Action Planning speaks louder than surveys. The purpose of an employee listening program is to better understand your workforce with the intention of ultimately giving them the best possible experience while simultaneously meeting your organization’s strategic objectives. Strategic objectives may vary from one organization to the next. However, CultureIQ’s I/O psychologists have developed a proven and universal blueprint to successful action planning and there are 6 key questions to ask yourself during development:
What do I Look For?
After collecting employee feedback look for areas of opportunity. Look for the areas you can have the most impact and for those most critical to the business’s strategic objectives. Then, prioritize these issues by how critical each are to the business and if you are capable enough to act upon that data. This process of identifying key issues will assist in building a solid foundation for your action plan.
How do I tell the others?
There are 3 things to keep in mind when communicating these results to employees:
Appreciation: First and foremost, Thank employees for taking your survey.
Transparency: Show them the physical results and the gaps you’ve identified.
Direction: Express that you are committed to making a change for improvement.
Shout these messages through every communicative channel your organization owns from emails, to slack messages, to culture committees, reinforcing the notion you understand how and why they feel the way they do and that you are committed to improving that overall sentiment.
How do I choose a direction?
Once the results of employee feedback are communicated to the rest of the organization it is common for new issues to emerge. It is important to listen to any further response and consider this when weighing which issues to take action on. It may seem overwhelming but understand not everything can be fixed at once. Hone in on one or two major priorities and be sure to ask yourself questions such as:
Can you measure the impact of what you are doing?
Are you starting simply so you have quick wins?
Can you maintain the change?
What defines my action plan?
The company’s current strengths should always be considered. Identify which strengths can be leveraged to increase your chances of success. In the same breath, identify any anticipated barriers you may have to overcome. It is important to be honest with yourself during this process as it can truly dictate your success.
With these strengths and barriers laid out, begin to identify which resources you need and who will be accountable for what. If ownership for a plan is not clearly defined, then no one truly owns it.
Lastly, articulate what success looks like. Sure, you want those numbers to look better on the next pulse but keep your eye on the prize: improving the organization. Set measurable goals and timelines what are your immediate, mid and long-term solutions.
What do I do while implementing the plan?
Continue to track and measure your initiatives throughout the process. Also, keep everyone informed as you make progress. This will demonstrate the organization’s momentum while simultaneously allowing you and your team to re-calibrate your action plan as it continues to unfold.
What should I communicate?
Lastly, every project has obstacles, hurdles and setbacks. Be transparent about those and what you are doing to overcome them. Have different people communicate with the organization. Of course, the message starts with your leaders, but it doesn’t have to end with them. Your culture committee members can help you get buy-in from the rank and file in their geographies, departments or new hire group.
It’s true Action Planning does speak louder than surveys. That’s not to say surveys aren’t important but to say its only half the battle. Culture isn’t always the simplest to manage. Culture is strategic, it is creative and it is high maintenance but if done correctly it can undoubtedly be the most profitable and rewarding asset an organization has.