Overcoming Negative Employee Survey Responses

By Matt Jarzynski

Properly administering and evaluating employee surveys can uncover deep insights for an organization that would otherwise be left hidden. While it can feel reassuring to receive positive comments, there will often be negative survey results as well. Instead of viewing unsatisfactory feedback as a disaster or a permanent problem, the most successful business leaders view it as an opportunity for improvement. Overcoming negative employee survey responses takes a dedication to fully understanding the feedback and requires appropriate action.

Don’t Ignore or Obsess Over Results

A surprising 52% of managers review their survey results but don’t take action. While it can be tempting to write off negative feedback and assume employees were just having a bad day, thinking in this fashion undermines the entire purpose of conducting a survey. Those that ignore negative feedback may be viewing surveys as a method for appeasing employees with no intentions of actual improvement. Alternatively, many managers do want to improve their operations, but may lack the time and resources to dedicate to new initiatives.

Gallup research has proven that employees expect and need resolution to the workplace surveys they participate in. While it’s important to address negative employee survey responses and strive to improve, it is likewise essential to avoid becoming consumed by every negative comment. Even the best business leaders cannot effectively “fix” a dozen different issues at once. Attempting to do so will ensure that nothing receives the full attention it needs. Proven success strategies suggest determining the most imperative and actionable 3-5 items to address and focus on first.

Find the root causes

Many negative employee feelings can often be attributed to a small number of root causes that may be tainting their whole viewpoint, seeping into opinions on every aspect of the company. Identifying these specific underlying issues is the first step to addressing and alleviating them. Doing so requires strong communication and opening a dialogue with employees. Staring at data or responses on paper is not enough to discover the level of insights needed.

Whether it’s in groups, via informal check ins, or one-on-one, talk to the employees about the survey results openly and in a comfortable setting to spark a conversation that can reveal the root causes. Do they have hard feelings toward management for a specific reason? Are amenities in the breakroom constantly running out, employee bathrooms not cleaned regularly, or do employee benefit packages fail to meet their needs? Does staff feel consistently overworked? Making assumptions that one of these is the problem could have you spending time and money on fixing something that isn’t broken. It’s good business practice to understand that any issue important to employees must be treated just as importantly by management, even if it seems like a minor factor at the higher level.

Take Transparent Action Quickly and Effectively

When surveys produce negative responses, there is a danger that employees are losing trust in their employer. The worst thing management can do after receiving Go to the full article.

Source:: Business 2 Community

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