4 ways the best companies leverage their engagement survey

Author - Jesper Skovgaard Jørvad. Business Psychologist

In Ennova, we see many different reasons for carrying out employee engagement surveys. Most are good and seem logical in each specific case.

But we often come across an unresolved potential as well. A potential for using the survey insights to design and prioritize new projects and development activities.

I will highlight 4 traits of our most ambitious and mature clients:

  1. The employee engagement survey is a strategic driver
  2. The development activities are closely tied to the insights
  3. The survey planning involves several functions from the beginning
  4. Actions gets secured on all organizational levels

Let us take a closer look at these.


Use your employee engagement survey as a strategic driver

The survey brings great insights about the current state of your organization. The question is how well you use these insights.

We recommend to:

  • further investigate the areas that are especially important to your organization's strategy
  • use the findings to select the activities that bring you closer to your strategic goals

If your strategy sets the direction and is the guiding star for your future endeavors, the survey results provide you with a current map of your organizational landscape.

The most ambitious Ennova clients consult this map to navigate through the misty and unknown territory of the future towards their strategic goals. The employee engagement survey then becomes a powerful strategic tool. This way, the insights help you realize your strategy.

Design and prioritize your activities based on your insights

When you bring the strategy to the table, you put both direction and end goals in focus.

This is vital.

It creates the necessary context for using your insights to take new actions. Revisiting the strategy will make it clear where you are going and hence what to focus on. The insights now tell you how far away you are on the factors essential for realizing your strategy.

The actual projects and initiatives vary almost as much as organizations and strategies do.

We have seen clients focusing on specific journeys their employees go through. Others identify strategy communication initiatives as a main focus. And the list goes on. Strengthening collaboration and breaking down silos. Improving diversity and inclusion. Talent management and succession planning.

An international client recently decided to initiate an organization-wide leadership development program. They had identified the need for this in the feedback they recently received in a survey.

The point here is that both the strategy and the insights informs which initiatives to take. Without a close link between survey and strategy, they could not have identified the most valuable actions.

Involve various business functions from the beginning

In addition to linking the survey to your strategy, you need to involve stakeholders from the whole organization from the very beginning.

Obviously, managing the employee engagement survey is a responsibility for HR.

However, you can improve the value of your survey by involving a range of other functions from the start. This way you get a much better setup and raise the odds to succeed.

Our most ambitious clients invite stakeholders from across business functions. This ensures that all relevant themes get included in the survey. By doing this early, the cross functional group are able to consider the strategy and business plans for the coming years.

The group is invited to take a 2-3 year perspective on their part of the business. Having longer-term scenarios and effects in mind, they set the direction needed to design the right survey project. Furthermore, they ensure timely discussion on how to follow up and achieve the desired impact.

Another important benefit is that this ensures buy-in from all stakeholders early on. This aligns the whole organization, which makes the follow-up far more effective and focused.

Securing action on all organizational levels

Once the results are ready, our clients have success with a two-step approach.

Firstly, they gather a cross functional group in an early warning meeting. Here they discuss the preliminary findings and the first conclusions begin to emerge.

Secondly, the top management discusses the final insights facilitated by our business psychologists. Here they dig further into the findings and relate them to the daily operations. This leads to initial discussions on what to do and finally they decide how to move forward.

Clarifying this is only the start. The ambitious clients appoint a senior manager to take the lead on how to design and set up specific initiatives ensuring real impact. As a part of this follow-up, the groups or each department with issues to improve meet regularly to discuss their progress and learnings.

We help organizations improve the employee experience

In Ennova Transformation Services, we help our clients convert insights into actions. We advise on how to make real changes, and we design and carry out change initiatives. Our expertise range from 1-2-1 coaching to large-scale change programs. In short, we empower our clients to make it happen.


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Jesper Skovgaard Jørvad. Business Psychologist

Jesper Skovgaard Jørvad. Business Psychologist

Jesper has more than 10 years experience with designing and lead transformation processes. He has experience with from individual coaching, team development, and large international transformation programs.