Innovative HR Solutions, LLC

Monday, March 18, 2019

What are the Six Steps for a Successful Employee Survey Process?

Employee engagement surveys are a very useful tool in an HR professionals toolkit.  If used properly it can be an excellent source of information, enhance employee engagement and improve the support for the vision and mission of the organization.  As business partners, Human Resources professionals play an important role by facilitating a successful employee survey by following this six step process.

1.    Establish the goals of your survey project through interviews with the leadership team.

2.    Create your employee survey by identifying the issues you wish to survey.

3.    Determine your sample (all employees, or selected demographics)

4.    Promote the survey through a coordinated communication plan.

5.    Analyze and evaluate the survey data.

6.    Create four to six action items and share the survey results and action plans with the employees.

This article discusses these six areas of survey design which can have a positive impact on the organization and are as follows:

Establish the Goals of the Project

Knowing what your leadership team wants in an employee survey is a key factor to the surveys success.  As a result, the first step in any survey is deciding what you want to learn.  The goals of the project must be clear, measurable and actionable.  If your goals are unclear, the results will lack clarity and the project will not be as successful.

Create the Survey

Identifying key areas to obtain data will assist the organization in taking the necessary changes to identify challenges and successes.  The survey statements should be concise, targeted and phrased in a positive format.  This will assist in creating a consistent methodology and process to the survey tool  It is important to only survey those areas where management is willing to act.  If the company is not in a position to change its benefit plans or increase compensation, then the survey statements should not focus on these areas.  Employee surveys can create an expectation that if the question is asked management will act.  Human Resources should only survey those areas where the leadership team is supportive and where action can be taken.

Who is Going to be Surveyed

There are two main decisions that need to be made in determining who you will survey.  The first is deciding how many employees do you want to survey.  Researchers will often call this group the target population.  The next decision is to determine if you will survey all employees or a statistical sample.  Researches will often call this the sample size.  Most employers will decide to survey all eligible employees; however, some company’s due to their size may want to survey a smaller sample of the total employee population.  Organizations today will often decide how many employees to survey based upon their budget and the necessary degree of precision.  If a statistical sample is utilized Human Resources will need to make every effort to avoid a biased sample.

Promote the Survey

A successful surveys starts with communicating the reason behind the initiative, the process and the timing of the survey.  Human Resources should also let employees know if an incentive to participate will be as part of the process.  Survey participation is very important to secure employee buy-in for the tool and support for the outcomes following the closure of the survey.  Failure to promote the survey will impact participation and the credibility of the survey results.

Analyze the Survey Results

Successful change starts with data analysis and providing the leadership team with reports that are meaningful and provide a path to process improvements.  Human Resources plays a very important role by determining what reports are generated and the interpretation of the data.  Sharing the facts with the leadership team will empower them to be more effective leaders.

Share the Results

Successfully identifying the challenges and successes following an employee survey is very important to the process and the continued engagement of the employees.   It is important for HR to share the results in a consistent, factual and non-biased approach.  Key to the sharing of the survey results is the commitment of the leadership team to follow-thru on commitments made to the staff.

To learn more about the survey process please go to our website at:

Saturday, February 16, 2019

What is required to Manage Organization Change Effectively?

In order to meet the demands of a dynamic business environment Human Resources professionals are expected to be a key partner in managing change and assisting the leaders of the company by supporting changes to the organization.  As business partners, Human Resources professionals play an important role by assisting leadership in four key areas:

1.     Identify, evaluate and assess the rewards and risks associated with organizational change.

2.   Evaluate the current talent mix and organizational structure to determine if the current skills that the employees possess will meet the organization’s needs in the future.

3.     Educate the employee’s so that they understand what changes are needed along with communicating the timeframe and the potential outcomes.

4.  Administer an employee engagement survey to determine the success of the changes implemented and evaluate the alignment between the business, culture and the staff.

This article discusses these four areas of organizational change which can have a positive impact on the organization and its workforce or if not managed properly can be very detrimental to the organization.

Rewards and Risks

Successful transformation initiatives begin when the leaders examine the market place to determine what changes in their business may result in new challenges for their organization.  These challenges include new technology, changes in social patterns, shifts in tax policy or demographic re-alignments.  The leaders need to evaluate the risks and rewards associated with the proposed changes to the business model and develop a strategy to adapt to the new realities. 

Current Talent Mix

Successful change takes time, which can be disruptive to the organization.   Often the current talent mix is not in alignment in order to execute this new strategy.  Human Resource professional need to evaluate the employees existing skills to determine if their skills and knowledge will meet the future needs of the organization.  Until the existing staff have the necessary skills the organization will remain vulnerable.  It is important to evaluate the staff and create a performance and learning plan to ensure that all employees have a road map to success.  It is also important that HR hold all people accountable to ensure that these milestones for improvement are met and that employee development coupled with a consistent approach to learning is implemented.  If done properly the current talent mix will be aligned with the new strategy.

Educating the Employee

Frequently the decisions that are made about the organization are made at the c-suite level with the understanding  the middle management will share the changes with the rank-and-file staff.  Often time, this approach while well intended, is not communicated effectively or is unclear.  Poor communication about why the changes are being implemented and the strategy hinders the process.  To mitigate poor communication, Human Resources needs to play a key role in coaching and educating the employees and middle managers about what is changing, how it will impact their job, training opportunities to learn new skills and the eventual outcomes.

Determine Employee Engagement

Successful change starts with individuals, and failure will often occur because resistance to change is human nature.  Some managers are very skilled at change management; however, unfortunately, many managers are not adept at change management. The lack of change management skills among managers can make change initiatives difficult to achieve.  Human Resources plays a very important role by determining through an employee engagement survey where change is being embraced and where resistant is occurring.  HR can leverage those areas that are successful throughout the organization and where it is being resisted more resources and tools can be allocated to address these area’s needs.

Successfully identifying the rewards and risks association with organization change, evaluating the current talent to determine if the organization can meet the new strategy, communicating the rationale for the changes and conducting a survey to determine where there are pockets of success and/or resistance will help the Human Resources department manage organization change successfully.

To learn more about the survey process please go to our website at:

Friday, January 11, 2019

Is the Employee Engagement Survey an HR Program or Company Responsibility?

As a result of our firm’s type of work we interact with clients across the country from many industries.  One common theme that we hear over-and-over again is how I can make the survey process not just an HR initiative but rather a program to enhance the employee’s engagement with the company?  If HR professionals adopt this six step approach following the survey the survey process will become more successful:

1.   Study the survey results and initiate dialogue between managers, supervisors, teams and individual contributors to review the findings and identify priorities.  Move as quickly as possible from dialogue to action planning, encouraging individual, team and collective ownership of the process at all levels.

2.   Determine three to five action items at a time. They should be achievable to provide early wins in the process. Attempting to do too much at once limits success.  Using the available reporting determine areas where satisfaction and engagement are low and identify challenges.  Excellent benchmarks include previous surveys, the overall company ratings and the “market”.  Use this tool to measure your success.

3.     Ensure transparency, be inclusive and maintain ongoing communication.  Provide feedback to managers and recognize that HR is there to support and facilitate the process and not fix the problems.

4.     Establish accountability for improvement efforts and results and keep checking on your business partner’s progress.  A key way to ensure that improvement is made by aligning the survey results with the performance management process

5.   Acknowledge and celebrate the improvements achieved as each goal or action item is brought to fruition.  Continue to stress that the achievements made are a result of good planning and the company’s commitment to make improvement.  

6.   Continue to follow-up and hold all people accountable for the success of the survey and the action   planning  process

To learn more about the survey process please go to our website at:

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