Your organization must identify its priorities for action, and it should also identify some simple and effective changes the organization can make quickly. This way, your company can demonstrate to employees that it is committed to acting on the survey results and that change is possible, positive, and going to happen.
To identify employee engagement action planning priorities, consider the following questions:
- What areas of improvement will result in the most strategic gains for the organization?
- Do any areas of improvement already align with the organization’s current strategic direction?
- Is the change being considered reasonably weighted between its positive impact and its cost to implement?
- Will the organization see a real change by investing the least amount of funds possible?
- Or will the change be very expensive and not do much to enhance engagement?
- Is the organization willing to deliver on what it is promising?
Here are a few examples of quick wins:
- Arranging for all employees to meet one-on-one with their managers every two weeks so that they get the opportunity to be heard
- Making room in the budget to invest in employee learning activities
- Creating stronger onboarding processes to improve employee engagement for new employees
- Having the CEO conduct systematic fireside chats or informal meetings with employees to discuss and clarify the mission, vision, and goals of the organization.
Responding to Change
Some people get uncomfortable about the very idea of change. Change can be scary and disruptive to work. But with the right approach and the right attitude, change presents a wealth of opportunities.
Making change is a challenge. Can you rise to the occasion? Instead of seeing an obstacle, think of it as an opportunity. Plus, when people are onboard with the new ideas, they’ll be more willing to support the change. Remember the following points to help transitions go more smoothly:
- Be flexible: The better the organization and its employees can adapt to change, the greater your chances of being successful in the new situation. Perhaps certain processes are being adjusted or even scrapped altogether? Focusing on how the new processes build off of the familiar ones, and how they improve the workplace is helpful. Encourage employees to realize that this is an exciting learning opportunity and that the changes they make will have a big effect on the organization’s performance.
- Learn from mistakes: If the organization is trying new things, expecting everything to go off without a hitch is not realistic. People make mistakes, and that’s okay. In organizations that embrace learning employees are encouraged to think about their decisions and actions, and then share any lessons they learn with others.
- Celebrate success: Whenever you reach a goal, a milestone, or learn something new, celebrate it! All the effort involved in the survey process, action planning, and putting changes into action is a huge undertaking, so recognize the good work.
Monitoring, Following Up, and Sustaining Change
Your organization intends to make change that will last so that you’ll have better outcomes on the next engagement survey and improve the organization’s overall performance. Answering these questions will help keep your efforts on track:
- Will the team benefit from the support of an objective third party? Bringing in an outside expert such as your survey partner can help to focus the group.
- Does the plan detail the responsibilities and accountabilities for employees, management, and executives? Make sure accountabilities are clear.
- Does the plan include a clear strategy for how to measure improvement and change?
- If differences come up, how will the team reach a consensus?
- Is every member of the team getting an equal opportunity to give input?
- Has the organization identified benchmarks and set targets for surpassing those benchmarks?
- Are you making reasonable promises (under-promising) with the intent to surpass expectations (over-deliver)?
- Have you set clear goals for improvements?
- Are the action plans aligned with your operations planning, budgeting, and personal goal-setting processes?
- Are you committed to the model of: survey, analyze, take action, and repeat?
Employee engagement is not a one-off project – it is an investment in the organization’s future success. But if you’re wondering how your busy organization will make time for this investment, you’ll likely benefit from a professional survey partner who will see the project through and make sure you have the tools to make it part of your regular practice. Full-serve consulting support gives the process credibility and gives you the most value.
When you choose to work with an experienced survey partner, you get the following benefits:
- A proven survey instrument and an external benchmark against which survey results can be compared
- Knowledge of best practices for the survey process and subsequent employee engagement
- Post-survey support and experience in employee engagement action planning, so your team isn’t left scratching their heads, wondering what to do next
- The know-how to keep the survey project on budget and moving on time
Knowing what to do with the survey results can be daunting but with end-to-end support, you won’t let any lag time creep in between doing the survey and taking concrete action. Getting support after the survey keeps the momentum going.