How to turn employee survey responses into action

By Angela Stringfellow. Angela is a social media strategist, and a public relations and marketing communications consultant.

The “inner-view,” or employee survey, is supposed to be a way for companies to gather voluntary data from their trusted staff. The problem many face is getting their employees to participate in the survey. Some feel their anonymity will be compromised, fearing retaliation from management for their comments. Others simply think the process is an exercise in futility, with HR gathering the information, but doing nothing with it.

Love them or hate them, there are times when these surveys need to be taken seriously, and actions need to be considered in order to maintain and sometimes re-establish harmony in the work place.

In many companies surveys are a yearly Q&A process, while in others they’re only initiated when upper management sees an obvious breakdown in the systems in place, low morale, or poor direct employee leadership.

The results are in. Now what?

Paper survey requires glasses. Computer survey requires awesome.

Paper surveys? Not with TribeHR!

If you have any disgruntled or apathetic employees, they’re inevitably going to take the opportunity to bash their supervisors and leadership if you give them a chance. Although it may be difficult to weed out these particular surveys, it’s only an accumulation of negative reviews that should get your attention.

Anonymous feedback mechanisms can help you get a better understanding of what people actually think. But there’s a place for open, identified feedback, too—especially if it’s positive.

If there are a large number of negative reviews about the management or leadership within a particular department, it’s time to take action. Initiate random face-to-face interviews to get a better sampling of the culture within. 

Take action

If your data collection is consistent, and there’s a problem within your organization, you must take action. Realign management, offer training courses for effective leadership and reestablish accountability for productivity. In some cases, reassignment or even termination may be warranted. Crucial to these actions and expectations is follow-up. Create a stretch goal and establish a time frame in which surveys or interviews will be held again, to see if changes have proven to be successful.

On the flip side, take time to celebrate the positive reviews regardless of whether they’re from initial or follow-up surveys. Recognize those who effectively lead their employees. Give a pat on the back to the employees who day-in and day-out make the company a success. Find a way to do something special for the team, even if it’s as trivial as a pizza party. The gestures of goodwill will not go unnoticed.

What defines the culture of your company? Is it time to take a closer look at what the employees have to say? Remember, actions speak louder than words. By acting upon the results of the survey, you not only let the employees know they have a voice, but remind them that all of their contributions are valued.


TribeHR’s social human resources software has features like kudos and get feedback, which let your organization’s people give public feedback, and receive 100% private and anonymous feedback. Build a culture of success!


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