After years of helping clients implement action plans, we’ve learned a few things along the way:

Getting local-level business unit leaders to share their survey results and develop action plans directly with their staff will increase management’s commitment to take action. Developing action plans at all levels of an organization is helpful, and ensuring that employees are involved in action planning is most effective at increasing employee engagement at the business-unit level.

Designating the oversight of action-planning programs to a senior manager or executive at the highest levels ensures greater accountability and adherence to action plans. Ignoring problems or issues that the organization can’t address, without explaining the situation to employees, only leads to greater disengagement. Managers who explain why they can’t use some of the employees’ suggestions help employees accept the organization’s limitations. Also, employees won’t repeat the issue when responding to future surveys.

Tying bonuses, compensation packages, and/or performance metrics to survey results needs careful consideration. Although you often hear “what is measured gets managed,” remember to guard against local-level managers and staff who may be attempting to manipulate survey items.
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