Is there a plan?
The actual value of an employee survey is not the study itself. The value is found when survey results are being used to launch initiatives to improve job satisfaction and the well-being of the individual departments and the organization as a whole.
It is important to have a plan for the follow-up process and that this plan is communicated to and accepted by leaders at all levels of the organization. It’s the leaders at all levels who hold the key to a successful follow-up process. It is, therefore, essential to get the leaders to step into character in terms of driving the follow-up process locally and launch new initiatives.
An employee poll alone provides only a general overview of the organization’s well-being and job satisfaction – in which departments employees are thriving and in which departments there is a deficit in job satisfaction.
A questionnaire-based employee survey can never stand alone. It must always be followed by a systematic dialogue process where both managers and employees take an active role and responsibility to improve employee engagement.
To make the follow-up process respectful and ensure a solid foundation for new initiatives, it’s important to communicate clearly and unambiguously what expectations there are to HR, managers and employees in the monitoring process.
In this context, it’s important that the top management and the working group responsible for the implementation of the employee survey asks themselves:
“What processes should we initiate to create a constructive follow-up process?”
This implies a follow-up process, which on the one hand ensures a performance-based culture, where work is geared towards the department / organization’s strategic objectives. On the other hand, it should be a process that ensures and develops well-being, commitment, and job satisfaction.
An important task in the context of an employee poll is to provide a framework for follow-up work. Having the resources and materials ready makes it easier for managers and employees to make the necessary changes. To ensure that managers and employees take advantage of the time as well as possible, the organization / HR can provide ideas and inspiration for the follow-up work.
Below you can search for inspiration for the organization and implementation of an effective monitoring process in four steps:
Step 1: Reading the report and interpretation of results
The leader reads the report. When the manager has read the report and considered the results it can often be a good idea for the leader to use his own immediate supervisor for interpretation and dissemination of the results. If it’s some of the same challenges that occur in other departments, it would be natural to discuss these challenges in the management team.
Step 2: Presentation of results and dialogue with the operation of the results
Assuming the background above, the leader presents the results to the department. The presentation of results finishes with a dialogue on the results and especially the reasons behind the results. Where are we performing well and why? Where are we performing less well and why? This dialogue is essential to ensure a common understanding of the strengths and challenges the department faces. As well as the efforts to be undertaken to create an environment in which the keywords are job satisfaction, commitment, and job satisfaction.
One of the keys to a successful dialogue is to focus on solutions rather than focusing on problems. Rather than spending energy on what is wrong, the focus should be on what promotes job satisfaction for the individual employee on a daily basis. It is always easier to point out errors than it is to tell what you really want. This is why such a process is demanding for employees and their involvement in the follow-up process.
Step 3: Preparation of plan of action: From abstract wishes to concrete actions
Based on the dialogue of the results of the department, managers and employees prepare a plan of action for what the department wants to improve and how it should be done. In this process, it’s a matter of remaining focused and prioritizing the most important areas. Select 3-5 plans of action and focus solely on them. The plan of action should develop cooperatively between management and employees. In the context of the plan of action, the golden rule is the following: Achievable targets rather than an over-ambitious, overreaching plan of action, where only half of the stated objectives can be achieved. Finally, the action plan must be drawn up so that it forms an integral part of the “daily operations” in the department. Please be specific in relation to the challenges the department faces and integrate the plan of action into daily operations. This makes it easier to implement and monitor the action plan.
No matter how inclusive and acknowledged a process is, it’s important that the process never undermines the manager and their right to lead.
Step 4: Follow up – Stay focused – Follow up – Keep the focus
Once the plan of action has been prepared, you have to stay focused. One way is to hang up the plan of action of the department or put it on the agenda at the monthly departmental meeting. In a hectic schedule where the daily operational tasks take up a significant amount of space, it requires efforts to maintain focus on job satisfaction, commitment and the general well-being of the employees.
Good luck with the follow-up!