The Human Resource: Data collection, analysis, transparency, action

Well-designed survey questions and scales will help you quickly and effectively determine which categories or functions of the workplace fall short in meeting the expectations of the workforce. You will need to establish a baseline either by using the first survey conducted at a point in time or by setting a goal of X percent satisfaction.

For example, you could determine that any category that falls below 75 percent agreement requires attention, or you could take the bottom three categories and prioritize them as requiring action. When performing subsequent year surveys, you could prioritize by any category that has decreased by more than X percent year over year. Regardless of the approach, you will need to think about your measurements and key indicators in a consistent and fair manner.

It is often effective to carve out any categories you already have initiatives in place for and highlight in your communication how this is already being addressed, and what success or failure has been experienced based on the results of the survey.

Transparency is key, and quite simply your employees will know when you are misrepresenting things to them because of their internal communication with one another. Therefore, it is important to present actual summarized results from the survey and identify where there is room for improvement. This will enable leadership to develop specific action plans to address areas of concern.

No organization must address every issue or concern, and sometimes the issues are enterprise-wide such as communication, which improvement in this one area will have a widespread positive impact in other areas. I will share that failing to take any action that is observable or communicated to the workforce will cause the effort of engagement to fail.

I recommend developing and communicating a clear strategy and timeline on how the business is going to address whatever categories were identified as needing significant improvement or change intervention. It is also important to communicate what you are not going to work on and why, so there is no confusion, guessing, or assumptions made. This is critical, as you need to demonstrate effective prioritization of the challenges to support the ongoing success of the business. This means aligning the initiatives to improve the overall capabilities of the business in the delivery of their products or services to generate revenue.

When all these strategic phases are done effectively, engagement and trust improve and real solutions that impact the success of the business are identified and implemented.

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About Warren Cook

Warren S. Cook is a co-founder of SymbianceHR and leads all client-consulting engagements. He is a human capital strategy management subject matter expert with more than 20 years of experience as a strategic business partner, project manager, and people leader across private and public sectors organizations. Warren is responsible for all client-consulting engagements from initial needs assessment and compliance review through delivery of customized complex human capital strategy solutions that meet the client's business goals. He has a proven track record of providing executive coaching and guidance to business leaders and human resource professionals at all levels including the C-Suite of Fortune 100 companies. Warren combines his human capital, project management, and business management experience with a philosophy of solving business challenges through the strategic implementation of policies, processes, and procedures to deliver sustainable solutions that demonstrate ROI, mitigate and manage risk, and empower organizational success. Warren is the author of “Applicant Interview Preparation – Practical Coaching for Today” and holds a bachelor of science degree in human resource management, a master’s of business administration in project management, and a master’s of science degree in industrial and organizational psychology. He is also a SHRM Certified Professional.

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