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Engagement surveys

The concept appeared in the 1990s in management theory and became widespread as a practice in companies in 2000s.

According to SHRM the majority of engagement definitions have in common the following elements:

  • Engaged employees are fully committed to their work
  • Engaged employees take pride and feel valued with their organization
  • Engaged employees are willing to walk an extra mile for the company and achieve high performance

When starting the project plan you need to ask yourself:

  1. What is the employee history with surveys?
  2. How fatigued are they with company surveys?
  3. What happened after the last engagement survey?
  4. Did we make any changes within the organization after the last engagement/other subject survey?

These questions are essential and their answers will determine the way you tailor your communication messages.

Clarify the following:

  • Who are the stakeholder of the project
  • Which are the stakeholder's expectations
  • What is the stakeholder involvement

Selecting your provider and/or framework:

Usually companies measure engagement through 3rd parties because of 2 main reasons:

  1. Framework – capable to offer the right argument for using certain dimensions, questions and scales
  2. Trust – by using a 3rd party company employees trust the anonymity of the given answers and so the you will offer sincere responses

The no. 1 challenge when deciding to do the survey fully in house is assuring that employees trust you to give their sincere feedback. If there is even the smallest concern that the survey is not anonymous employees will either not answer or they will give the answers that they think you want to hear. If the solution you choose gives the possibility to track individual responses even if the access is limited to a "chosen" one it is better to promise confidentiality not anonymity.

Project plan

An Engagement Project Plan has 3 important communication phases:

  1. Pre-survey
  2. Ongoing survey
  3. Post-survey

Guidelines regarding communication:

Key messages to be sent:

  1. Every employee’s opinion is vital
  2. You will take positive action towards development based on the results
  3. Responses are anonymous. There is no way to track individual responses.
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