How should you respond to the results of your employee engagement survey?

Reacting quickly to feedback provided by your employees is a crucial factor in driving engagement. There’s nothing more dispiriting for your workforce than to be asked to offer suggestions and then have that advice roundly ignored by management. Spend too long collating a comprehensive list of ways to improve your organisation while failing to keep your employees aware of the procedure and you risk losing their attention and buy-in. It’s far better to draw up a series of micro-actions that will lead to small but tangible steps forward, allowing your staff to see continual action being taken.

We’ve set out below best practices for responding swiftly and effectively to employee engagement survey results.

Best practices to follow

It’s important to keep a few best practices in mind when sifting through employee engagement survey results. To avoid any personal biases when reviewing the data, and to incentivise honest feedback from employees, all data should be anonymised before it’s subjected to analysis.

When analysing your data, ask important questions. Are any results particularly surprising? Which require immediate action, and which are less pressing? These are the type of questions that will help guide you on how to properly respond to employee engagement survey results. Start by reading comments and using analytics dashboards to get a quick overview of survey results, and then dive deeper into each data set for additional insights.

You should generally prioritise issues by their potential impact on your team and organisation. For example, if the data shows that employees aren’t feeling appreciated, you should encourage employees to participate in your recognition programme and build promotional campaigns to nip this trend in the bud. Or if you find that employees aren’t buying into your culture or company values, it’s time to act before your business faces the consequences of a poor work environment. After the most pressing issues are resolved, you can move on to other areas of improvement. Whatever the issue, loop in relevant stakeholders early on.

Analyse employee engagement survey results

Interpreting the results of employee engagement surveys is the first step towards making them count, and managers need to take the lead. Managers are in the best position to take action on feedback, so having them review survey results relevant for their team — and giving them the tools, they need to do so — is critical. HR should play an important supporting role, guiding and empowering managers on how to leverage the survey tools and resources provided.

Here are some ways you can use your voice of the employee platform to analyse data on employee engagement.


Employees’ comments represent key qualitative information that can give you important insights into the “why” behind their responses. Sorting through dozens of comments can be difficult however, so look for a platform that gives you the option of sorting them by category, like “Enthusiasm,” “Recognition” or “Areas for Improvement.” Comments are extremely valuable and it’s this type of qualitative data that will help you assess engagement levels and gather any potential recommendations.

Engagement scores

An engagement score is a single metric that gives you an at-a-glance indication of how engaged your employees are. You should be able to easily access this metric per question, for your direct reports or for the organisation. Finding a platform that lets you display trends in engagement scores over time is an excellent way to see how your engagement initiatives are progressing.

Response rate

The response rate to the survey as a whole, and to certain questions, is a great indicator of how comfortable and willing your employees are to provide honest feedback. A low response rate may mean your employees are disengaged or that your organisation lacks the environment of psychological safety necessary to provide meaningful feedback. You should aim for a response rate of between 80 to 90 per cent if your organisation has fewer than 50 employees, 70 to 80 per cent if your organisation has a few hundred, and 65 to 80 per cent if you employ 1,000 people or more.


Try bench marking yourself against other departments, teams or track your team’s progress against the organisation as a whole. If your team is falling behind, look for successful initiatives other departments have implemented that you might be able to adapt for your own purposes. Or if your team is excelling in particular areas, consider providing insights on how you’ve succeeded so other teams can follow in your footsteps.

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There’s little point in spending considerable time and effort conducting employee engagement surveys if all the information subsequently gathered just sits on a spreadsheet gathering dust. By following the best practices and guidelines above, you’ll be able to derive insight from your research and, more importantly, act quickly in line with the valuable employee feedback received to increase engagement within your organisation.

Click here to find out more about Achievers’ employee engagement platform.