|By Jim Hartigan
back for the conclusion of the survey saga. That’s
right, dear readers, for those of you who read last
article about creating actionable surveys - we’ve still got work to do! Developing and deploying your surveys are
merely the first two pieces of the survey puzzle. Now
you’ve got to figure out what to do with
all of this precious feedback you’ve painstakingly gathered from your
audience(s), be they employees, customers, etc. That
is, after all, why you delivered the survey in the
you can learn and then act, right? Right. So, let’s take a
dive into the world of surveys as we explore some post-delivery
Share the Results
Your survey respondents are likely curious how their
responses match up
with the rest of the herd. They should
be given the opportunity to review the survey results, and quickly too! This doesn’t mean that everyone’s response to
each question should be made public ... that would be a gross violation
privacy, of course. However, once you
have gathered your feedback data, make it available in some form or
the audience’s review. You will probably
find it appropriate to grant different access privileges to different
audiences. For instance, in an employee
satisfaction survey, the senior leadership team might be interested in
relationship between pay grade and overall job satisfaction; however,
level employee would not likely need access to such details. In any case, make the basic results of the
survey available to the respondents. Quickly
sharing the results with respondents is not only
thing to do; it will also increase the likelihood they’ll participate
time you ask.
Have a Chat
As noted above, sharing the survey results is essential, and
often time it
occurs in a meeting. Feedback meeting
time! Here are a few tips for leading a
feedback meeting (with special attention to employee survey-related
- Stock up on gauze
pads, ace bandages, ice packs, band-aids, medical tape, etc. Tasers or other less-than-lethal crowd control
devices may also be useful.
- Ignore the first
bullet point. I’ll be serious from this
point forward, I promise.
- Allow plenty of
time for your feedback sessions. Consider
scheduling multiple sessions if necessary, so you can be sure to cover
everything. Consider running different
feedback sessions for different audiences. Again,
think senior management versus entry level employees.
- Establish a
comfortable, non-threatening environment for the meeting attendees. There may be some potentially uncomfortable
moments during the session, so do your best to ease the tension any way
- Mind your body
language and that of the attendees. If the
tension starts to rise, step in and diffuse the situation.
Remind everyone the purpose of the meeting is to
identify specific challenges and identify ways to make things better! On the flipside, attendees might clam up. Be prepared to jumpstart the conversation if
necessary with your own ideas for improvement. This
also demonstrates to the team that you’re not being defensive.
- Above all else,
listen and ask questions in ways that get participants to share what
they think and feel. This meeting and the
survey as a whole are about learning why. Try
the “five whys” approach, where you to ask “why” five times per issue
as a means of uncovering its root cause.
Let’s take a step back and see where
you are so far: you’ve delivered
your survey, gotten your results, and you’ve talked about it with the
everyone feels all gooey inside. That’s
nice, but nothing has really changed yet. Three
cheers for action plans! And then, of
The way you approach your action plan is largely dependent upon your
organizational culture. Strict
traditionalists will put this responsibility directly in the hands of
management/leadership teams. This plan
of attack is certainly effective, as you will likely have different
opportunities to address within different departments.
Another way to attack your action plans is to
set up task forces that include members of various teams across various
of seniority. If you’re dealing with
confidential/sensitive issues, this might not be a viable option. If confidentiality is not a concern, task
forces are great ways to encourage collaboration amongst the team and
fresh ideas for the future.
As with the survey results, it’s important to share your action plans
team. This way, your team will know
that, even though they may no longer be involved in the process, you’re
working towards positive change.
And last, but certainly not least, work your plan/implement change. Be sure to reference your original action
plan frequently to ensure you stay on track. Also, let your team
the progress is going.
And thus concludes our two-part discussion about surveys, including
on how to create them and what you should do with the results. I hope that you’ve found some of these ideas
useful and consider them when it comes time for you to create your own
or customer surveys!
Until next time – take care of your customers, take care of each other,
take care of yourself!
About the Author:
Jim Hartigan, Chief Business
Development Officer and Partner joined OrgWide Services, a
Communications, Surveys and Consulting firm in April 2010 after nearly
experience in the hospitality industry, including the last 18 as a
executive with Hilton Worldwide.