1. Send out your employee engagement surveys
Before you can start turning your employee survey results into action, you’ll need to administer your surveys.
Most HR departments run surveys frequently. Surveys may be sent weekly, monthly, or quarterly. To avoid survey fatigue, try to balance the length of your surveys with the frequency you’re sending them. The more infrequent the survey, the more questions you can include, and vice versa.
For higher completion rates, make sure employees know when to expect a survey and send reminders to prompt them to complete it. Remember: A culture of acting on employee survey results is the strongest motivator. No matter how many reminders you send out, no one wants to spend time completing a survey if they think the results will be ignored.
2. Gather the data in an organized place
How are you currently running employee engagement surveys? Are you using a mix of software apps and documents, or even administering surveys on paper? Having employee survey results scattered in different places can lead to confusion and make it more difficult to analyze the data you gather.
To stay organized, it’s useful to have a “single source of truth” for your employee survey results. You can manage your survey process all in one place, alongside other HR functions like performance management, OKRs, and learning, with a people management platform.
3. Interpret your quantitative data
There are two types of data you should collect through your surveys: quantitative and qualitative. Quantitative data can be expressed through numbers or metrics, while qualitative data consists of more subjective, long-form answers.
One commonly tracked quantitative metric is the employee Net Promoter Score (eNPS). Net Promoter Score is a widely used metric for tracking customer satisfaction, and eNPS is an application of the same metric for employee satisfaction.
You can find out your eNPS using just one survey question: “On a scale of 0–10, how likely would you be to recommend our organization to a friend or colleague?” Employees may be classified as detractors (0–6), passives (7–8), or promoters (9–10), depending on the scores they give. To calculate your eNPS score, subtract the percentage of detractors from the percentage of promoters. You can also easily measure eNPS with Leapsome’s employee survey analytics.
To better understand your quantitative data, try filtering and segmenting it (for example, by age, gender, team, or job title). You can also check for correlated questions using Leapsome’s Impact Drivers and verify other companies’ benchmarks (which you can also do with Leapsome).
4. Interpret your qualitative data
Qualitative data is a bit more complex to analyze than quantitative data. When looking at someone’s long-form answer, you may be unsure of what they mean by their comments. While you could simply ask them to elaborate in an in-person conversation, this can be difficult with anonymous surveys.
Fortunately, the Leapsome platform allows you to reach out to employee survey respondents and engage in anonymous talks.
You can also analyze qualitative data at scale using sentiment analysis. This natural language processing (NLP) technique can help you digest and visualize information by grouping comments into categories and classifying them as positive, negative, or neutral.
5. Identify key themes and brainstorm ideas
The next step is to have a look at the “big picture” of your survey results. Your qualitative and quantitative analyses should have pointed you towards some key points to focus on. Once you’ve identified your company’s strengths and weaknesses, brainstorm ideas for how these might translate into action.
For example, if most employees gave low scores on the statement “my manager cares about my opinions,” you could look into setting up a managerial training program. Or if the statement “I have access to the equipment and tools I need to do my job” received a low score, perhaps it’s time to upgrade your technology and infrastructure.
The ideas you come up with during this brainstorm will serve as a foundation for your action plan.
6. Create an action plan for the future
At this point, it’s time to create an action plan and decide how to move forward. This is where you’ll choose the points that are most important to focus on, and outline the specific steps you’ll take to reach your goals.
To be effective, your action plan should be laid out in writing and should include regular checkpoints and deadlines for accountability. Leapsome allows you to create this type of post-survey plan and assign ownership of specific projects, making it easy to keep track of your progress along the way.
To keep employees at all levels of the company engaged and involved, try to avoid simply issuing decrees from above. Consider also offering ways for employees to create change from the bottom up. For example, many companies have created working groups where employees can discuss DEI issues, express their concerns, and plan future actions.
7. Share the action plan with stakeholders
Once you’ve analyzed the data, understood it, and created your action plan, it’s time to share the survey results with people in your company.
Decide who needs to see the survey results, data visualizations, and action plan, and how these should be presented. Employee survey results must be discussed with managers, and we recommend that you share them with employees as well — especially if you’re planning to make big changes.
You can share employee survey results at an all-hands meeting and follow up via email, recapping what was promised in the action plan from previous rounds and what has successfully been implemented.
“Do an AMA [Ask Me Anything] in your all-hands meeting and get the founder up there to discuss structural changes. Get people to ask them questions in advance.
Be able to come and be vulnerable about what you’re doing, what you’re working on, and what these changes will mean in practice, and why you believe they’re important. Show that you actually care.”
— Matt Bradburn, co-founder of The People Collective, offering his insights on how to act on employee engagement survey results on the People Over Perks podcast
Follow-up best practices for employee survey results
Keep track of medium- and long-term goals
Employee survey results should guide the direction of your company culture over the long term.
When turning survey results into action, you may come across goals that can’t be acted upon right away or have to be postponed. In that case, these long-term objectives can be integrated into your company’s overall OKR or goal-planning framework. That way, they won’t be forgotten, and the relevant stakeholders can hold one another accountable for making things happen.
— Don’t know where to start with employee engagement surveys? Check out this free list of 72 best-practice questions in 22 categories (with an infographic and a downloadable resource to make things even easier). 😉