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You’ve completed an employee survey! Now what?

Congratulations! You’ve taken the first step to engage your employees through an employee survey. Now it’s time to show them their opinions matter with a thoughtful response and action.

While you likely have a process in place to respond quickly to customer feedback, it’s probably a little less clear how to handle insights from internal data. But having a plan in place to interpret and respond to feedback is crucial. Because once employees tell you how they feel, they are anticipating a response, and inaction (or a slow response) sends the wrong message.

You’ve Completed an Employee Survey! Now What?

Whether you’re using a tool to help you interpret data or at the raw data itself, there are several steps you can take to determine both what your data means and what you should do next. Those steps include:

1. Thank employees

Whether the feedback was good or bad, thank them for offering it. This shows them you value their opinion.

2. Set expectations

Once they speak up, employees are anticipating a response. Set their expectations on how long it will take to review results and respond so they don’t feel ignored.

3. Build context

Take a look at what your survey results might mean in the context of existing conversations and priorities. Was there a recent shift in leadership? Have employees been working overtime on a key initiative? These types of changes can drive temporary shifts in employee sentiment. Likewise if you’re coming off a banner year or just gave raises - your information may reflect that. So before you analyze your results, take a few minutes to consider what events - organization-wide and departmental - may have influenced responses.

4. Look at qualitative comments

Not every survey is going to measure agree/disagree numerical data. In fact, often the qualitative comments are the most insightful because they allow the participant to put their feedback in their own words or provide additional context which improves the quality of your results. Even better, technology has improved and you can sort and examine open-text responses more easily now using artificial intelligence.

5. Look for next steps

As you examine the data, confer with leadership to create next steps and areas to prioritize. What do these results mean in the broader context of the company? What insights can you draw from them? How do they affect your main initiatives or everyday decisions?

6. Connect to previous surveys

Sometimes the best way to develop an action plan is to look at your previous data. You can look for blips or movements and then be sure to highlight those changes. If employees are more or less engaged, you can use these fluctuations in data to identify strategies that are or are not working. Look for cyclical patterns related to busier times of the year.

7. Equip managers with data to make changes

Often, leadership and HR-level staff are on board with necessary changes. But managers, for a wide variety of reasons, can drop the ball on follow-through. Make sure you’re equipping managers to carry out initiatives and giving them the data and analysis they need to fully support your workplace culture.

Use Technology to Highlight Priorities

Raw data can be difficult to interpret. Take advantage of advances in technology to glean insights from your survey. Ask us how.

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