Engagement Surveys

1. Background

Engagement Surveys provide the most common means to measure Engagement. Done well they can provide fair, concrete and reliable views of the current state across all employee groups. Their purpose is always two-fold, as the measures they provide are used to inform actions which can be taken, at all levels of the organisation (for example top-down actions on policies, systems and processes, or local actions taken at team- or department-level).

They directly address all Four Enablers as they provide a means to measure each, with the clearest link being to Employee Voice and arguably Engaging Managers (where survey data is used to identify, recognise and inform development of line managers).

The Thought & Action Steering Group recognises the need to provide thought leadership and practitioner guidance in this area, with multiple stakeholders confirming the topic as important and timely (including member research, CIPD interest, taskforce and board energy).

2. Purpose

The purpose of the TAG is to provide thought leadership on the topic, and practical guidance for practitioners and employers.

All key aspects of the use of Employee Engagement Surveys within organisations may be considered, from measurement and reporting to the end use of survey results within the organisation.

3. Scope

The TAG would agree on Scope in its first or second meeting, as part of agreeing it’s terms of reference. However, the longstanding EFS position of model agnosticism will be supported (no one Engagement model or measure will be promoted).

Initial thoughts are to cover considerations in each of the following areas: – When to use a survey, what it should cover, how best to report results (how, to whom, when), and how to use the results (at the Organisation level, the Team or Department level, and the Line Manager level).

Consideration will be given to the role of Survey Providers and is likely to be a substantive topic for the TAG to address as an Engagement Model is usually part of their offer. This can directly restrict available options for client organisations –from What is asked and How, through to how results are Reported, and indeed how they are interpreted (e.g. via benchmarks).

Consideration will also be given to overlap (or potential collaboration) with other TAGs –for example the Not-For-Profit TAG (their toolkit includes advice on surveys), the Line Manager toolkit TAG, and the mooted Investment Community TAG (interpreting engagement results, from surveys, as part of investment decisions)

4. Deliverables

The output from this project will be agreed by the TAG in its first or second meeting and could include:

A conference event
White Papers for the website
A series of thought leadership pieces /articles (for channels such as the website, EFS radio show, CIPD, various publications)

Timings would also be agreed at the TAG’s first meeting in November or December 2017 (potentially aligning first outputs for the next EFS Conference in March 2018)

5. Contributors

James Court-Smith chairs the TAG, drawing on over twenty years of experience in running and advising on Engagement Surveys (first at Gallup, then Stillae) and involvement in EFS since the original 2009 report to government.

There is active interest from fellow T&A Steering Group members, past and present.

Contacts via existing TAGs have also surfaced potential PhD students with interest in contributing.

Initial TAG membership will be sought via a Newsletter announcement (call to action). CIPD and Survey Provider involvement are thought critical, alongside Practitioners and Consultants.

6. Resource needs

Resource requirements will be covered in the TAG’s first meeting as part of agreeing Terms Of Reference, in line with the agreed scope.

At this stage only moderate admin support is anticipated (copywriting, and standard meeting/travel costs if appropriate) as no Primary Research is proposed. Involvement of Survey Providers would allow access to existing survey data for illustrations, case studies and if needed secondary research (including capabilities needed for data mining).