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Managing the roll out of employee survey results. Is there such thing as overcommunicating?

Most organisations, across all sectors, administer some form of employee survey. These are usually focused on culture and can explore a range of topics from leadership, staffing and resources, and systems and processes. They also provide an organisation’s workforce with the chance to provide anonymous feedback to the leaders of the organisation.

In our experience, many view the employee survey as a tick-box exercise and may not be taking it as the prime opportunity to have their say in the future of the organisation. This can be for many reasons, however the most common is that the results and associated actions and priorities from previous surveys haven’t been effectively communicated or acted upon in a timely manner.

There a few key recommendations TMS has for supporting both the uptake and engagement in employee surveys from your workforce:


Set clear expectations for the timeframes around your employee survey including distribution date, survey close date and when staff can expect to see the results.

Drawing on the key principles of change management, communication is your best friend in ensuring your survey roll out and subsequent results roll out runs as smoothly as possible. By providing clear timeframes (and sticking to them) to staff of what they can expect and when will both instill a sense of trust and support a greater response rate to your survey.

Debrief the results, don’t just send a document.

Another mistake we see a lot of organisations make is not taking the time and care to debrief the results of the survey with their teams. Sending a long document full of graphs and statistics opens up the results for individual interpretation and may lead to staff drawing the wrong conclusions. Debriefing the results also provides an invaluable opportunity for your leaders and middle managers to step up and speak with their teams about how they feel about the results and what they might like to see happen based on the results.

Encourage collaboration through your action planning.

Once you have your results and feel that your wider workforce is debriefed adequately, it’s time to do something with the data. This again opens a great opportunity for your leaders and teams more broadly to cross-collaborate in the development of required action plans. TMS recommends that executives are clear on the strategic priorities that have emerged from the results and then give divisions or teams the opportunity to drive their own initiatives that support the overarching organisational strategy. This process not only supports all levels of the organisation to step into their own strategic thinking space, but also increases motivation and engagement in undertaking the priorities identified.

Communicate, Communicate and Communicate some more.

At the beginning of this blog, we posed the question ‘Is there such thing as overcommunicating?’. In a world of acting on employee survey results we don’t think so! Once the activity around priorities and strategies begins, you have an opportunity to continue to drive motivation across your organisation. This could take various forms, such as newsletters or email blasts for updates, ‘lunch and learn’ sessions where teams can discuss their successes and challenges, or informal meetings within teams or divisions, offering members the opportunity to ask questions or provide feedback on the approach. These activities support a culture of learning and a sense that ‘we’re all in this together’, not to mention potentially getting staff excited for the next employee survey where they can share their thoughts and feedback again.

Employee Surveys can seem like a daunting and potentially unnecessary task; however, we invite you to view the opportunity within them outside of just gathering data.

If your organisation has recently completed an employee survey and you aren’t sure on the next steps from here, reach out to the team at TMS to discuss how we can support.

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TMS Consulting