Working together towards a better organisation

Lysanne van den Berg

Feedback from employees is crucial to the improvement of your organisation. Employees often know exactly what is needed for the organisation to operate more intelligently and/or quicker. An employee survey is an effective tool for collecting this information. What does it involve? The employees are informed in advance, the survey takes place, the results are handed out and action plans are made. And is that it? Is this the way to get the maximum effect from an employee survey?

The results of the survey are just the beginning.

Simply carrying out an employee survey is not enough. The survey marks the beginning of continued dialogue, not the end. After making the results known, it is up to the teams to draw up plans for improvement. Unfortunately it’s in this phase that I’ve noticed that less attention is paid to communication about setting about doing something with the results. What is addressed across the organisation and how do teams work on their own plans of action.

What should you do with the results of an employee survey?

Communication plan aimed at the whole survey

A good communication plan before, during and after the survey ensures the employees remain committed throughout the process. I often see that customers are mainly occupied with the preparation of the survey and field work. How do we invite employees, announce the survey and achieve a good response rate? What happens to the results afterwards is something people see when it’s time. However it is during the preparation that it is important to consider what to do after the survey. It is therefore essential to draw up a communication plan that is aimed at the phases before, during and after the survey.

How does this work in practice?

What does an organisation need to consider when formulating a good communication plan? This comes down to practicalities: who are the various target groups and which resources are available to us? Look at what stages the results will be shared and arrange communications accordingly. I advise my customers to let their employees know about the main areas of the results as soon as the management has been informed. This might be during a general meeting, or it could take the form of an article, an intranet announcement or a separate magazine dedicated to the employee survey. Afterwards it is important to make a big announcement about the follow up and which steps are going to be taken. Make sure that there is always a link to the results of the survey so that the employees see where the actions stem from. Save space for this in the intranet or in personnel magazine.

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Of course the resources depend entirely in the type of organisation. In this phase, employees act on the results themselves and draw up an action plan. It is therefore important that there is a communication plan to support the actions and keep everyone in the organisation informed. By doing so you will ensure that everyone feels involved in formulating the action plans. Working together towards a better organisation!