Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Employee Survey Data, Check..Now What?

Many companies conduct annual employee surveys. The data comes in and is reported on and then we wait for the next year for the next results. The results come in for year 2 and they are exactly the same or in some cases scores have gone down.

This begs the question, what can you do with employee survey data?

Here are some best practices we have used with our clients over the years:

1) As soon as possible communicate high level survey results back to employees. If you have decided on actions that will be taken as a result of the survey scores, then give your employees an overview of those actions. If not, let your employees know more communication will follow when those decisions are made.

2) Make sure you understand which questions (categories) impact employee satisfaction. If your survey has 30+ questions, you need to know which ones impact satisfaction and which ones do not. A regression will get to this information and will prioritize where you need to spend your time and resources.

3) Sometimes, follow up is required to understand what is needed to make scores change. For example, if you score low on internal communications, you need to get to the "why" and the "how to improve." This data is hard to get to in a survey format so follow up is required.

4) Action planning is a must. Period. If you don't spend time by department on how you are going to move scores or sustain good scores, then you surveyed your employees for nothing. Make sure managers are debriefed on their own scores and action plan on them as well.

5) Make sure managers are held accountable for their scores. What measured gets done. If survey scores are not tied to manager's performance it is highly unlikely that anything will change.

6) Use the data. Employee satisfaction data is a very important data set. It can be analyzed with other data to uncover valuable insight. For example, correlating employee satisfaction data with performance scores and turnover can tell you if you are at risk for losing your highly engaged and high performers. Wouldn't that be nice to know?

Bottom line, don't just survey your employees and do nothing with the data. It is a valuable data set especially if acted upon.

What are your best practices when it comes to survey data?

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