Employee Engagement

My employee engagement scores came back negative, what now?

employee engagement scoresYou’ve done the hard work already, you’ve developed your survey with all the right questions and you’ve sent it out. Perhaps your uptake rate wasn’t what you hoped for, but the results are in…


Your heart sinks. Your employee engagement scores are not what you’d hoped for.

This is okay. It happens, the advantage you have now is acting on those insights to make sure that your next survey produces the results you are looking for.

Let’s take a look at 5 ways that you can address those employee engagement scores:

1. Communicate those results

You’re aiming to build a successful and transparent business. Part of this process is communicating those things that are not always the most comfortable.

Sure, the results may indicate widespread dissatisfaction or workplace unhappiness.

The way that you present your survey findings should include both the negative results but also highlight some of the positive outcomes. You should praise your teams for these things.

The converse to that is acknowledging those negative outcomes. Own them and then highlight the steps you plan on taking to overcome those challenges faced by your company.

Take care of both of those steps and you’ll be well on your way to turning those employee engagement scores on their head.

2. Hone in

It’s easy to get lost in all those survey results and want to fix all of them right away, because if we’re honest there’s a level of panic and desire to solve this as fast as possible.

This approach will cause you to lose focus on what’s important.

You will need to spend some time assessing your data to identify one to two focus areas of improvement. This more focused approach is more sustainable in achieving your desired results.

Your process of honing in should include your employees. If your employee satisfaction scores came back negative you may want to create a small focus group where you’re able to ask some specific questions. A session like this should help inform your strategy for boosting satisfaction in the workplace.

3. It’s time to brainstorm those ideas

employee engagement scoresA session like this can result in many great ideas. This is often the birthplace of innovation.

You’ll want to have identified a dedicated team to this process, who will then play a major role in the implementation and evaluation phases of this process.

You will want a leader to facilitate this process, where step one will be to make sure everybody understands the problem that your company is trying to solve.

Once everybody is on the same page you may want to whiteboard some ideas to solving “employee satisfaction in the workplace”. At the end of the session, you should aim to walk away with at least 3-5 solid ideas that have the possibility of great implementation.  

4. Developing your strategy

You’ve come out of your brainstorming session with really great ideas of how to implement them.

But first…

We need to define your goals for achieving those objectives.

If your objective is to improve employee satisfaction, your goal will need to follow the SMART methodology to achieving that. If you’re unclear on this process we have a pretty nifty blog to on how to develop goals and objectives to help you through this process.

This will help you and your team practically understand why certain activities are being implemented. They can help you overcome implementation challenges as they provide guidance and direction for decision making, facilitating planning, motivating and inspiring employees.

Apart from your goals, you will also need to set yourself some baseline measurables. If you’ve used the SMART methodology to set your goals, you will have a time frame in which you’ve set to achieve this.

But how will you know whether or not you’re on track to achieving them - if you don’t set KPI’s (Key Performance Indicators) along the way?

You can set your measurement for employee satisfaction for example as: Employee Net Promotor Score (ENPS), employee absenteeism and employee turnover.

This will be up to you to decide on what metrics are important for you to achieve your goals.  


5. It’s time to implement

You’ve defined your goals and developed an action plan to boot those low scores right out the door.

Now it’s time for you and your team to start implementing your decisions into your workplace. Depending on how big (or small) your initiative is you might want to manage implementation in smaller increments to ease and manage that process of change for your company.


Key Takeaways

Negative feedback can be immensely overwhelming and even alarming. But the way in which you respond with clear, concise communication along with a well-formulated plan will indicate to your employees just how much you care about what they think.

Giving those negative scores the boot will lead to higher productivity, motivation and overall happiness.

Are you ready to take the next step? We have just the resource for you. Simply click the download button below to get your hands on our 10-step guide to developing your very own employee recognition program 

New call-to-action