Employee surveys are used by organizations throughout the world, typically to drive change and improve engagement and retention. Giving employees a voice is seen as a “good thing to do” but too often the managerial response to the findings is “so what?”. This paper aims to offer a clear direction for creating best practice employee engagement surveys. It seeks to explain how action planning can be improved, thus enabling change to be managed and implemented more effectively.
In total, 31 HR practitioners who manage employee surveys within their organizations were surveyed for this study in early 2010. The participating companies are large organizations headquartered primarily in the UK, Germany and the USA. They represent a diverse set of industries including banking and financial services, consumer products, information technology, manufacturing, natural resources, telecommunication/utility services and retail.
The paper reveals the key challenges that survey practitioners face and the barriers they need to overcome. It highlights that senior leaders are a key barrier and that metrics of survey effectiveness often lack organizational focus. It offers insights and practical recommendations for HR practitioners. In particular, it shows how organizations can improve their survey feedback and action‐planning processes.
The paper is based on original research by the Kenexa High Performance Institute. It translates the survey findings into practical implications for HR practitioners who are looking to utilize employee surveys to drive change and improve engagement.
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