Maintaining engagement
during change

Engagement and Productivity Certification Series

Table of Contents

Are your employees engaged at work? Even if they are today, how can you be sure they will be tomorrow? Whether you’re facing a major organizational shift or just implementing new tools, employee engagement can be impacted. When changes occur, you’ll need to identify and fix potential pain and friction. This is where employee engagement surveys can help!

Below, you’ll learn how to respond to change in your organization by collecting and acting on employee data.

Focus on the four underlying engagement drivers.

Before we dive into what employee data to collect and what to do with it, it’s important to understand the four engagement drives.

According to the 2020 State of Talent Optimization Report, on average, only 22% of senior leaders feel they actually know what’s driving employee disengagement. Many companies try to win their employees over through shiny perks such as free lunches or ping pong tables. But what happens if the company can no longer provide these benefits, or if the negatives of the company outweigh the perks? Change can come with a lot of emotions–both good and bad–so it’s important to focus on maintaining morale. To do so, focus on the true underlying drivers of engagement, as shown below:



Misalignment between someone’s natural tendencies and key job responsibilities



Misalignment between manager and staff



When an employee feels like he/she is unlike the team



When employees feel like what the culture expects of them isn’t who they really are
Hover over each card above to learn more about the drivers of engagement.

Rather than determining what new enticing perk you can offer, ask yourself, “What do my employees need to feel emotionally connected to their job, their manager, their team, and this organization, amid all the change and uncertainty?” 

Consider an organization that has recently shifted many individuals’ responsibilities to break into a new market. The dynamics and attitudes of the employees are bound to change. Don’t just leave success of an initiative to chance. 

Questions to consider where engagement is being impacted:

  • What is causing the initial friction?
  • What new challenges exist?
  • Did trust in leadership take a big hit because of a decision?
  • Are employees feeling like they don’t have the resources they need?
  • Are people turning on each other?

Redefine what metrics matter most.

Most businesses monitor much of the same data: sales figures, qualified leads, NPS, P&L, etc. And while these may remain critical barometers of business health, they exist largely apart from people.

Complement these business metrics with people metrics–specifically employee engagement data. Check out the activity below to see how using engagement surveys can help you really dig into a root issue.

Try it out! 

By collecting and analyzing this form of people data, then making the necessary adjustments, you’re more likely to keep your workforce productive and engaged. Addressing problems and showing employees you care in a transparent way will help boost morale within the company—and solve issues affecting productivity.

Measure employee data and take action.

Measuring engagement isn’t just about identifying low scores or pain points. It’s also important to notice the positives to make sure you don’t lose sight of things you’re doing well during these changes.

No matter what you choose to focus on, the most important thing is that you actually do survey your employees. Without a gauge for how your workplace feels emotionally, you can’t make informed decisions. A company may be doing well today by metrics such as sales revenue or deals won. But this performance won’t be sustainable if people aren’t engaged.

Employee experience surveys can help you:
Assess the perception of members on the team.
Allocate resources and attention to the area that needs it most.
Determine where managers can be coached to improve.
Identify if your organization's culture has been impacted.

Employee engagement surveys and tools like the PI Employee Experience Survey™ can assist by measuring engagement at both the team and organizational levels. These tools ask questions that map to the job, manager, organization, or team—and even provide customized action plans.

In a steady state, it’s recommended to poll your employees every six months to a year. But in times of major change, you will want to change that to a more frequent interval such as three months. This allows you to see if you’ve made an impact on employee engagement much sooner during a time when morale could be impacted the most.

Prioritize survey answers based on the magnitude, relevance, and breadth of responses. Your team can then determine an appropriate course of action. Document this action plan and update it over time. A formulated plan will help you articulate your rationale and connect next steps. This transparency will often be respected by your employees and will help alleviate major pushback. Check out the activity below to see survey results and setting goals in action.

Try it out! 

Once you have your action plan, remember that this plan shouldn’t be considered a checklist but more of a cycle. Organizations must not only come up with these plans but also reflect afterwards and adjust as needed. Engagement is something an organization will have to continuously work on, so put processes in place to check on how teams are doing. Assess if actions are being taken and whether or not they are successful. Empower and support managers to work with their employees and report back on these results. The toggles to the right list a sequence of actions you should take.

Steps after the engagement survey:

This execution team will be responsible for project managing two categories of actions: 

  • Actions under the responsibility of managers 
  • Actions under the responsibility of the leadership
Once the team is established, their first task is to coordinate the release of Team reports to managers and to set up a good infrastructure to support employees.

Some actions require additional analysis even if taking action quickly is paramount. Gather additional evidence that supports these scores and understand what is causing them so you can address accordingly.

Determine easy ways to demonstrate the survey is being acted on. Quick Hits are:

  • Highly visible.
  • Applied to the vast majority of employees.
  •  Presented as a direct result of the survey.

After analysis, develop solutions and plans:

  • Clearly document details gathered.
  • Document the concerns and solutions.
  • Agree on metrics to determined success.

It is key to show employees that their input matters. Provide regular updates on actions being taken and the impact that is made.

An organization, just like you, is constantly growing and changing. But without a support system in place, you’re likely to run into conflict. Measure what truly matters and constantly re-evaluate what you can do better for your employees.

Want to learn more about engagement and the impact it has?