Road Map to Engagement, Step 5: Building an Action Plan

Road Map to Engagement, Step 5: Building an Action PlanWe’re sharing the steps on the road map to engagement. Check out Steps 1-4 here.

Once you’ve gathered the results from an employee engagement survey, it’s time to decide what you’re going to do in response to your data. This is one of the most critical moments along your road map to engagement — it will take some courage, resolve and commitment to keep your momentum. Don’t panic — this is where the best work happens! Here’s how to dig into those results and make an action plan.

Respect the Process

You’ll probably get some uncomfortable truths in survey results. There will be people who want to trumpet the “good” results and disown or deny the unfavorable ones, but it’s up to HR to be a fair witness to the truth of the survey. There may be pushback from leaders who don’t want to believe the results, who insist that the survey didn’t include the right questions, or who say the results were affected by a bad quarter. Numbers don’t lie: What you have is what you need to work with.

Break It Down

When you get the results, it can be tempting to jump right in and start fixing things, but a haphazard approach is the last thing you need right now. Instead, dig into the numbers a little bit to determine what the overall themes are. Look at results by length of tenure, gender, race, location, business unit, and so on — data can look different when you put a comparative analysis on it.

Focus on the Middle

Your first results are likely to have some variation on favorable, neutral and unfavorable responses. Take a moment to revel in what you’re doing right — it can help inform your action plan down the line. And while your next impulse may be to turn your attention to the unfavorable responses and start performing triage, keep in mind that your easier and more immediate opportunities are those in the middle. Neutral responders aren’t entrenched in negative perceptions, and can help pull your results toward the “favorable” column through easy tweaks. “Indifferent” responders are easier to move than those who are actively unhappy.

Watch the Clock

We’ve talked about how one of the biggest mistakes you can make during an engagement initiative is to not follow through on the results. Once you get the results, the clock is ticking, and employees are expecting you to act. While change and decision-making cultures vary across organization, a good general rule is to take two to three weeks for your survey campaign, a week or two to dig into the results, and then another week or two to work with company leadership to identify what the next steps are. Once you start going over 30 days past getting the results without an announcement regarding an action plan, interest and willingness to change will take a dive.

Be Flexible

Remember that goal you set back in Step 1? It’s entirely possible the results you’ve gotten send you off into an entirely different direction. Be ready to adjust and modify your approach depending on the results.

Making an action plan is a crucial step on your road map to engagement. Stay strong and trust the process to work through the next steps toward your engagement goal.


Download the employee engagement road map


Talmetrix is an employee feedback and insights solution that helps organizations better attract and retain talent to achieve business goals. Our solution makes it easy for organizations to capture employee feedback (feelings) and organizational data (facts) to discover actionable insights. With a unique combination of software, content, data, and advisory support we can help you measure and improve your employee experience. Contact us today to learn how your company can start achieving better business results.

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