Collecting the Right Data to Inform your Employee Engagement Initiatives – Pulse on the Industry Research
In this series of articles, Kantar Employee Insights is exploring the challenges HR Professionals encounter when attempting to use employee survey data to inform employee engagement initiatives.
Human Resource professionals continue to have plenty of data to leverage at the executive table. However, not all data is created equal. HR employees must determine what specific data will correctly help them make impactful and influential decisions.
HR professionals admit that collecting the right data comes as a challenge. Nearly four out of ten respondents stated that collecting informative and actionable data was their biggest data challenge for 2017:
With so many sources of data available in today’s corporate environment, HR Professionals must be savvy in determining which data should be used. So how do you know whether you are collecting the right employee engagement data? This article provides some tips and techniques to help you determine what data will be most impactful for your business.
Tip# 1: Determine your end goal
The first step in determining the data you need to collect is to clearly articulate what you are trying to understand. Kantar TNS Employee Insights typically recommends bringing all key stakeholders together and asking them what exactly they are looking to comprehend and achieve when it comes to employee engagement. As you work through this question, you will gather insight into the type of information and questions you should ask your employees.
Additionally, you will better understand what data is most important to which individuals at your organization, therefore allowing you to group the data and provide summaries based on what is most important to various groups.
Provided in the following chart are a list of popular surveys that are conducted internally to make better data-driven decisions.
At Kantar TNS Employee Insights, we have worked with many organizations to understand the benefits and challenges with each of the survey types highlighted. Key findings indicate:
- Employee Engagement continues to be the most popular measure. Roughly six out of ten organizations measure Employee Engagement.
- Less than half of the participants measure the success of their Onboarding.
- Roughly 40% of organizations allow employees to exit without a survey.
It is our strong recommendation that, if nothing else, you begin with an employee engagement survey, as studies have shown engagement is instrumental to the success of organizations.
Tip #2: Conduct an internal audit
Once you determine the end goal, consider conducting an audit within your organization to determine which surveys and data are already available. This will help you better understand whether some of the questions that you wish to answer can be addressed with the data you have.
Additionally, current data may provide a baseline, helping you better understand future results. This baseline can inform future survey questions or tie into linking analysis, which will be discussed in a future article.
When conducting this audit, you should ask multiple different teams what data they have available. Too often we find organizations are collecting the right data, but there is a lack of communication and collaboration between the groups that are managing the data. This could be one of the biggest data barriers to your organization. To avoid this common pitfall, consider holding scheduled meetings with the groups and individuals managing data and creating one platform to display all data available.
Consider, for example, one Kantar TNS Employee Insights client. Within this financial services organization, Human Resources was conducting an Engagement Survey, Market Research was conducting Customer Surveys, and Finance was conducting an Ethics Survey, all in their own silos. We brought the teams together and they started to share data, collaborate on action planning, and, most importantly, make better data-driven decisions.
Tip #3: Consider the frequency with which you want to administer surveys
At Kantar TNS Employee Insights, one of the first questions we ask organizations is how often they plan to administer the survey, as their answer to this question will determine the types of questions that should be asked. Annual surveys are still the most popular when measuring Employee Engagement. Nearly six out of ten HR Professionals indicated they measure Employee Engagement yearly. There was a +40% difference compared to Biannually and Every Two Years selection.
We typically recommend organizations administer annual surveys with shorter surveys in between, to better track progress. Further, following this timeline allows organizations to make quick changes to the survey if they find the data they are collecting is not helping them understand and achieve their end goals.
Most importantly, you should collect data you can link
Once you have addressed the tips provided here, you should also consider how you plan to use the data in the future. Data is often most impactful when it can be linked to certain outcomes and when it can inform actions. As such, you should also consider what data you can link to get a more complete picture of the results. In next week’s article, Kantar TNS Employee Insights will examine the benefits of linking data – and how to do it effectively.
Feeling confident you are collecting the correct data is an important first step. By gaining confidence in this realm, you will then feel more confident asking employees to fill out the surveys. And when you are confident, employees will likely feel confident that their opinions matter – a feeling which is essential to employee engagement.