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Effective Post Survey Communication for Employee Engagement

communication human resources surveys Nov 23, 2023
Hand with pencil ticking best experience on an employee engagement survey

The journey of an employee engagement survey does not end with its completion or even its analysis. It continues with careful communication and deliberate action. How leaders share the results and plan for improvements can be the difference between a strengthened, highly-engaged team and a disconnected, dispirited workforce. Let's explore some do's and don'ts of communicating employee engagement survey results to employees.

Understanding the Communication Process

Post-survey communication should be well-thought-out and planned, covering two critical aspects — communicating the results and the subsequent action plan. Both are equally essential and must be handled delicately to ensure transparency, trust, and actionability.

DO Share Results Transparently. The first principle of post-survey communication is transparency. This means sharing the broad findings of the survey with all staff, demonstrating that their feedback has been heard and taken seriously. Avoid sharing data that may infringe on privacy or confidentiality.

DO Use Clear and Positive Language. Language plays a significant role in how employees perceive the results. Keep the language clear, direct, and positive, focusing on improvements and development. Present challenges as opportunities for growth, rather than shortcomings or failures.

DO Discuss Detailed Action Plans. It's crucial not just to share the results but also the proposed action plan, detailing how the leadership intends to address identified issues. Be specific—mention timelines, responsibilities, and expected outcomes. This demonstrates commitment and increases faith in the process.

DO Provide Opportunities for Discussion. Create safe spaces for employees to ask questions, express concerns, or provide additional feedback post-results. This could be in team meetings, town halls, or smaller focus groups. It emphasizes that their opinions are valued and fosters a more open, collaborative culture.

DON'T Bypass Middle Managers. Leaders should ensure middle managers are thoroughly briefed and well-prepared to discuss the results and action plans with their teams. Bypassing middle managers or not equipping them with the right information can lead to miscommunication or unnecessary anxiety among employees.

DON'T Delay the Communication. Timeliness is crucial in post-survey communication. Delaying the sharing of results can lead to speculation, anxiety, and disengagement among employees. Aim to communicate the results within a reasonable time frame after the survey’s conclusion.

DON'T Ignore Negative Feedback. While it may be tempting to sidestep negative feedback, it is critical to acknowledge it. However, it should be framed constructively, focusing on what is being done to address the issues raised. Ignoring negative feedback could lead to increased frustration and lower engagement.

DON'T Overpromise. While it's important to commit to action, avoid making promises that can't be fulfilled. It is better to set realistic expectations than to overpromise and underdeliver, which could undermine trust in leadership (Mone & London, 2018).

The way leaders communicate employee engagement survey results and their planned follow-up actions is a critical component in the cycle of employee engagement. Careful, clear, and timely communication can foster a sense of inclusion and drive positive change, thereby improving engagement and boosting overall organizational health.



Gallup. (2013). State of the Global Workplace: 2013 Report. Gallup.

Mone, E. M., & London, M. (2018). Employee engagement through effective performance management: A practical guide for managers. Routledge.