5 Tips for Getting Engagement Surveys Right

What gets measured gets done.”

Typically, when I work with a client we evaluate the success of our engagement-building initiative (a phased-in supervisor development process that includes live classroom training, a series of coach-the-coach tele-sessions, employee team meetings, etc.) on whether key indicators such as customer satisfaction ratings, first call resolution, quality scores, absenteeism or employee retention showed improvement.

While these data points are certainly important, what really matters is what the employees who report to the supervisor think. Does their supervisor interact with them in a way that makes them feel valued? Does their supervisor give them the right blend of coaching and support?

A good way to capture employee opinions about whether they are getting their needs met is by using an engagement survey. Establish a baseline using the initial survey (completed before the supervisors receive training). Use subsequent surveys to gauge improvement and evaluate supervisors’ progress.

5 Tips for Getting Engagement Surveys Right

1. Ask yourself what you plan to do with the survey results.

Implicit in any survey is the expectation by employees that management will act on the information. If that’s not your plan, do not do the survey.

2. Keep the survey short.

My surveys have between 10 and 12 simple questions.

3. Mine the comments.

The real gold is in what employees write in the comment box after each question. Look for patterns.

4. Develop a plan of action — 3 + 3s

Using the survey results in combination with the supervisors’ own observations on what’s working and what’s not. Ask them to create two lists: 3 things that are working well and you intend to continue to do and 3 things you intend to do better, begin to do (or do less).

5. Supervisors should share survey results and ask for their team’s support.

Each supervisor should hold a meeting with their team for the sole purpose of sharing what they learned from the surveys. They should thank their employees for their willingness to share their opinions and ask them to give them feedback on how they are doing in their implementation of their “3 + 3″s.

My last bit of advice: don’t lose sight of the purpose of the survey.

It’s easy to get so enamored with the data that you lose sight of the reason you were doing the survey in the first place; which was to use the information from the survey to help your supervisors help their employees do the best job they can for your customers. In the end employee engagement is about employees feeling valued and appreciated by their supervisor. The more valued your employees feel, the more willing they will be to go above and beyond for your customers.

Make it a great week!

Barbara Burke

Copyright 2011 Barbara Burke. All Rights Reserved.

Discover Your Own Workplace Wisdom

Discussion questions related to this week’s topic.

1. If you could create your own employee engagement survey, what questions would you want to make sure are included?

2. What do you think is the difference between employee engagement and employee satisfaction?

3. Do you think it’s possible to measure employee morale?

4. In what way are low morale and low engagement related?