After receiving employee survey feedback the first question we are often asked by clients is “What Now?” The survey itself is only 10% of the solution, a critical foundation for sure, but by no means the complete process. Once the survey has been completed, employees and leaders alike will be asking what next, and it is imperative that the organization have a plan in place to roll out the results, and then to monitor the ongoing status of items identified in the survey. Organizations who understand the importance of culture understand that the end of the survey is just the start of a collective process of discussion and problem solving. This collective ownership allows executive management to focus on more strategic issues, while frontline employees do what is necessary to manage interpersonal, process, or administrative issues.
So what should companies do next?
Here are The Beacon Group’s “3 Critical Cs” of Employee Survey follow-up:
The biggest mistake we see organizations make is to collect surveys from employees, and then not share the results. Sometimes leaders bury or try to shield the results from employees, especially if they aren’t stellar. This only robs the process, and prevents accurate reporting the next time a survey is administered, as employees lose interest, or worse – the process loses all credibility. Sometimes leaders simply don’t realize the importance of communicating the results back to employees, and how doing so validates what was said, and reinforces that the feedback has been received by company leaders. Transparent communication alone, whether the results are quite positive, neutral, or extremely negative, can have an immediate positive impact on trust and confidence in the leadership and organization as a whole. Communication is truly a KEY component of any employee survey process.
Create focus groups and work teams
Employee surveys help start a conversation however, outside of the formal survey process, leaders benefit greatly from circulating through the organization to conduct focus groups that get deeper into specific issues and themes. These additional conversations can provide leaders with key pieces of information they need to make lasting change by getting more context from their data – and their people. Creating work teams of individuals tasked with the challenge of creating solutions enhances collective ownership of both the feedback and the resulting changes that will take place in response to that feedback. The term Collaboration could be an alternate “Critical C” for this area. The completion of the survey provides an opportunity for individuals to collaborate in order to create positive change.
Commit to change
The organization is asking a lot from its people every day, it’s time to pay it back by committing to change. Can every issue identified in an employee survey be changed? Not always. Can all of the potential changes and solutions be implemented in short time frames? Often not. The crucial advice we provide our clients is not to get overwhelmed by the feedback and drop the ball before even moving forward because it seems like too much. Making a few key changes, even on smaller issues, and communicating those changes effectively will have an immediate impact and improve morale while the organization works on solutions for bigger issues. Having an organization wide plan to address key items identified on the survey is integral, however, it is also important for each department to identify the key issues that are relevant to employees in their area. This will allow for more input in various spheres of influence, which will have a cumulative effect over time. Everyone must to have skin in the game – to find solutions.
If you would like to know more about The Beacon Group’s employee survey process and follow-up solutions please contact us and we’d be happy to talk or meet with you, or visit our website to learn more: read more here