As they acknowledge the benefits of employee engagement, companies are moving towards a development-focused, coaching-inspired approach to people management. That’s what the Future of Work (1) is all about!
But as organizations become more people-focused, they must translate this approach into an effective employee engagement action plan — that’s how you get highly engaged employees.
Given the unfavorable global state (2) of employee engagement, many organizations are rushing to reinvent the employee experience wheel to reduce turnover and increase retention. But without an employee engagement action plan, some companies with low engagement rates are doubling down on outdated management processes and putting more pressure on management to seek results.
The fact is: If your company has a system for measuring employee engagement and gathering employee feedback in place, you’ve won half the battle. All you need to do is put your data to work with an impactful employee engagement plan. This article will guide you in creating your own by discussing:
- What an employee engagement action plan is
- What the benefits of an action plan are
- Best practices leadership and managers need to follow to get their action plan off the ground
1. OECD (Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development), 2022
2. Forbes, 2022
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What is an employee engagement action plan?
An employee engagement action plan outlines the steps you need to take at company, team, and individual levels to solve issues identified via your employee feedback or boost your overall engagement. After all, investing in employee engagement is always worth it!
If you find your employees are reporting the same issues — like intense workload or lack of training and development — it’s probably time to implement an action plan. HR or People Ops leaders and employees, as well as other managers and team leads, can all collaborate to brainstorm and implement impactful actions.
For example, suppose several employees across different teams report a lack of autonomy over their projects. The team leads affected by this feedback could enlist HR’s help to develop a set of initiatives with a time frame for completion and performance metrics for greater follow-through. In this case, some initiatives could be implementing a management training program or writing and uploading a set of standard operating procedures to the company’s shared knowledge base for easy employee reference.
💡 You can’t build an action plan without knowing your people! And for that, you need engagement surveys.
Running employee engagement surveys with Leapsome means backing your surveys with scientific research, state-of-the-art analytics, and expert guidance on action plans.
Our survey tool also lets you track changes in engagement levels with indicators like the Employee Net Promoter Score (eNPS).
Why create an employee engagement action plan?
Creating an employee engagement action plan is crucial to help organizations:
- Keep everyone committed to engagement: An employee engagement action plan holds team members, managers, and executives accountable for improving employee engagement.
- Increase the ROI of employee engagement: Engaged employees are more resilient and productive, less likely to quit their jobs, and have fewer absences.
- Measure employee engagement progress more accurately: An action plan should detail key engagement drivers, milestones, and benchmarks that will let you gauge the success of your engagement initiatives.
- Improve employee experience and boost morale: Taking action on your survey results shows employees their feedback matters and prevents disillusionment and “survey fatigue.”
6 steps to creating an employee engagement action plan
If you suspect that employee engagement is low at your company, you need survey-backed data to help you determine what needs improving — and how you’ll go about doing so. Let’slook at the steps you should cover in your action planning process:
1. Define your goals
To ensure your employee engagement surveys yield specific and actionable data, determine the goals you want to focus on before conducting them.
Clear goals don’t only make it easier to create an action plan; they also produce better survey results, which shows employees how effective surveys can be as internal feedback tools.
For instance, you may want feedback on how employees feel about your company’s current performance review process. Do they think performance reviews happen too infrequently? Or perhaps they’d like more clarity and consistency on your rating scale? Knowing the topics you want to focus on from the get-go will help you choose the right survey questions.
⭐ For remote teams: We recommend using our remote employee survey template to check in with your people about their remote working environment and get a temperature read on how connected and supported they feel.
2. Conduct an employee engagement survey
Once you’ve locked down the topics (or goals) you want to focus on, it’s time to put your employee engagement survey questions together. Don’t rush this step — be sure to choose your questions thoughtfully and intentionally.
If your company’s current goal is to explore how staff members feel about your employee development efforts, you could include prompts (qualitative questions, not necessarily in question format) in your questionnaire. Here are some examples:
- My job at [company] enables me to learn and develop new skills.
- I’m fairly rewarded for my contributions to [company] with pay, promotion, and/or training.
- If I do good work, I know it’ll be recognized.
Depending on the data you’re looking for — qualitative or quantitative — you can ask employees to answer your questions with a ranking from 1 to 10, with 10 being the most favorable response. You should also include a few open-ended questions to get more insight into the nuances behind your survey responses.
⭐ Increasing survey participation rates
• Don’t surprise employees with a survey. Run your pulse surveys at regular, scheduled intervals and give staff members a few days to fill them out, so people don’t feel overwhelmed or caught off guard.
• Ensure your surveys aren’t too long, especially if you’re running them frequently. To increase your response rate, avoid sending out long, detailed surveys too often. When you need to create a longer survey, give employees sufficient time to complete it.
3. Analyze your survey results
Raw survey results won’t get you very far — you must analyze the responses and identify patterns to understand what the data really means.
Start by measuring your employee survey participation; while it doesn’t yield nuanced engagement data, it will show you how open your people are to participating in surveys. You can also compare participation rate with other useful engagement metrics like eNPS and retention rate.
When reading through your results, dig deep and get as granular as possible in your analysis. Uncover the quantitative and qualitative data in your engagement scores and open comments to understand employee sentiments behind the survey responses.
For a more detailed analysis of your quantitative data and open-ended answers, Leapsome’s natural language processing tool can turn your engagement data into visualizations that make it easier to see what your action plan should prioritize. Graphics (example above) also simplify sharing your results with other stakeholders. When data is visually digestible, it’s easier to get buy-in for your engagement initiatives.
Our language processing tool also pairs this visual data with actionable insights to help you get started on your initiatives.
4. Decide on your employee engagement initiatives
It’s time to put your employee survey results to work! Use your data to structure your employee engagement action plan around a set of measurable initiatives to improve upon “problem areas.”
Coming up with actionable steps to boost engagement is your team’s opportunity to get creative and seek advice from experts who have experience creating engagement initiatives.
And if you use Leapsome, you can access the best-practice action plan recommendations we’ve built into the platform, personalized according to your company’s survey results!
Some of your initiatives’ action points could include:
- Setting OKRs to boost employee engagement to keep everyone informed about your engagement goals and progress
- Holding “stay interviews” with employees who are at risk of leaving the company
- Helping employees develop their skills with a learning and development tool
- Offering flexible work hours or transitioning to a hybrid work model to increase work-life balance and avoid burnout
5. Establish milestones to monitor progress
Your action plan must include milestones (or success metrics) to help you track the progress of your employee engagement initiatives. Some examples include:
- Increasing survey participation rate by X% in the next six months
- Increasing eNPS scores by X% in the next six months
- Increasing retention by X% in the next year
- Decreasing absenteeism by X% in the next year
- Carrying out [X number] of DEI initiatives by the end of the year
You can also monitor your progress with more short-term, specific, and focused metrics like:
- Holding three “stay interviews” in the next quarter
- Having managers organize professional development meetings with each of their direct reports in the next quarter
- Overseeing a 10% increase in learning course completion by the end of next quarter
⭐Top tip: Conduct pulse surveys throughout the year to check in with employees about the outcome of your engagement initiatives. That way, you’ll have quick insights to adjust your engagement action plan.
6. Follow up
Having processes in place to follow up on your action plan helps hold HR/People Ops professionals and other stakeholders accountable for improving employee engagement. You can also check how your engagement initiatives are going during informal chat sessions, 1:1 meetings, and team meetings.
We also recommend following up on employee engagement initiatives with surveys to help track your outcomes.
⭐️ With Leapsome’s employee survey tool, you can easily interpret your survey data with our survey overview dashboard and track scores over time.
Employee engagement action plan examples
We’ve walked you through the key steps to create an employee engagement action plan — but what does an action plan look like in action?
Let’s look at two examples of action plans you can use to inform your people processes. Action plans should be individualized to your business’s values and needs, but you can use our examples below as plug-and-play templates to help you get started.
Simplify your employee engagement action planning
Putting an employee engagement action plan together often involves managing various moving parts, talking to different stakeholders, and bouncing between tools and software for data collection. Just thinking of that whole process could scare you away — but improving your company’s engagement doesn’t need to be complicated!
Leapsome helps companies and teams create a hub (or “single source of truth”) where they can run engagement surveys, analyze survey data, communicate results, and create action plans for continuous improvement — all in one place. That means they can focus their efforts where it matters: developing their people.
🚀 Use Leapsome engagement surveys for better action planning
Leapsome’s engagement survey tool gives you the powerful insights you need to improve your company’s employee experience.
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