Why Employee Feedback Is the Key to a Highly Engaged Organization

Find out what differentiates highly engaged organizations from their peers, how they make the most of employee feedback, and what business leaders can do to create a best-practice engagement strategy.

To understand what sets highly engaged organizations apart from the rest, it’s essential to understand how different aspects of the employee experience contribute to overall engagement. 

Our latest report, “Creating a Highly Engaged Organization,” reveals the characteristics of highly engaged organizations and provides actionable advice on how to develop an engagement strategy that targets the most impactful aspects of the employee experience.

Highly Engaged Organizations Excel in Three Areas

We compared the engagement driver scores of high- and low-scoring companies, based on an analysis of over 2.1 million employee survey responses from Workday Peakon Employee Voice—across more than 500 organizations from different industries and regions. This revealed three areas where highly engaged organizations excel: strategy, organizational fit, and growth.

Highly engaged organizations ask for feedback more often, with 45% surveying on a quarterly, monthly, or weekly cadence.

In addition to the gap in engagement scores between highly engaged organizations and their peers, less-engaged organizations also receive more comments on the drivers highlighted above. Our analysis shows the number of comments per employee is 21% higher for strategy, 16% higher for organizational fit, and 7% higher for growth.

What Highly Engaged Organizations Do Differently

The difference in engagement driver scores between high- and low-scoring organizations helps us pinpoint specific areas of the employee experience that can be improved, but there are also a set of behaviors that provide the foundation for creating a highly engaged organization.

These behaviors help to create a culture of continuous listening, allowing people leaders throughout the organization to make more data-driven decisions that unlock incremental improvements to the employee experience and show employees that they care. These behaviors are:

  • Soliciting feedback. Highly engaged organizations ask for feedback more often, with 45% surveying on a quarterly, monthly, or weekly cadence versus 26% of low-scoring companies. This reduces the time it takes for feedback to result in action and makes it easier to measure the impact of specific initiatives.

  • Acknowledging concerns. One drawback of traditional engagement surveys is that employees are often unsure if their feedback has been received, let alone actioned. Highly engaged organizations show that they’re listening, with 20% higher acknowledgement rates on employee feedback.

  • Embracing difficult conversations. Achieving higher levels of engagement requires acknowledging areas for improvement as much as celebrating success. This is highlighted by the fact that managers at highly engaged companies are 18% more likely to acknowledge comments from low-scoring employees.

  • Empowering managers to act. Empowering managers to work with feedback from their teams and create an appropriate plan reduces the time it takes to move from insight to action. It also enables HR to take a more strategic approach to engagement, while managers focus on day-to-day feedback.

To learn more about the behaviors that set highly engaged organizations apart, and to see the full analysis of engagement driver scores, download our latest report now.

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