Surveys are more than a check box on the employee engagement checklist. They’re a chance to understand the health of your organization – to get a feel for who’s feeling supported, where people are being held back from performing at their best, and the right levers to pull to remove those roadblocks.

Here at Glint, we’ve developed a platform that makes measuring and improving employee engagement easier by pulsing employees frequently and providing visibility into what drives engagement at your organization in real time. But if there’s one thing I’ve learned in my time working with many great clients here at Glint, it’s that engagement is more than just data, and hosting an engagement survey requires more than just technology.

We’ve helped several clients successfully deploy engagement surveys (or pulses, as we call them). Here are four people-focused tips we’ve learned about making engagement surveys wildly successful, whether you’re already a Glint adopter or not:

1. Take advantage of executive buy-in to boost response rates

Experts agree that culture—think organizational enthusiasm—starts at the top. In order to get your entire organization behind your survey efforts, it helps to turn your C-suite into your cheerleading squad. Have the CEO send an email highlighting the benefits of measuring employee engagement. Announce the initiative—as well as the importance of employees having their voice heard—at a town hall meeting. When employees know that their leaders are listening, they’ll be more likely to provide the valuable feedback you’re looking for.

2. Survey “globally,” take action locally: Avoid blanket diagnoses

If you’re like a lot of our clients, your employees are diverse in a lot of ways—they sit in different offices, have different goals, and span several generations. It’s probable that the things that drive their engagement run the gamut. The engineering team may focus more on the resources they have to do their jobs than the healthy dose of work-life balance that drives your customer success team. Make sure you’re not offering your workforce a “blanket” fix to any challenges you discover. Listening to your people means understanding their differences, and working closely with them to provide responses that meet their specific needs (see #3).

3. Use results to start conversations across leaders and teams

Once you gather all of this detailed information about what drives your teams’ engagement scores, and where the areas for opportunity lie, it’s most effective to share those results with their leaders and managers. Use the data you secure to start a conversation about how to respond in a way that makes sense for their team. Letting those managers take the lead to strengthen weaknesses and bolster strengths tends to be more meaningful and successful for employees. You can easily empower managers to own engagement for their team by granting them access to see their own results, like with Glint’s real-time manager dashboards.

4. Communicate feedback to employees—validating their voices, and informing them of the plans for action

Be transparent with the company regarding the areas the company is excelling in and areas for improvement. Presenting feedback to employees, including the overall engagement scores and key comment themes, closes the feedback loop. Even if you are not prepared to take action on a key area, consistently presenting the scores holds everyone accountable for owning them. Revealing results, like with Glint’s built-in Executive Presentation Report below (which can be exported straight to presentation mode), helps employees feel heard. And of course, continue to survey frequently so you can all track the effectiveness of responses, and course-adjust when necessary.

Exec Presentation

It’s the human elements involved in deploying an engagement survey that make or break its success. An engagement survey that begins and ends with transparent communication—from the top-down, bottom-up, and everywhere in between—is going to be much more successful than one that doesn’t, no matter what technology you’re using.

Learn more about creating successful engagement surveys in our on-demand webinar “Secrets of the Most Successful Employee Engagement Surveys”.

About Celia

Celia leads customer success, responsible for (and extremely passionate about) ensuring our customers achieve ultimate success on the Glint platform. Prior to Glint, Celia led a platinum customer team at SuccessFactors focusing on customer satisfaction throughout the suite of talent management solutions through the acquisition by SAP. Celia has held various roles throughout her career in leading customer success, technical support, training, implementation, and account management at companies including SuccessFactors, Certain, Citrix, Netage Solutions, and State Street Bank.

Celia holds a BS degree in Management from Wentworth Institute of Technology in Boston, MA.