Making the Survey Process Successful

This article accompanies Beyond Engagement.

Thursday, March 1, 2012
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In an excerpt from his book, Strategic Employee Surveys, Jack Wiley, founder and executive director at Kenexa High Performance Institute, writes about the link between employee engagement and the practices of communicating -- and acting upon -- employee survey results.

The first step, he writes, is to understand the results. Following that, two specific actions can make the survey process successful. The first is to establish priorities.

"Many organizations make the mistake of trying to work on too many priorities. This mistake is based on the myth that employees expect action on every critical issue emerging from the survey results. They do not (they are much smarter than that). What they do expect is that their organization will respond to a few of the more important issues."

The second step is to "involve employees in clarifying priorities by letting them tell why they answered the survey questions the way they did. This dialogue is critical to understanding what is underneath the survey results."

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He also notes that survey results should first be presented to "the leadership team of an organization, who then establish a short list of survey-based priorities for action planning," after which they should be communicated to employees "as soon as practicable."

Read the except of Wiley's book. It is reprinted with permission of the publisher, Pfeiffer, an imprint of Wiley, copyright 2010.

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