What You Can Learn from Employee Engagement Survey Comments

by Jan 25, 2018Employee Engagement Training

Employee Engagement Survey Comments Matter
It can be tempting to skip reading individual employee engagement survey comments and to only review the analytics …but then you’d be missing so much.

You invested so much time, resources and energy in the process of assessing the level of employee engagement at your organization. Don’t play dumb and neglect to mine some of the most valuable and insightful information.

Read the individual employee engagement survey comments to the open-ended questions. They reveal so much more than pure quantitative data.

What You Can Learn from Employee Engagement Survey Comments
What can you learn from individual employee engagement survey comments and what actions can you take?

  • Quick Fixes
    Some feedback can be simple and inexpensive to act upon right away. There are often comments that deal with everything from a broken coffee pot to a copier that needs servicing. These are minor complaints but, obviously, they irk someone enough to write about them.By dealing with these irritants right away, you gain immediate points for showing that you are paying attention to the engagement survey results and intend to make the changes needed to engage and retain your employees.

But don’t stop there. Show your responsiveness to employee concerns by setting up an employee communication system whereby employees don’t have to wait for an all-company survey to submit their small gripes.

  • Helpful Context
    Engagement survey questions that require a single rating don’t tell the whole story. When an employee takes the time to add a comment, it shows they want to modify their answer so it is better understood in context.For instance, a new manager might rate an area about trust in senior leadership somewhat low, but you could learn in a comment that the manager had just been transferred to a new department facing difficult competitive pressures.

You can also learn more about the emotions, both positive and negative, that employees are feeling. A relatively high number might indicate their delight at being on a certain project but multiple examples in their comment can tell you about their real enthusiasm and passion for it.

  • Expanded Scope
    Employee comments can also add issues that were not addressed in the survey. As much as the questionnaire may have focused on teamwork, it may not have provided a path for employees to talk about how one team interacts with another across functions. If this is a problem, you certainly want to know about it.

The Bottom Line
Read all the employee engagement survey comments. You can learn a lot about what may be bothering your employees, where they see promise and how the company can better support them and better serve your customers.

To learn more about improving employee engagement, download The Top 10 Most Powerful Ways to Boost Employee Engagement.

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