Actioning Employee Survey Results Part Two:
Five ways to Leverage Technology (the Great Enabler)
Technology is a great enabler.
When it comes to leveraging technology for actioning from a survey perspective here are five things to think about:
1. Leverage technology for agility
There are three concepts of agility that technology plays into.
One is obviously speed. Today you’re moving at an absolute snail’s pace if you’re not using technology to speed up data access. Think about it. You get a 100+ page PDF from a employee survey vendor. Four months in, after sifting through details you compile findings and analysis reports – that eventually make their way into the hands of other leaders – six or more months after the fact. By that time a lot of the survey data is stale and hard to act on. With faster data access you can actually start focusing on taking action in the moment.
The second part of agility is around the frequency. There’s a huge trend led by organizations supplementing their giant once-every-year-or-two surveys with shorter questionnaires. The reason? Because they want to get feedback, act on it, and see the impact of that action more frequently. And those organizations that put out a couple of questions every two weeks, every week, validate a lot of things that are happening.
The third part of agility is validation. Technology enables you to do so much more than just measure sentiments (we call it active listening). It gives you the diagnostic ability to dig deeper into survey feedback that’s worrisome. To understand and validate the sentiment. To roll out actions and understand how employees are feeling about them. To validate whether actions are having the desired impact.
At a micro level, think about how difficult it is to get leaders to act on employee surveys, especially if there’s no check-in or follow up piece of data showing employee sentiment and trends until the next major survey … 365 days later!? Technology enables leaders to get that data quickly and more frequently. To see and validate the impact of their actions. And to rejig those actions if need be. Agility in living colour.
2. Leverage technology for sharing
Another trend being seen is many companies are giving their executives, senior leaders and managers real-time access to data they should see. It can be specific to their country or department, their location or their direct report team. When you share this kind of information, you convey (and establish) stronger levels of trust. And with that sharing of information comes (happy surprise!) an increased level of accountability, the third thing technology enabler in relation to Employee Engagement and employee survey actioning.
3. Leverage technology for accountability
When technology is used as a data sharing conduit in real-time, leaders get faster and more frequent access to the sentiments of their teams. The reality of this is they immediately see where measured items are going up and down, and by extension are accountable to act. Technology today is using AI and other methods to recommend actions and learning resources to those individual leaders. Leaders are gently nudged into action and helped in areas where they can upskill themselves.
Then there’s assigning, creating and tracking actions. Some companies have that really buttoned down. They host ideation workshops. They identify action plans. Then they add these actions into their performance management platform or system. But not all companies are in the same position.
Technology enables those other organizations to assign tasks to individuals as part of the action plan platform. Leaders can also create their own based on the feedback from their team.
In the spirit of enabling action, technology can really do a lot in terms of building that accountability, recommending actions and then really making sure people hold themselves accountable.
4. Leverage technology for context
Tech is doing wonderful things to show you the art of data. ART by the by is actually an acronym for absolute, relative and trend.
For starters, data shows you different departments, different countries, different locations and how engagement sentiment varies between them. It can show leaders how they’re doing compared to the rest or a part of the organization. But leveraging technology for context can extend well beyond this kind of qualitative data to include insights from open-ended comments.
Many organizations shy away from asking for open-ended feedback, worried that it’s too much data to digest. But here’s the low down. Employee Voice works best when you ask for sentiments specific to engagement drivers and also use a form of participation management.
Technology enables you to ask for recommendations and enter into discussions with employees about what they think your organization could do. It allows you to take tens, hundreds, thousands of comments and start looking at sentiments and themes very simply. There are even tools that let you interact with those comments while still keep them completely confidential.
5. Enable Your Vision
Fifth and finally the last piece for acting on employee survey results is not to start with technology. Really and truly. No guff. Start with your vision in mind. Front and center. Start by asking: what does success look like? And, then, find the technology to make it happen.
Check out our guides on workplace culture, employee engagement, and employee surveys. Learn about every aspect of a successful employee voice initiative!
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