How Does Good Communication Improve Employee Engagement?

Communicate Your Post-Employee Survey Action Plans to Keep Your Teams Motivated

The employee survey has been administered. The survey platform is now closed. You’ve analyzed the data and shared some of the results – the good and the bad. And your staff is waiting, waiting, waiting. And then you begin to hear the grumbles that nothing is getting done.

Senior leaders are confused because they’ve made changes – many changes. And people are feeling frustrated.

You have failed at something essential, basic, and so very hard to do well – communication.

Create an Action Plan Post-Survey:

Buy-in to change matters, so we recommend that at least some of the changes that are implemented come from and are developed with your teams. This requires time and a clear strategy.

Not all results need to be shared.

As you recall in our previous post, we recommend you determine AHEAD OF TIME what results will be shared with whom and why.


As senior leaders and managers, you need to prioritize 2-3 issues that have the biggest impact on engagement – the drivers of engagement and disengagement.

In teams or departments, discuss the survey results.

Ask the hard questions:
Were you surprised by the overall results?
Were you surprised by the results on any specific question?
Do the results on a specific question reflect your current feelings as a team?
What are we doing that contributes to this strong or weak result?
What steps can we take to improve?

Develop an action plan.

THIS MUST BE HIGHLY SPECIFIC to the survey questions. Convert flagged survey items into goals with tasks and due dates. Then, assign them to employees and monitor their completion. Here’s an example:

Goal: Make sure employees know what they need to do to succeed
Who: All respondents, all departments.
Survey Item: I know what I need to do to succeed at this organization.
Task 1: Make all sure employees have objectives.
Task 2: Make all sure employees have metrics.
Task 3: Make sure all employees have plans.

Communicate the Action Plan:

If there is no communication about changes and actions, those changes and actions didn’t happen. This might seem like an unfair assessment, but it’s not. A strategic communication plan is fundamental to organizational success. This includes open communication channels, information sharing, and consistent feedback, all of which result in higher co-worker trust and more engagement at work.

So much of what causes problems can be resolved with communication. So how do you communicate your action plans post an employee survey?

Present Action Plans:

Clearly outline the steps being taken to address survey findings, including timelines and responsibilities.

Establish Accountability:

Identify team members or leaders responsible for implementing each part of the action plan. For companies that are interested in driving engagement to the highest levels, our research indicates that the way to do this is by empowering employees and by making sure that all employees are held accountable for achieving results. And follow-up!

Invite Employee Input:

Encourage employees to provide additional feedback on the proposed plans or share further suggestions.

Offer Regular Updates:

Keep employees informed about the progress of the action plans through regular updates and open communication.

Celebrate Successes:

Highlight accomplishments and improvements made as a result of the action plans to maintain motivation and engagement.

Solicit Ongoing Feedback:

Continue to encourage employees to share feedback to ensure action plans remain effective and relevant. This can be done informally at meetings, one-on-ones with managers, or through formal channels like a Pulse Survey.

Major Communication Problems in the Workplace

Don’t fall into these communication pitfalls and misinformed beliefs at work:

Effective Communication Doesn’t Need Practice:

Everybody needs to practice their skills, including how to communicate. (We might argue, especially how to communicate). A good communicator practices. They take into account who, what, and why. This is how they develop their messaging. This takes time and skill and practice.

Good communication is common sense.

Oh boy, oh boy. How we are raised, where we are raised, where we studied, who we surround ourselves with, our cultural, religious, economic, and political background all inform us on how to communicate. It’s wildly diverse and exciting. So, don’t assume that what you’re saying is what is being heard.

They know what I meant!

Oh, the muddled messages people receive lead to confusion, frustration, errors, and can even be dangerous in a workplace. Clarity is key to effective communication. Clarity of message and of purpose. No, they didn’t know what you meant. Tailor your messages to your audience.

Change can’t happen in a vacuum, and neither can communication. Acting on feedback, engaging with your staff, and implementing change takes time, communication, and sometimes a little discomfort as well.

After establishing clear actions after conducting an employee engagement survey, it's necessary to communicate your plans. Every employee needs to know not only WHAT is happening but WHY changes are being made, WHEN the changes are being made, WHO the changes will affect, and HOW the changes will improve the organization.

“Communication can’t always follow the top-down model. With the fluidity of information in business today, leaders need to be masterful listeners; they need to be able to receive as well as send.” — Joseph L. Badaracco, Harvard ethics professor and author

How Does Good Communication Improve Employee Engagement?

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