Your employee engagement survey results can tell you a lot more about your organisation than how engaged your team is. A well-structured survey will give leaders a 360-degree view of the organisation and is likely to bring a lot of new information to light.
First and foremost, irrespective of the size of your company, the data and feedback your employee engagement surveys generate represents something very important: the truth – about where your employees stand, how they feel, and where they need support.
“The survey has enabled us to provide a voice to our people and further understand what they value,” wrote one of our clients in a recent review.
In addition to an immediate read on the state of the team, your engagement data also enables you to:
- Swiftly identify areas where trouble may be brewing
- Gather employee feedback and tap into their ideas
- Know where your people stand on current issues
- Understand the impact of changes within the organisation
Spotting where help is needed
Looking beyond the surface of your employee engagement data, for example, and drilling into the results by location, team, or another segment within your organisation is one area where it’s easy to spot where trouble is starting to brew. One client’s report we viewed recently was a perfect example: while their high-level scores were very good, and showed yet another increase in engagement across the organisation when you looked at the data by team, there was one glowing amber indicator that stood out like a beacon, signaling fragmentation, against a sea of green and blue indicators that signal good to excellent levels of engagement. In this case, the amber indicator was in the “Leaders” column, a direct result of scores employees in that division had given their managers.
In their reviews of our service, clients often mention the fact that Engagement Multiplier surveys open their eyes to previously unknown issues:
“This system has allowed us to pinpoint areas within our company that need more coaching.”
“We have found EM to be a great resource for collecting and analysing feedback from our staff. It has enabled us to better understand the core needs of our staff and address issues we were unaware existed within teams or the business.”
Tapping into employee feedback
In addition to providing a holistic view of your team’s engagement and feedback, the anonymity a third-party platform provides also enables leaders to access feedback they are unlikely to have otherwise received. Here are two more examples from clients:
“The platform’s anonymity has allowed us to access feedback, critique, and opinion that we would never have accessed otherwise.”
“Though the anonymity of the survey employees felt at ease to discuss and suggest matters that may be uncomfortable in a face-to-face meeting.”
Some feedback may be offered in the form of constructive criticism. While sometimes hard to read, this sort of feedback can be especially valuable. Stefan Wissenbach, our founder, notes that this kind of feedback presents a leader with one of two opportunities: correcting a misunderstanding, or an opportunity to become better.
“The written feedback is invaluable and gives the employees a secure platform to voice their concerns and give constructive negative feedback anonymously.”
“I was a little skeptical about signing up to Engagement Multiplier as we are a small business and it was a significant commitment, however, the trial was free so I had nothing to lose. The first survey was a great success; we had an uptake of over 79% and an initial engagement score of 84 but the comments were eye-opening. I was impressed how honest the staff felt that they could be, knowing that this is totally anonymous and I took full advantage of the secure platform to follow up on comments and gain further insight into what was happening or being perceived to be happening in the business.”
Know where your team stands on current issues
It’s also difficult to overemphasise the importance of understanding where your team stands on current issues – such as their comfort levels with returning to the workplace, or their preferences concerning remote work. A variety of studies make clear that for many, these are make-or-break issues over which they will leave their job. Our founder, Stefan Wissenbach, often says, “Ignorance isn’t a strategy,” and in this case, knowing whether a decision one is contemplating is likely to create the risk of additional turnover would probably be a useful factor to consider/
Likewise, it’s also important to evaluate whether the programmes the company has instituted have delivered upon the promised benefits. The comprehensive IBM report titled “Closing the Chasm” notes that executives are very likely to overestimate the impact of the company’s programmes.
“Ongoing analysis of global consumers and business executives shows that there is a deep disconnect between what leaders think their organizations are offering and how employees feel about that support. In general, we found that employers significantly overestimate the effectiveness of their efforts to support employees.” — IBM Business Intelligence Unit, “Closing the Chasm”
You can survey employees on specific issues either by adding your own questions to the regular quarterly benchmark survey, using one of our pre-made on-demand surveys, or developing your customised on-demand survey.
In short, employees’ perceptions form their leaders’ reality. The good news is that most engagement survey outputs will provide leaders with a clear picture of employee sentiments.
Understanding the impact of changes upon the organisation
Employee engagement data can provide a lens into how the organisation is coping with change, whether it’s something that affects everyone, such as the pandemic, or a change that affects a specific team, such as a new leader.
In addition to keeping an eye open for commentary related to the change within the employee feedback, you should also compare current survey data to see how it’s trending and spot any more subtle changes, such as a dip in a team’s engagement score, or scores within a specific dimension that slip.
Assessing change is also another terrific application for a custom on-demand survey, enabling you to delve deeper into the impact of the change and likely identify opportunities to improve.
Next time you look at your employee survey results, look beyond the engagement scores. You’ll find a slew of insights and opportunities to make yours a better workplace – and a better business.