Most businesses explore using surveys to gather feedback from employees - but the process of sharing those results back can be daunting. It might feel easier to just share high-level results in an email, or in a senior leadership meeting than to get the whole company involved, but that would cheat the organization and employees out of the most valuable stage of gathering results - discussing results.
How it helps:
- Prevents blindspots - two different people can look at the same data and come away with very different impressions. "Look at how much that factor is improving!" vs. "We aren't growing as much as I'd expected!" With a discussion of the data, it makes it more likely that managers will examine the data more closely and that employees can highlight the areas of the feedback that are most important to address.
- Closes the loop - employees provided valuable data, without a conversation to ensure the results are really shared (not just skimmed from within a mass email) the power of the survey will lessen. Companies may find they struggle to get employees to provide feedback without a step to connect employees back to the results. Discussing employee feedback will ensure employees feel valued and are more likely to care about future results.
- Provides the rest of the story - data can show you that a cultural factor is improving or decreasing, but it can't tell you why. If employees feel that collaboration isn't happening is that because they need more meetings? Because the team would benefit from building relationships to make it easier to talk? Maybe they'd like to have in-person meetings rather than web meetings? There are lots of assumptions we can make about the data, but without discussing the results, we may waste time and energy trying to solve the wrong problem.
- Allows for shared accountability - during the discussion, as opportunities are highlighted and the team collaborates on next steps, it is more likely that the team will be interested and bought into next steps that they were a part of creating. This collaboration also ensures the manager doesn't feel left with "one more thing" to do alone. Optimally, the team would take on most of the accountability for next steps so they can feel ownership of the culture and ensure the changes address their feedback.
See also: RESOURCE: Sharing results planning guide