Step #5: Interpreting employee survey results and action planning

Bronwyn Wainwright

The success of your employee engagement survey depends on the effective use of the data. A good follow-up process outlines what leaders, managers and employees should do, within specified timelines, as well as what the road map for the future looks like and how it is aligned to the organizational goals. In your employee survey results action plan you’ll need to determine which topics need to be addressed and how to implement effective measures on all levels.

Action planning after your employee engagement survey

After your survey is complete and the results are in, you should begin informing people within your organisation. For an optimal employee engagement survey action plan it is advisable to consult with employees about how action can be taken, and to monitor the progress of planned actions. Finally, in order to establish whether the actions have really led to improvements, conduct a repeat survey and consider making an employee survey a permanent fixture in the calendar year.

Step #1: Preparing your employee survey (part 1)

Internal communications of the employee survey results

Providing information in broad terms

Plan the initial presentation of the survey immediately after delivering the results. First, present the results to the higher echelons (directors, Management Board or senior management). However, make sure that the setup has been approved by the project group before presenting the results.

What should you present?

Show the facts and figures, but don’t make an exhaustive list of them. Omit everything irrelevant, but make sure that you present the low and high scores. Where possible, make comparisons: comparisons with other companies, countries, teams and equivalent groups. Having heard the facts, the management will immediately want to look for explanations and causes, which is fine. You give the directors some ‘homework’ so they can discuss the results together and make concrete improvements with an employee survey results action plan. This is how organisation-wide points for improvement are created.

The result presentation should last no longer than one hour, otherwise those present will lose interest. Moreover, observing this time limit will ensure that the meeting deals with the most relevant points.

How to gather feedback from your employees

The step-by-step guide to creating your employee engagement survey.


Providing information at group level

After the meeting with the management, let employees know what form the follow-up procedure will take. Making clear arrangements will prevent the project from losing momentum.

  • Think about who is responsible for giving feedback on the team results;
  • Consider when and how you will give feedback on the results at group level;
  • Consider where the responsibility lies for the follow-up.

Taking action starts with informing the employees. Don’t wait too long, and be honest. Employees will soon realise if you are procrastinating. The faster you show the results, the quicker something can be done about them. Don’t stop at presenting problems, but also pay specific attention to the positive points. It is important that you carefully discuss issues that cannot be remedied with your employees. The report contains meaningful information, enabling you to discuss things together and then take joint action decided in the employee survey results action plan.

Step #1: Preparing your employee survey (part 2)

At minimum, you should inform all employees with regard to the following points:

  • Response
  • Important scores
  • Points to be proud of
  • Points for improvement

Step #2: Communicating your employee survey

Additional considerations:

  • Consider whether to schedule extra presentations, for example to the (European) works council or the group managers. In some countries, the trade union is an important stakeholder;
  • Decide when and how you want to give feedback to all the employees.


Action Planning Brochure

Containing helpful insights on how organisations can ensure that the follow up to their employee survey has maximum impact.


Employee survey results action plan

How do you ensure that immediate action can be taken on the employee survey results?

The signal to take action should follow immediately after employees have been informed about the outcomes of the survey. The basis was created at an earlier stage with a clear report available, for every level. The important thing now is to translate the report into concrete, well-coordinated actions.

  • Decide who is responsible for drawing up action plans;
  • Set a deadline for drawing up the action plans.

Step #3: Implementing your employee survey.

How do you carry the results deeper into the organisation?

Now that the directors have ascertained the points for improvement relevant to the whole organisation in the employee survey results action plan, the Business Units should get down to work. The responsible managers, project owners and team managers need to discuss the results. These are then discussed with the employees. Any uncertainties among the management members can be discussed at that time. The dialogue with the employees can be initiated per business unit or team in order to arrive at improvement plans at operational level. When that has been accomplished, the path leads upward again. You compare your plans with those of other business units or teams. Frequently, the same improvements can be adopted. You should also check that the improvement plans are in line with your organisation’s vision and objectives.


Once you have drawn up your employee engagement survey action plan for improvement, it is important to monitor progress.

  • Decide who is responsible for monitoring the action plans;
  • Consider the extent to which the results and action plans are incorporated in the year plan and the evaluation system;
  • Communicate regularly regarding the progress of the improvement projects.

Step #4: Analysing your employee survey

Repeating the survey

Have the actions you have taken led to positive results? The next survey is the ideal time to establish the effects your investments have had and how much employees have appreciated the effort. If you establish the employee survey as a permanent instrument, you increase the likelihood that the results will continue to improve. As you gain insight, adapt the survey to include different or additional questions or action points.