Employee Engagement Surveys Won’t Give You Important Context

Employee engagement surveys are valuable tools in uncovering and analyzing the state of employee engagement within an organization. But these scores are just one tool in transforming engagement, and should never be seen as the only guide to designing an action plan.

As a leader, you can transform the workplace experience for yourself and your employees by looking beyond the scores, understanding your team’s Five Driving Needs, and learning how to enter into productive and genuine dialogue with employees about their needs.

Do your employee engagement surveys Rule Your Action Plan?

The human brain is wired for reaching out to and interacting with others. Brady Wilson discusses how short and simple Partnering conversations can uncover the backstory critical to understanding employee engagement survey scores.


Discuss Employee Engagement Survey Results Before Building The Action Plan

The first and foremost priority of the human brain is social cognition, or according to the renowned psychologist Matthew Lieberman, making sense of other people and ourselves.  In his book “Social”, Lieberman says, “This is what our brains were wired for. Reaching out to and interacting with others.”

Reaching out to and interacting with others is precisely what Partnering conversations are all about. It’s our native wiring, a basic operating system for connecting with, understanding, and harmonizing with others. Leaders who fail to see the power of these Partnering conversations, respond to engagement survey results with broad brush global solutions. And here’s the kicker, without ever discovering the backstory behind the employee engagement survey scores.

Implementing an action plan without having conversations, fails to honour how the brain operates. Being presented with an engagement solution devoid of conversation, practically guarantees employee non-adherence or even covert resistance to any engagement initiative.

What is Partnering?

“Partnering” is a framework that offers a simple and practical approach to quickly align on what matters most, build the openness needed to explore possibilities, and create the conditions to co-create shared value. Through partnering, leaders can unlock the full potential of their teams and create a more collaborative and innovative workplace.

Read more: Partnering: A Framework For Transformational Leadership

Partnering Conversations Uncover the Truth Behind Employee Engagement Survey Scores

Short and simple energy Partnering conversations honor and utilize our native wiring. These types of conversations power up the apps that drive results, sales, customer service, innovation, coaching and feedback. Everything changes for the better when leaders use simple conversations to get to the backstory and draw out what matters most to employees in those engagement results. It produces a powerful impact. Employees begin to manage their own engagement.

Understanding What Matters Most: The Five Driving Needs

When we work with a group, we play a game we’ve developed called Oxygen Poker, which helps participants identify their driving needs. For each of the Five Driving Needs, there are five more specific sub-needs, for a total of 25 cards. From those 25 cards, participants are asked to choose five, and rank them in order from most to least important to them. The data, from thousands of participants, is very clear: “Valued and Respected” is the card most often chosen as critical, or as a “deal-breaker.” Leaders take note: Creating a culture of value and respect directly contributes to the success of your team.


The Engagement Paradox

Traditional employee engagement strategies aren’t working anymore. Scores are plateauing (in some cases even declining) leading to a crisis of belief for both employees and leaders.

This white paper offers a new path forward – one that blends the energy employees want with the customer experience and business results leaders need.


Without energy, your strategies are at risk


Transforming the way you engage with employees in today’s complex workplaces requires new approaches to leadership. Our customized learning solutions will help you grow leadership skills and fuel sustainable performance.

If you want more on this, check out our white paper, The Engagement Paradox which goes into how we can transform engagement and get the very best from our team.

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