Nigel McPolin
Founder, etimes2 ltd

Is there a “right way” or a “best way” to run your Employee Engagement Diagnostic?  We believe there is.

Your objectives at the beginning of your employee engagement diagnostic process should be to:

  • Achieve accurate engagement trends mapped to your organisation
  • Share responsibility for engagement across your whole organisation
  • Target the key engagement trends for further analysis and dig deeper to define actionable insights
  • Ensure the employee engagement diagnostic is bespoke to your organisation
  • Avoid irrelevant, vague data based automated reports
  • Build a solution bespoke and relevant to your business


Ten Employee Engagement Diagnostic Tips

  1. Identify your employee engagement expert

It is important that someone with expertise and/or passion for employee engagement is given control over your employee engagement project.  Many organisations will look towards HR for this person.  While HR is the most likely source, remember that some HR professionals tend towards being highly administrative and others are more people oriented.


You want the latter.


  1. Speed is crucial

EX2 Employee engagement platformAll stages of your employee engagement diagnostic should move quickly.  There is no need for long planning stages and drawn out run-ups to the launch of the diagnostic.  Deliver your communications to the workforce over a short time period and launch with a minimum of fuss.  Keep the time between initial survey and feedback as short as possible.  The key here is to get as many people working and taking action as quickly as possible.


  1. Phase your employee engagement diagnostic

Most employee engagement surveys are a typical questionnaire.  Deliver it once or twice a year and job done.  Right?


No.  Your employee engagement diagnostic should be planned to run in phases, remembering that speed between phases is crucial.  Typically, we will work with an organisation to define and design their specific engagement project before we launch into the discovery phase.  We normally run a five-phase process with our clients.  It should not be about a ‘committee’ pulling together a questionnaire (or just delivering one ‘off the shelf’), running it and creating an action plan.  The idea behind five phases is so your employee engagement diagnostic is bespoke and relevant to your business.


  1. Make it attractive to get involved

Employees have a voiceThere are two ways to make your employee engagement diagnostic attractive so employees want to get involved.  First, you can offer rewards so respondents get something back for getting involved.  We have found that small rewards work best, rather than big ticket rewards that will be raffled once a year.  Second, people like to have a potent voice in the workplace.  People like to feel that their voice is heard and their opinion is worth something.  So, make it clear from the outset that there will be ample opportunities to speak and be heard (but only if you really mean it).


  1. Keep your initial survey short and sweet

There is no need for a long engagement survey.  If you have planned your phases, as we recommend above, then you can simply run a short and sweet initial employee engagement survey.  At etimes2, we generally run a 22 item survey based on 8 highly validated engagement drivers to provide initial insights to the organisation and its people.


  1. Get an overview of the key trends….then dig deep

An initial survey gives an overview of the key trends.  This should be mapped to your organisational structure.  Once you have the overview, your diagnostic phase should then dig deeper by exploring the key trends arising with a focus on the different teams and departments.


Your employee engagement expert is important here.  S/he should generate further questions and discussions based on the key trends.


  1. Every employee and every line manager

Employee engagement is an individual experience.  Each person needs to address his/her own personal approach to, and needs from, work in order to be ‘engagement ready’.  A corporate strategy cannot achieve this.  Provide each person with feedback and encourage them to take action on their disengagers.  Enable each line manager to take action at a team level.


This shows your workforce that the findings are being taken seriously and acted upon.  It gives you some breathing space to focus on the corporate level action plan.


  1. Avoid the ‘Big Gesture’ solution

There is so much coverage of high profile organisations’ employee engagement efforts that many businesses feel they have to follow suit.  Unfortunately, the ‘big gesture’ events in these organisations get most coverage as they attract attention.  However, what they don’t tell you is that so much more is going on behind the scenes to build engagement.  The ‘big gesture’ events will cost a fortune and achieve little.  Focus on the small stuff first.


  1. A solution plan just for your business (and its teams)

Don’t accept generic ‘solutions’.  If the diagnostic isn’t tailored for your business, then the solution won’t be either.  Build a solution plan that is relevant to your business, and your business only.  Then deliver it.



  1. Revisit your employee engagement diagnostic

When your solution plan has been delivered, then you can revisit your employee engagement diagnostic and measure the impact.


What changes will you make so you can get the most out of your employee engagement diagnostic?

We hope you enjoy our blogs. Please follow and like us: