Survey Says: The value of your employee engagement surveys

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Survey Says: The value of your employee engagement surveys

Posted by: Phil Kelly
Category: Articles

Understanding your employees’ engagement levels are essential for determining the overall health of a company.

We would go as far to say it is a strategic imperative. According to Gallup’s State of the Global Workplace 2023 Report, only 23% of workers said they were “engaged” at work in 2022. The remaining 77% were disengaged; either doing the bare minimum and “quietly quitting” their jobs, or openly planning to leave. Collectively, Gallup calculated, that disengaged workers cost the global economy $8.8 trillion in lost productivity.

Employee engagement demonstrates the emotional connection employees have towards their work, and it’s been repeatedly proven that employees who feel connected to their organisation perform better. This can include greater productivity, improved innovation, positive workplace morale and team dynamics, lower turnover, and better recruiting success.

Employee engagement reflects an individual’s feelings towards their work at a company. It exemplifies motivation levels, and how satisfied an employee is with an organisation, including how invested they are in its goals, values, and principles.

However, employee engagement is not a given. In fact, it takes an active effort to achieve employee engagement and it takes consistent work to sustain it. Interpreting, measuring, and subsequently nurturing employee engagement will create a thriving, functional workplace culture and sustainable, attainable growth.

“You can’t manage what you don’t measure.”

So, it’s clear that employee engagement is key to organisational success. Understanding what drives engagement is the first, crucial step. Measuring employee engagement offers a quantitative and qualitative understanding of employees’ perceptions, sentiments, and experiences at work. By gauging engagement levels, companies can identify areas of strength and areas needing improvement.

Employee engagement surveys are a common starting point. Applied correctly, surveys are an effective diagnostic tool in doing this. They can identify any underlying issues, common complaints and support prescribed interventions. A survey can also enhance communication between management and staff, giving employees an insightful and influential voice.

All too often, though, organisations see a staff survey as a box-ticking exercise; something that a business must do. This dismissive, processed approach instantly sours your survey’s potential purpose and results. Similarly, an engagement survey can be a serious source of frustration for your people. Little is more uninspiring than being asked for your opinion or feeling on something for no seeming reason or result.

To retain the trust of your employees, feedback needs to be part of a dynamic loop of continuous improvement, in which the action plan is reviewed, and findings fed back into the process of engagement.

How can you get the most out of your employee surveys?

Companies that utilise surveys well are adept at interpreting the feedback and taking action to improve things.

Content is key: Well-designed surveys measure not only engagement but also the critical elements of the employee experience that can potentially increase or create barriers to job performance. Engage with the content process to ensure your questions will produce useful answers. Most often, this means that they are behaviourally based, clear and action-oriented. In addition, make sure you are providing your managers and leaders with data-driven, clear results that they can work with to make necessary changes.

Have a clear purpose: Make sure that you are explicit about why people should do the survey – explain its purpose, its value and what will come of it. This sets clear expectations about the process and what to expect from completing it. Transparency and clarity are common hallmarks of an engaged, inclusive workplace.

Remember, it is a conversation: An engagement survey is for gathering feedback that forms the basis for an ongoing dialogue. It should start continual, day-to-day communication to support employee performance. Involve your employees as much as possible. “It’s much better for managers to have these conversations with their team on a monthly basis” says Jane Sparrow for Forbes, “teams can see in real-time that they are being listened to and heard.”

React quickly: Aim to share the survey results quickly. Start the conversations about improvement as soon as possible. Do not see any feedback as something as something on a to-do list, or a task to circle back to eventually. Timely action is important to retain the trust of your employees in the process. An engagement survey is only the first step to motivating employees. If you implement a survey with no follow-up, engagement will likely decrease.


Simply conducting staff surveys is not enough; it is the reception of feedback and the subsequent action that truly drives engagement and helps support a positive culture of continuous improvement. By embracing employee feedback as a catalyst for positive change, organisations can unlock the full potential of their workforce, driving success and prosperity in the long run.

Remember, engagement isn’t a one-time endeavour—it is a journey of constant evolution and improvement, with surveys serving as crucial checkpoints along the way.


We work with organisations and businesses to support employee engagement. We can help you to improve your people management strategy, interpret your staff feedback and drive your workplace culture. 

Get in touch today to discuss the opportunities for your organisation.

Author: Phil Kelly
An award-winning business owner and TED presenter, Phil lives and breaths performance. Having designed and delivered successful training packages across various industries worldwide, he now spends most of his time within business development and consulting. Phil Kelly