Here are SIX STEPS to ACTivate Your Leaders…

A lot of companies think (and rightfully so) planning for action is a major cumbersome project. But the shift from employee survey sentiment to measurable action can be simple, sometimes as simple as a conversation.

Employees are like the canary in a coal mine. They’re aware of conditions that often elude leaders. They have their own professional networks, their own interaction with customers, colleagues and management, and their own experiences with processes and procedures. They can tell you when something’s amiss (or working well).

Using the right tools and best practices, companies can spot and act on warning signs from employees before they become perilous business issues.

Do you look at your customer data just once a year? Their feedback? Nope.

Do you look at your financial statements just once a year? Not a chance.

Yet many HR departments initiate and look at employee feedback once a year or even less.

shift employee survey real-time

HR people analytics need to be as real-time as other important metrics like revenues and margins. WorkTango has seen businesses solicit, track and trend the voice of employees on myriad issues throughout a given year. The focus can be reflective, or as immediate as the morning news. Taking the pulse of employees quarterly, monthly, even bi-weekly, the data that comes from these snippets of feedback give leaders something they can focus on. The Guide to Help Leaders Act on Employee Survey Insights outlines a sequence of six steps that shift employee survey measurement to action.

  1. Adopt employee survey “active listening”:

This agile, action-oriented approach involves more frequent pulse surveys. Ask employees questions specific to your real-time business. Dig into issues and see trends more quickly; recognize what’s working and what’s not and acknowledge feedback – in real-time. READ MORE

  1. Customize and personalize:

Ask a lot of different questions that probe shifting employee sentiments, perceptions around management, new business initiatives, essentially any matters relevant to the here and now. Rotate your questions – mix it up to understand changes around what you ask. READ MORE

  1. Clear the deck:

Give leaders direct access to real-time feedback. There’s no advantage for employee survey data to first go to HR for filtering. The important voice of employees needs to go directly to the source that has the biggest impact on employees: leaders. HR’s job is to make that happen. When leaders get access to the sentiments of their team – combined with increased frequency – it’s a game changer. READ MORE

Whether they like it or not, having frequent feedback delivered to leaders and knowing that the data is public to the executive team builds accountability and how they run their teams. When a leader sees what their scores are, how they’re trending, where they’re moving (their own personal results in real-time), they can and WILL do something about it.

  1. Coach with a gentle nudge:

Technology is your friend. With machine learning and AI, it’s now easier for HR to help leaders in more powerful ways. Progressive companies are leveraging this technology to *nudge* leaders with key content and recommended actions all relative to the feedback from their teams and hierarchies. READ MORE

  1. Support anonymous conversations:

Give leaders the ability to read, acknowledge and respond to comments, while keeping the identity of the employee completely anonymous. The tools and technology are out there. An acknowledgement as simple as,” hey – I’m concerned about the sentiment of the team right now, let’s talk about it” shows employees people are listening and they care. It’s recognition that they’re providing valuable feedback. THAT’s a clear and loud action in and of itself, that comes from simple conversation. READ MORE

  1. Keep employees in the real-time loop:

People are really interested to know what their peers are saying right off the bat rather than waiting months to finally hear filtered results. When an employee finishes a survey, give them the real-time ability to see the averages from everyone else that’s responded already. This kind of access promotes more ACTive feedback from employees. In fact, companies that practice this kind of active listening technique typically generate response rates of 70 to 90 percent for their biweekly or monthly pulse surveys. READ MORE

According to a ¹Deloitte report, three in four surveyed companies (75 percent) believe that using people analytics is important, but just eight percent believe their organization is strong in this area.

The competitive business survivors of tomorrow are the companies that never stop asking for feedback and actively listening. They realize that paying attention to the canary – the voice of their employees – allows them to flag issues early, dig deeper and ACT, simply, meaningfully, profitably.

If you would like to read more on the topic, download The Guide to Help Leaders Act on Employee Survey Insights

shift employee survey nudges