You've collected data from your employee engagement surveys, and now it's time to turn those insights into action. But most organizations do not follow up with feedback, mostly because of poor interpretation of survey results or a lack of it.

In this blog, we'll walk you through the why and how of analyzing your survey results, from understanding the core metrics to developing impactful action plans.

Importance of Employee Engagement

Employee engagement always plays a major role in the success of any organization.

An employee engagement survey by Gallup revealed that engaged employees showed:

  • 14% increased productivity
  • 10% improved customer ratings
  • Sales increase of 18%
  • Increased profitability by 23%
  • 13% more organizational participation.

Another study by Gallup showed that engaged employees outperform disengaged counterparts by a substantial 147%.

In essence, employee engagement isn't just a nice-to-have; it's a must-have for achieving organizational excellence.

So why not measure these metrics closely in your organization? Surveys help you assess engagement levels and analyze its influencing factors on a deeper level.

Why Employee Engagement Surveys?

Engagement surveys alone are not particularly valuable unless paired with insights gleaned from survey response data using specialized tools like employee engagement survey tools. Running employee engagement surveys and then interpreting the results helps:

1. Measure Engagement Levels

Employee engagement surveys are a primary tool for measuring key factors like communication, motivation, satisfaction, values, and well-being.

They offer insights into your employees' sentiment and satisfaction, and also help assess the factors causing disengagement, burnout, and turnover.

2. Empower Employees

Conducting surveys assures your employees by demonstrating that you not only listen to them but also value their opinions.

This trust and consideration positively impact engagement.

3. Contribute to Organizational Growth

Surveys provide a way to measure and assess growth opportunities, inform critical decisions, and promote a positive culture. With an employee success platform like ThriveSparrow, interpreting survey results becomes easier with result-oriented dashboards and custom reports.

To make the most out of surveys, consider following these practices to measure employee engagement accurately.

  1. Clearly define the survey's goals.
  2. Explain the survey's purpose to employees.
  3. Ensure anonymity for honest feedback.
  4. Make the survey easily accessible.
  5. Use a mix of open-ended and closed-ended questions.
  6. Avoid leading or overly definitive questions.
  7. Involve management to demonstrate commitment.
  8. Offer incentives for participation.
  9. Quickly analyze results and take action.
  10. Thank employees for their participation.
  11. Seek suggestions for improving the survey process.

Why Analyze Employee Engagement Survey Results?

Analyzing employee engagement survey results helps you understand your employees' thoughts and feelings. Interpreting survey responses provides an understanding of what drives your employees, what challenges they face, and how you can support them.

By diving deep into these results, you can focus your efforts on the areas where morale and engagement is lacking, also helping you come up with action plans to drive engagement.

In other words, you'll be able to,

Reap these benefits:

  • Engagement Drivers & Barriers: Discover what positively influences engagement and what diminishes it.
  • Cultivate a Supportive Culture: Use insights to build a workplace where everyone feels valued and supported.

And drive these results:

1. Spot underlying issues that employees face

These surveys provide a platform for employees to voice concerns they might not otherwise express, thanks to the anonymity provided, allowing organizations to discover and address hidden issues.

2. Pave the way for an employee-first culture

Conducting employee engagement surveys demonstrates a company's commitment to its employees, fostering a more inclusive and supportive work environment.

3. Provides accurate information to make changes

Engagement surveys deliver precise information directly from employees, offering a more accurate basis for making operational changes than relying solely on managerial feedback.

4. Helps employees feel seen and heard

By regularly conducting engagement surveys, organizations show they value their employees' feedback and well-being, enhancing overall employee satisfaction and loyalty.

Common Metrics to Measure

Here are some common metrics that you'll find it useful to familiarize yourself with before you begin interpreting them.

  • Employee Net Promoter Score (eNPS): This score reflects how likely employees are to recommend your company to their friends and family as a good place to work.
  • Job Satisfaction: This measure gauges how happy employees are with their roles and responsibilities.
  • Work-Life Balance: Assesses whether employees feel they have a healthy balance between work demands and personal life.
  • Career Development Opportunities: Measures the perceived availability and quality of professional growth opportunities.
  • Employee Engagement Score: Quantifies how engaged employees are in an organization. It is a value derived by analyzing an employee engagement survey.
  • Communication Effectiveness: Assesses how well information flows throughout the organization. This includes the clarity, timeliness, and relevance of communication employees receive from leadership and within teams.
  • Leadership Effectiveness: Evaluates employees' perceptions of the leadership team's ability to inspire, guide, and support the workforce. It encompasses trust in leadership, clarity of vision, and the leaders' commitment to employees' growth and well-being.

What is a Good Employee Engagement Score?

A good employee engagement score typically ranges above 70%, indicating a high level of commitment and enthusiasm towards the company's success.

Scores between 30% and 69% suggest moderate engagement, where employees are sufficiently motivated but show areas for improvement. Scores below 30% highlight low engagement, pointing to a critical need for interventions to prevent burnout or turnover. While a score above 70% is desirable, it's important to use this metric alongside other measures for a complete picture of employee engagement within your organization.

However, don't just chase a number; focus on continuous improvement and the qualitative feedback that tells the real story behind the scores.

How to Analyze Employee Engagement Survey Results?

To thoroughly analyze your employee engagement survey results and translate them into actionable insights, follow this step-by-step approach.

1. Sort the Feedback

Begin by separating your feedback into numbers and comments. This makes it easier to spot overall trends and dive into specific feedback for insights.

2. Look for Patterns

Use charts to visualize how things are changing over time. This helps quickly identify what's improving and what areas might need more focus.

Heatmaps and engagement trend lines are some of the charts that help you to visually view patterns.

A screenshot of ThriveSparrow's Engagement Trend Charts
A screenshot of ThriveSparrow's Engagement Trend Charts

3. Break it Down

Analyze the data by department, role, reporting factor, or employee tenure to uncover unique insights across different groups. This can highlight where targeted improvements are needed.

ThriveSparrow's Heatmaps
A screenshot of ThriveSparrow's Heatmaps where you get a holistic view of engagement levels across departments and reporting factors.

4. Check Benchmarks

Compare your results with industry standards or your past survey results to gauge your progress and see where you stand.

5. Cross-Examine

Examine how different factors relate to each other to uncover deeper insights. For example, how does job satisfaction vary by department?

6. Prioritize Actions

Decide which areas need immediate action and which ones can be planned for the long term. This helps allocate your efforts effectively.

7. Discuss Findings

Share the results with your team and get their input. This can add context to the data and help in crafting practical solutions

8. Plan Regular Reviews

Make it a habit to regularly review engagement levels and the effectiveness of any changes you've made. This ensures continuous improvement.

This approach keeps the focus on actionable insights, making it easier to translate survey results into meaningful workplace improvements.

Developing Action Plans Based on Survey Insights

With your analysis in hand, it's time to craft action plans that respond directly to the insights gathered.

Prioritize areas with the most significant impact on engagement and outline steps to address these. Whether it's improving communication, offering more professional development opportunities, or enhancing work-life balance, ensure your action plans are specific, measurable, and timed.

1. Identify the Areas Needing Improvement

Identify which areas will have the most significant impact on engagement.

For example, if a department is least engaged, you may want to delve into the reporting factors that show less engagement and look at the questions and responses for that reporting factor.

Again, you can use ThriveSparrow's Heatmaps to do this. Sign Up for a Free Trial or click the chatbot in the corner to connect with us and see if our platform is the right fit for your organization.

2. Engage Stakeholders

Ensure the action plan development process includes input from all key stakeholders. Collaboration with department heads, team leaders, and employee representatives not only secures buy-in but also leverages their insights for more effective solutions.

3. Goal Setting

Establish clear, measurable objectives for each action item. These goals should be SMART: Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-bound.

Clearly defined goals help in tracking progress and maintaining focus on desired outcomes.

4. Transparent Communication

Clearly articulate the action plan to the organization, detailing the steps to be taken and the rationale behind them. Open communication fosters a culture of trust and reinforces the value placed on employee feedback.

5. Reiterate the Process

Treat your action plan as a dynamic tool. Set regular intervals for reviewing its effectiveness and be prepared to adjust tactics based on ongoing feedback and changing organizational needs.

Closing Thoughts

Understanding and leveraging employee engagement is pivotal for organizational success. Surveys offer a starting point, but it's the interpretation and action derived from the data that truly propel an organization forward.

Remember, these insights aren't just numbers; they represent the heartbeat of your workforce. By harnessing these findings and implementing strategic initiatives, you pave the way for sustained growth and enhanced profitability.

ThriveSparrow is an excellent tool to help you interpret your employee engagement survey results. The platform collects and organizes data into easy-to-visualize charts like heatmaps and trend lines.

Such visualization aids HR managers in effortlessly cross-referencing engagement across departments, individual managers, or specific reporting factors. This feature enables a more nuanced understanding of where your organization excels and where there's room for growth, directly informing targeted improvement strategies.

Experience the simplicity of survey interpretation firsthand by trying ThriveSparrow for free.

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1. How do you understand pulse survey results?

Pulse survey results can be understood through careful analysis.

Start by categorizing responses into key areas like leadership, work environment, career, and communication.

Look for patterns and trends over time, and compare your organization's results to industry standards. Dive into the open-ended comments to gain a deeper understanding of employees' thoughts and concerns.

2. What employee engagement surveys really tell us?

Employee engagement surveys offer a holistic view of employee sentiment and factors affecting engagement, through which you can help reduce turnover rates and enhance engagement.

3. What are the benefits of employee engagement surveys?

Employee engagement surveys empowers organizations to

  1. Assess engagement levels
  2. Identify areas for improvement
  3. Make data-driven decisions
  4. Foster a culture of collaboration and involvement
  5. Demonstrate value for employees' opinions
  6. Improve engagement and overall performance