Let's talk action plans

Learn how to efficiently action plan. Organizations with the most success focus fearlessly on one or two actions to take and then move on to the next one.

Every organization is different in its strategic focus. That suggests the behaviors, values, goals, and eventually, culture require to be tailored to achieve the wanted results.

Surveys are a great way to measure where you are and the gap in between the existing and preferred state.

It is the actions an organization takes that really impact the future of the company and the possibility that it will achieve its objectives.

Determine Issues for Action

When you review your results and determine an employee engagement strategy, you'll wish to examine where you can have the most effect and what is the most crucial to the business. We suggest that you assess opportunities based upon where you underperformed, how vital a concern is and whether you can act on that data.

After you've identified the key points that you want to take care of, you want to ensure that you are taking care of the points that are crucial to the business objectives and see if there are existing plans or items specific to the areas where you wish to focus.

Even if both scores had the very same gap from benchmark levels, they may not be equally appropriate for action planning.

On the other hand, if the company has been trying to lower dangers caused by bad standardization, then the fairly low administration rating may show effective change that is being viewed by workers as troublesome, in which case a better choice for action planning might be improved communication regarding these changes.

Communicate Results and Opportunities

Once the executive group has actually examined the results and you have recognized where you'd like to focus, develop a communication plan to share the results with workers.

Leaders must make sure that their interactions reveal staff members that not only do they value the feedback, but that they are committed to both transparency in sharing the results and where they are going to do something about it.

When preparing a communication strategy, you'll want to utilize various channels for communication. Company-wide meetings are a fun time to do this to make sure that everyone hears the message and commitment at the very same time.

Think about how your message cascades from the C-suite to the front line. Finally, do not forget that the preliminary communication is a fun time to get feedback on what actions the company should take.

Post-Survey Actions

Now that you've shared the results with the company, you'll desire to think about if any ideas or issues emerged during your communications.

Next, you'll wish to review what you wish to think and resolve about the pay-offs. Where will you most likely see the most return for a specific group or the organization as a whole?

Organizations with the most success focus fearlessly on one or two and then move on to the next one. That means you'll want to have regional or group leaders included in the action and tailoring the solution.

Specify the Plan


You've all heard of SMART goals and the very best way to guarantee success is to look at your strategy through the very same lens.

When we've seen action strategies fail, it is typically because a company has actually not done the source analysis prior to producing the plan and is treating the signs rather than the origin.

Another issue tends to be that the issue might be defined too vaguely.


Suppose a company did decide that boosting employee morale is the focus of post-survey change efforts. Even though the survey question itself is an accurate rating, the concept "administration" is still not particular enough to take action.

We strongly recommend that change agents and leaders ask these questions not simply of themselves, but of the personnel most important to business success.

If there is a group of about 100 workers developing a brand-new item or internal procedure, and if the company's future success is disproportionally based on this group's outcome, then administration enhancement might be twice as important among these employees.

Assuming that their scores are the same or lower than the total business scores, this company's change effort should start there, especially considering the total cost of employee turnover.

The process of identifying root causes and specifying particular requirements for success requires to involve these workers (e.g., having them nominate peers to form an action group).

(And other jobs and groups can tackle action planning in the exact same manner that this very first group did-- all orchestrated by one or more senior leaders).

Figure Out Action Steps

While you might be focusing on areas that require enhancement, consider methods that you can leverage your organizational strengths to increase your chances for success. Utilize your network and companies that you admire for ideas and best practices.

Finally, you'll wish to be sincere with yourself and your team by determining barriers and how you might conquer them.

A company that builds a track record of utilizing worker feedback to reveal improvement opportunities and to work together on executing improvements finds out how to change. It ends up being much better at determining opportunities and much better at carrying out change.

We understand a business that has an unusually long-tenured labor force that prides itself on pleasing clients. Their source of pride can be leveraged to initiate brand-new processes. Even the most agonizing modifications in work treatments can be couched as essential for sustaining customer satisfaction.

Specify Owners

If ownership for a strategy is not plainly defined, then truly no one owns it. Ownership can be empowering, so look for team members who can assist drive success. Owning a job can be a great learning opportunity for high potentials.

While having owners who are thrilled about the job is a huge advance, you'll also require to think about any resources that you may need from other departments and individuals.

Develop a Definition of Success

While getting good employee pulse survey results is crucial, the ultimate goal is to enhance the organization. Make sure that your definition of success provides company results that can be measured. You have a recipe for success if your strategies will impact key team or organizational metrics that are currently in place.


Look for quick wins and actions that can improve the circumstance right now. Even if these modifications are only superficial, they demonstrate the organization's commitment to change.

One of our customers was having a hard time with a workforce overwhelmed by modifications in the business environment. She approved that recommendation on the area, in a complete business meeting. While that action didn't resolve all problems, it revealed a commitment to attempt a different method.

Another customer we dealt with had a team of upkeep employees who might never ever access specific tools and resources that were locked up because the one manager with a secret was typically away from the floor.

While the policy had been created due to the fact that of a lot of missing out on tools, the leader eliminated the locks. Not just was trust restored within the team, however repair times dropped considerably.

Mid-term (3-6 months)

These are actions that require moderate involvement and are either foundational or build on prior success.

Lots of companies form focus groups to gather in-depth information about the concerns raised by survey scores. However we have motivated our customers to keep welcoming those same groups back. Members of the groups can verify information with colleagues who are not members of the group. Similarly, proposed action strategies can be "evaluated" and modified by those at the regional level-- especially when members were nominated by coworkers.

Even if these groups do not lead actions, then they can play the function of listening agents to see how execution is going. We have seen these groups in temporary projects that dissolve within 6 months, however we have likewise seen them become permanent casual teams with rotating memberships.

Long-lasting (6 months+)

Long term services can require transformative change to existing systems and procedures. They will deliver the most value. Success here constructs company reliability and employee support for higher change.

One of our clients used feedback from their first-ever engagement survey as the driver for developing 8 business proficiencies designed to enhance advancement, communication and partnership.

The initiative's goal was to promote employees' network of coworker relationships that would make it possible for better individual performance and organizational performance. Managers now incorporate "network leadership" into their skill assessment so that leaders' assessments consist of establishing network performance within their teams.

Implement Action Plans

As you begin taking action, you'll want to make sure the company knows why the need for change is essential. As you make progress, it is important to keep everybody informed about the change-- even if it is just resolving barriers.

Your business is altering quickly if it is like many others. That means you might wish to keep adjusting the strategy and often check to make sure it still lines up with the company's strategy and direction.

Communicate Actions to Employees.

As you begin executing your plan, search for opportunities to communicate progress. Communication needs to be both methods.

Keep listening to employees to search for ways to improve your strategy and technique. Also, don't forget minds and hearts. Change can be psychological, and you require to transport that emotion with a favorable vision of the future.

Every job has obstacles, obstacles, and challenges. Have several people communicate with the company.

While leaders need to be the sponsors, your committee members can help you get buy-in from the rank and file in their locations, departments or brand-new hire group.

While there is a dish for success, there is likewise a course to failure. Here are some typical change effort risks and how to avoid them:

Treat the engagement survey as a dream list of worker desires rather than as a strategic tool. That's where you are available!

Employees are affected by their social networks. Utilize those to assist further your message instead of disregarding them.

Listening isn't finished with the survey. Keep listening as you diagnose issues and search for solutions. Frequently individuals who are fantastic change agents, live the values and who are respected are who we rely on for champions.

While they might have terrific talents, beware not to overburden them and look outside the usual suspects for champs.

There will be cynics and critics at every action of the method. Do not disregard them, involve them.

Key takeaways

While surveys can help you identify your opportunities and strengths, your strategic objectives and key metrics must drive your actions and approach.

That means you'll want to engage the organization in how you act on the feedback and assisting you implement any modifications.

As you move along the path, it is very important to keep reinforcing the vision of why the change is very important and communicate the progress. Finally, don't forget to celebrate meaningful wins.

You've worked hard for those!

Interested in learning how technology can help you increase employee engagement? Learn more about our people analytics and employee engagement software.