of caution here – it’s much more engaging to allow employees to own the action plans rather than managers to ensure efforts meet the desired outcomes defined by the team. This also helps managers feel less burdened by the process.  

Activate Human Capital Group has the tools to evaluate your employees and their level of engagement. The Employee Commitment IndexTM was specifically designed and curated, every word validated to measure exactly what was intended. Activate is passionate about engaging employees and views surveying, reporting, and planning as an ongoing part of an organization’s culture. To reap the benefits of this method, contact Activate Human Capital Group today.