Employee engagement is defined as an “emotional attachment” of employees to the company, and the efforts they are willing to offer as a result. Measuring employee engagement in a survey may determine how avid employees are, regarding their jobs and roles, how valued they feel at work, and how they consider the company’s values and missions. Employee engagement is associated with desired business outcomes, including productivity, creativity, customer satisfaction, and profitability.
Employee Engagement Surveys are conducted annually, among the entire workforce in the company. Traditionally, the survey analysis and results include a measurement of employee engagement and organizational practices that may elicit or influence it. In addition to causes, the analysis provides insights in regards to certain employee groups (organizational, sectoral, or demographic groups).
As a diagnostic tool, the questionnaire of the Employee Engagement Survey is relatively long, in comparison to other pulse surveys or ad-hoc organizational surveys. Since the survey objective is to identify employee engagement issues and determine where in the organization they arise, all metrics, analysis, and finding reports are more complex and sophisticated in comparison to other organizational researches.
A successful administration of the Employee Engagement Survey will include three essential processes after the data collection phase is completed: Multi-variate statistical analysis, Visualization as a foundation of organizational discussion, and Follow-up procedures and practices.
1. Multi-Variate Statistical Analysis
An incomplete or improper analysis process might produce incompatible outputs. Therefore, the results might never get discussed or used. The following short and non-inclusive list of procedures is intended to assist the survey sponsor as a systematical survey analysis checklist.
- Noncompliance: Analyzing survey and item response rate, identify noncompliance among certain employee groups, and within certain item subjects (missing values).
- Demographics: Analyzing respondent characteristics, in comparison to the organization, examining how overall participants represent the organization.
- Re-coding: Combining response categories when applicable, content analysis of qualitative responses.
- Measurements: Analyzing the validation and reliability of items that theoretically comprise metrics (using analytical tools, e.g., Factor Analysis), computing metrics, analyzing central tendency, and variation of new metrics.
- Organizational norms: Comparing metrics of certain employee groups (departments, sectoral or demographic groups) to overall organizational metrics, in both central tendency and variation.
- Metrics associations: Exploring correlations, and inferring relations by Regression and other statistical models.
2. Visualization – Foundation of Discussion
The most important benefit of survey results visualization is access to complex findings in a simple and “digestible” manner. Rather than simplifying issues, the visualization presented in a findings report enables a more powerful demonstration of relations between different variables and metrics. A visual presentation of survey findings encourages the audience to compare results, and notice trends and patterns using the eyes, and think about the meanings. This is the best way to “tell the story”, to create an impact, and start a debate. Visualization may include charts, perceptual maps, and a combination of qualitative and quantitative results (“info-graphics”).
3. Follow-up procedures and practices
A survey is a tool of communication between employees and management. The employees, who have already completed their perceived part of the communication, are expecting now a managerial response. The company’s managers, who were active in the survey planning, and have supported employee participation in the survey, are expecting now to gain reports and managerial tools, and may also want to be active in discussions, conclusions, and decision making. The following outputs are essential to fulfilling the expectations of all parties in the organization. Avoiding them may cause disappointment, resentfulness, anger, and other negative sentiments, that would harm the implementation of the survey results, and even reduce future participation in surveys and other voluntary organizational processes.
- Managerial reports: Combining survey results with other company’s metrics and outcomes, and offering reports to C-level managers, according to the organizational chart (by departments).
- Employee communication: Presenting a short summary of relevant findings, according to the management intentions, preferences, and plans, using infographics.
- Follow-up survey plan: Tracking plan, to explore changes in most important issues and/or employee groups, by pulse surveys.
- Improvement of questionnaire design: Following the validity and reliability measures previously conducted, and according to the best practice of questionnaire design (namely, avoiding biases in the questionnaire wording and item order), an improved version should be presented for the next year Employee Engagement Survey.