Conducting a survey without proper follow-up can be worse than never doing one in the first place. When you ask contributors for their opinions, you set the expectation that you will listen to and take action on the results.

Before initiating your employee engagement survey, review the questions below to determine whether you are prepared to confront the things that may be necessary after receiving results.

You don't necessarily need to answer "yes" to every one of these questions, but you should feel that you have an adequate level of overall preparedness before proceeding with the staff questionnaire.

Consider the things listed below as best practices, but also realize that some of these things might not be suitable for your organization.

Do you know why you are conducting an engagement survey?

The question may seem obvious, but it is worth asking. If you are unsure of the answer, perhaps your senior leadership team needs to sit down and discuss.

Will you share at least some of the results with your contributors?

You don't have to decide now exactly what you will share, but you should plan to share at least some results (positive and negative) with everyone in the organization.

Have you outlined a plan for how you will share the results? Do you have a timeline? Have you communicated these things to your teams and staff?

If contributors trust that you will take action on the results, and demonstrate openness and clear communication at the outset, they will be more willing to respond to the survey and more candid in their responses.

Are your most senior leaders committed to this process?

The top leader (e.g. President/CEO) and HR will need to hold other senior leaders accountable for changing behavior and supporting initiatives. The entire leadership team will need to set the example for the rest of the organization. This is critical.

Are your senior leaders prepared to spend the time necessary to make it work?

  • The top leader will need to set aside at least 1-2 hours per month to monitor results and provide high-level guidance
  • Functional leaders and other managers will need to devote at least 2-4 hours per month to communicate and support change initiatives.
  • HR will need to spend 6-12 hours per month on communication and administration of the process
  • In addition to the above, analysis of your results, setting priorities, and developing an action plan could take 1-2 days or more, depending on the size of your organization and how much time you are able to spend.

Are you prepared to bring in external help (consultants) to help fix problems that you might not be able to fix with existing internal resources?

You should at least consider the possibility that this might be necessary or beneficial, depending on your situation.