So you’ve done the survey, you’ve got the insight, done the action plans. Now you need to know if it’s working. You need to measure.
As explained in my last blog, the first instinct may be to re-survey. Or ask the engagement questions again (after all, the point is to improve engagement, isn’t it?)
The thing is, engagement is an outcome of the stuff you do, and make take a bit of time to shift in the right direction. I have known leaders get a but disheartened when they re-run engagement questions after three months and there’s no real movement. But they needn’t be, they should have a look at their progress.
But how?
Fair point. There is a maxim in business that you can’t manage what you can’t measure. This is not the time to debate that, and believe me I have debated that quite a few times. Let’s agree with it for the purposes of this blog, however, and say what can we measure.
Engagement? Well not yet, probably not until you do the engagement survey again. Instead have a look at what you said you would do, and see if you’ve done it.
For example, say that your survey uncovered the fact that team members weren’t happy with their one to ones. They didn’t happen, or, if they did, they were too focused on targets and performance, and not enough on development.
So in your action plan there was an action – all team members to have a monthly one to one with the team manager, and that one to one will be focused on development and progress towards objectives.
So, do you measure engagement to see if it’s working three months in? Given how long it takes to share the results, get insight and set actions, you’d be lucky if people had experienced more than a couple of one to ones at this stage. What possible impact could that have had? Unless the one to ones were truly spectacular.
Instead, ask people “have you had a one to one every month”. That gives you quantitative data. Then ask “how effective was it at shaping your development and meeting your objectives?” That will give you qualitative data.
Quant and qual, and directly aligned to your action plan. What more could, you ask for?
Now you could ask these questions in a survey, but, as discussed previously, that might not be the best way. Instead, try a focus group. Or in a one to one. Or at a team meeting. Get the data, and have a conversation about it, because that will give you insight and help you improve things as you g along.
To sum up: measure, but be careful what you measure, and how you measure it. Set yourself up for success, not disheartening lack of progress.
Because by having the conversation and reacting to people’s feedback you are giving them a voice, and demonstrating that you are listening to that voice. And that, ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, is how you get engagement.
Well, one of the ways. In the next few blogs I’ll take a look at drivers of engagement, what you need to do to engage your people. And guess what? It’s easier, and much, much harder than you think.

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