Grace Smith
January 8, 2024

If employees are highly engaged, they are 87% less likely to leave their employer. However, employees who feel they are not seen and listened to might leave their employer without a second thought. 

Half of the problems you face with your team will be resolved if you actually listen to what they have to say. We know that it's challenging to speak to each employee personally, especially if you have to manage a large number of them.

This is where a well-researched employee engagement survey comes into play. But the actual work stats once the results of the survey are in.

In this blog, you'll learn how to analyze engagement survey results and use that data to drive your employee engagement strategies.

The Importance of Analyzing Employee Engagement Survey Results

If you have decided to conduct employee engagement surveys as a permanent event in your company routine or planning to do the same, it would be great to have a look at some of the benefits it offers you and your workforce:

1. Spot underlying issues that employees face

When organizations conduct employee engagement surveys, it gives you an opportunity to listen to what your employees have to say. The element that makes engagement surveys super useful is that they let employees speak of the issues they actually face, which they would not have said otherwise.

The anonymity aspect of the surveys makes it easier for employees to open up to their employers. It is a golden chance for companies to identify underlying issues rather than be satisfied with what they see on the surface.

For example, ThriveSparrow's employee success platform helps organizations collect employee feedback; and makes all the survey responses anonymous. This encourages employees to provide honest and transparent feedback.

A screenshot of ThriveSparrow's Anonymous Surveys
ThriveSparrow's Anonymous Survey Responses

2. Paves the way for an employee-first culture

The epicenter of every organization’s success is the type of culture they build for themselves over the years. As companies become more focused on the outputs, in most cases, the employees are forgotten in the background. No conscious effort is taken to understand their concerns and aspirations.

As opposed to this, companies that make an effort to conduct an employee engagement survey indirectly state that they care for their employees. This helps in creating a more people-centered culture, which in turn leads to a positive work environment. 

3. Provides accurate information to make changes

More often than not, companies turn to managers to understand the mindset and preferences of employees. If there are changes to be made in the operations of a department, chances are that the managers are the ones who are being asked of the same.

But the problem with this is that managers might not always have the most accurate knowledge of what's going on with the employees. This is why conducting engagement surveys is such a boon. It allows organizations to have the most accurate information related to their employees, which is backed by relevant data.

4. Helps employees feel seen and heard

Employee engagement surveys are made for the employees more than for anyone else. The most important aspect of conducting an employee engagement survey is that it helps employees recognize that.

It makes them feel the organization cares for them. Imagine being an executive in a huge organization, and one day, the company asks how you feel about the company through an elaborate survey. It makes you feel the company is putting in some effort to make you comfortable and value you at the same time. 

What are the key indicators in employee engagement survey results?

There are tons of aspects you can evaluate once you get your employee engagement survey data in your hands. Managers spend weeks on end deciphering what each number means in the result. But in most cases, companies do not have enough time to invest in the analysis of the data. In such cases, focus on the following indicators for a quick analysis:

1. Heatmaps

Make use of heatmaps to visualize engagement levels across several departments. It cuts down your work in half. Assign different colors to each response rate and then look at the entire response with this lens.

For example, if dark green says that the response is extremely favorable, red can signify dislike or unpleasantness. This way, by just looking at the colors, their intensity, and their frequency, you are able to easily decipher the meaning of the data. It helps you get a gist of the average response with just a quick glance. See ThriveSparrow's Heatmaps. You can view the engagement levels department-wise, which you can use to guide your engagement efforts later on.

A screenshot of ThriveSparrow's Heatmaps
ThriveSparrow's Heatmaps

2. Response rate

The most important metric to look for in survey data is the rate of response you received for the entire survey.

If it is anywhere above 75%, then you are on the safe side. While 80% is considered the preferred global average response rate, 75 will also do.

Anything lower than that indicates that there is something quite wrong with your employees' approach to the survey. The values and percentages vary according to the number of employees in your organization as well.

For instance, if the number of employees working in your company is less than 50, then you should expect a response rate of anywhere between 80 and 90%.

3. Engagement scores

The single most powerful metric that tells you right away whether your employees are engaged or not is the employee engagement score. It would be excellent if you use an employee engagement survey tool like ThriveSparrow in this case, as it shows you what the engagement scores are.

Most tools do not have this option. The best thing about engagement score is that you can observe the same for every single question and the company as a whole. 

Need a detailed guide on calculating engagement scores? Explore more about it here.

4. Comments

Always make space in your employee engagement surveys for the ‘comment’ section. If employees feel like they need to say something more about a particular question, they can make use of this extra space. Often, companies get valuable insight from employees for any particular question in this section.

Decode Your Employee Engagement Survey Data in 5 Simple Steps

We have now understood the importance of a well-thought-after employee engagement survey and the key metrics to look for while interpreting the data. Now let us get into the exciting part where we actually decode the employee engagement survey data:

Step 1: Categorize data into segments

Rather than analyzing your survey results in one go as a whole, it is always efficient to divide them into segments.

For example, you could segment the data based on the age group of employees, their gender, roles, and departments. This gives you a better understanding of the data as a whole and will help you identify patterns that exist within the data as well. When you understand why certain groups of people respond in a particular way, coming up with the right solution becomes easy.

Step 2: Focus on common trends and patterns

Like we discussed in the first step, once you segment and group the data and observe them once more, you will start to see patterns.

For example, if there was a question gauging the satisfaction level of employees in their current job, you can see if the responses are consistent across the whole organization or maybe some groups are less satisfied than the rest. If the groups show peculiar patterns, the managers can then focus on the reasons behind the same in a much more focused manner. 

Step 3: Understand what the numbers are trying to say

Most employee engagement surveys are quantitative in nature. There are very few instances where companies use open-ended questions in their survey.

This is mostly because companies think answering open-ended questions might be a time-consuming process and that the employees might not bother doing so. But it might not always be the case. Apart from allowing employees to state their responses in numbers, mix in open-ended questions, or, as mentioned before, add comment sections so that employees can express themselves in a more qualitative manner as well. 

Step 4: Are the current results different from the previous ones?

Observing how the current survey results vary from the previous ones helps managers understand what has changed over the past month (or whatever the duration was between two employee engagement surveys. If the rating given for employee satisfaction for the current survey is higher than the previous one, it helps managers understand that their efforts to increase employee satisfaction have actually worked.

Step 5: Visualize the results and follow up

Other than heatmaps, try making use of more visual representations of data like pie charts and bar graphs. It helps managers understand the results easily and makes it easy to explain to others as well. Make sure to follow up with the employees regarding the results. 

Good Things Happen To Those Who Listen

Listening is an excellent skill to develop, especially if you are a manager guiding a team. One of the most efficient ways to listen to what your employees have to say is by conducting employee engagement surveys.

But merely conducting the surveys won't do the trick. The listening part will only be complete when you take active steps to understand what the results say. Decoding employee engagement survey results plays a huge role in understanding your employees better and providing them with the right solutions to tackle their issues.