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How to Get Leadership Buy-In for Employee Engagement Surveys

 How to Get Leadership Buy-In for Employee Engagement Surveys


The concept of employee engagement has evolved into a key area of focus for employers. A solid engagement strategy has been proven to be an effective method for improving both company culture and productivity.

If you’ve ever conducted an employee engagement survey, you know that sometimes the hardest part can be getting your leadership team to support the initiative. Believe it or not, lack of leadership buy-in continues to be the biggest impediment for Human Resources in conducting an employee engagement survey. You may receive great feedback from employees, but you may not be able to act if leadership does not support your initiative (and not taking action is the worst thing you can do after conducting your survey).

Occasionally, we speak to leaders who simply do not believe in surveys or employee feedback altogether. They don’t think the feedback is relevant or they push back in order to protect themselves. If that sounds like the situation, you’re in, then you must explain the benefits of employee feedback. It’s your job to assure them that nobody is trying to make them look ‘bad’ in any way. The aim of creating a great company culture is to bring out the best in each and every person.

Not all leaders will be worried about employee’s ‘happiness’, but they sure do care about the bottom line. Showing them the value of the survey in an executive summary with potential action items and their direct ties to the company’s bottom line will be crucial for gaining support. The Best Workplaces experience increased employee engagement, increased productivity, boosted employee morale and reduced turnover because of their commitment to listening and acting on employee feedback. Now you’ll have their attention!

Another good way to get their buy-in is to involve them in the process. Identify objectives together so they have a vested interest in taking action. Make sure they understand what role they are playing in the process. Having the executives’ buy-in not only helps Human Resources with taking action on the feedback, but also helps employees feel that leadership is actively engaged in the process. Employees need to know that their leaders have a genuine interest in their well-being and happiness. Employees also need to know that their company is open to hearing and welcoming their feedback.

Without leadership engagement, employees simply won’t believe that change will happen, and, consequently, will impact the survey in many ways such as paying lip-service or not responding at all.

Once leadership has bought in, they will get managers on board as well, which is crucial. Managers are often the ones with the authority and ability to drive change with direct reports. They will also encourage their teams to respond and provide honest feedback.

Contact us today to find out more about how we can help you conduct an employee survey effectively.

About Great Place to Work®

Great Place to Work® is the Global Authority on Workplace Culture. We make it easy to survey your employees, uncover actionable insights and get recognized for your great company culture. Learn more about Great Place to Work Certification.

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