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IMA Executive News & Views Blog

Facilitating a Successful Employee Engagement Survey: 5 Lessons Learned on Leveraging Organizational Success

by Ashley Beaudoin

 IMEC is an IMA Member

Are you planning to implement, or have you recently deployed, an employee engagement survey to your workforce? Are you unsure of what to do next or are seeing little to no improvement? From my involvement with companies as they implement and evaluate aspects pertaining to engagement levels, I have witnessed many hurdles and successes. Based upon my findings, here are five lessons I have learned for leveraging organizational success through an employee engagement survey.

  1. Leadership needs to be fully on board and supportive of improving engagement levels.

When a client has interest in the topic of engagement, I like to ask leadership why they want to focus on engagement within the workplace. I sometimes hear “HR wants to measure it” or “A millennial told me to.” These responses indicate a lack of commitment to the process. The organizations who succeed with implementing an employee engagement survey have leadership personnel who are passionate about the company, their workforce and the bottom line. They are strategic thinkers who are ready to embrace the perceptions of all team members.

  1. Designate an internal champion to project manage action items that surface from the survey responses.

An internal champion is crucial when improving engagement levels within an organization. This individual will take part in developing a project charter, finalizing action items, and project management beyond the survey. When this team member is present, I see an increase in action items being worked toward and successfully completed, an organized approach when working with quantitative and qualitative data, and a supportive and transparent workplace.

  1. Communicate effectively when focusing on engagement levels.

Communication plans are pertinent and critical during the facilitation of the survey process and beyond. With that said, leaders and other influential individuals need to make sure communication is present. More specifically, communication needs to begin prior to the survey, during the day of facilitation, directly after, when sharing results and throughout the time action items are being created and implemented. These points of communication allow the workforce to better understand the reason as to why this topic is being focused on, the role people have with this process, and what changes will be seen.

  1. 4. Don’t get “hung up” on the quantitative data. You need to create a method of obtaining and taking action with qualitative data.

Throughout the years of focusing on engagement, I have heard and witnessed companies getting hung up on the quantitative data from employee engagement surveys. Yes, this data is important to focus on when improving engagement levels. However, don’t have blinders on and ignore what employees are saying. In the survey process I facilitate, I make sure that workforce personnel take part in focus groups. From these conversations with these groups, I notice that there is important, if not even more fruitful information, collected than just numbers.

  1. Do something with the survey results!

Through working with companies, and through research, I have seen excitement and drive when receiving the survey and focus group results. However, that drive will sometimes diminish. Whether during the result meeting or throughout the initial stages of working on action items, I have seen leaders (or champions) lose motivation when attempting to make progress with engagement results. Yes, other business operations may be detrimental. However, without your workforce, how can you exist?

Many key players wear multiple hats, and it’s ok to ask for assistance with the employee engagement process. In fact, when clients involve a voluntary group, of various positions, to form an employee engagement committee, I have witnessed progress with moving forward with engagement results.

Incorporate these five tips to make the most of your organization’s investment in employee engagement.


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