Have you been thinking about engagement surveys it was mentioned in a previous blog?Well, I thought I’d take this a step further and we’d have a look at what a middle manager has received from their organisation’s survey process.

To remind yourself of that post, you can read it here.

The first thing I want to address is the communication linked to the results. Below is the full email that was sent to each employee – including the managers – from the most senior executive of the group. Despite the line that “Your line leader if they haven’t already will provide more group specific date..”., there wasn’t any specific data for any line leader.

(Obviously I’ve de-identified the email but know that the subject line was empty.)

I asked the manager their initial thoughts of the communication and his response was, “Oh, that’s typical.” Followed by a sarcastic, “[Name] oozes inspiration!” 

I was advised that this is 100% indicative of the communication this person sends.

The author of the email missed a massive opportunity to share something positive and something aspirational. They could have shared the next step in the process of using the results for planning, direction, action. 

The results tell a story and this person had a chance to be open about what those results say and what the organisation will do to improve on the bad and continue with the good.

The lesson here is to not waste any communication opportunity. 

In an email to mid-level managers, there’s an opportunity to provide them with some extra insights and guidance for how to discuss the results with their respective teams. The email author missed a massive opportunity to show support for the middle managers to flow the inspiration and aspiration through to operational members of the organisation.

What do you think of this email? 

The second is the results. Below was the one-page attachment. While it’s great to see the results but leave a lot  what do they mean for the organisation or the group within the organisation.

For your information, this is a snapshot of the group alone, not the whole organisation and there isn’t any comparison data provided – not with other groups or last year. If you dive deep you’ll also see typos on the left hand results bar.

The middle manager who shared this with me simply shrugged. “What do I do with this?” 

The other comments shared included (I’m paraphrasing):

  • a lot of the questions are focused on the middle managers (line leaders) which is okay but there are other parts of the organisation that need addressing too
  • the results on the right are not too bad when looking at line leader performance so that shows how the leadership of the mid-level is actually fairly strong however, as my contact shared, this is in despite of the email author’s communication and the level of development invested in leadership development.

There are aspects to pleased about that could have been highlighted and people congratulated. 

While we could go through this line for line, I’d love to hear from you. What would you say to your team if this was your survey results?

Share your thoughts in the comments below…


I appreciate you.