So you have current and/or exited employee satisfaction and engagement data – now what? One of the biggest struggles that organizations have when faced with good data is what to do with it. How do you use the data you have to create important and sustainable changes in your organization?
Here are a few starting points to help you get started and get the most from your data:
- Do whatever you need to do in order to get buy-in from managers. Most likely, effective action planning will happen at the Driver Manager or Fleet Manager level. This doesn’t mean that the problems are usually with the managers, but that there is already a relationship there and we’ve seen action planning at this level to be the most effective. If managers don’t understand the importance of employee satisfaction, engagement and retention, then you have some up-front work to do. Managers need to understand that they are not being punished or being thrown more work for no good reason. Let them know that their support and leadership are a key and necessary part of making positive changes. Emphasize the positive aspects of the manager putting some extra work in up front, such as a more productive fleet, less turnover, fewer empty trucks, and increased morale. All of these positives could lead to changes in your bottom line that can make managers take notice; fewer accidents, lower CSA scores, and less customer complaints can mean more profit.
- Work with managers to choose the most important and actionable issues to address. Once you have buy-in from your managers, it’s time to choose the action item(s) on which to focus their efforts. Managers might need some help and guidance, and this can be the best way for senior leaders to help. Sit down with each manager and find the issues in the data for his/her fleet or board. Help the manager to determine the one or two things that they feel are important and actionable, based on organizational goals and needs. Again, the manager needs to know that it’s important or you could lose your buy-in, so let them choose.
- Help managers to create an action plan. When the manager has identified the one or two most important and actionable issues to work on, an action plan should be created to keep the momentum going. An action plan includes decisions made on the following:
- Who else in the organization we need buy-in and support from
- Resources needed
- A concrete timeline
- Measurable goals
- Determine follow-up for measuring the impact of action plans. When will the next round of data be available so that you can measure the impact that has occurred based on manager action planning? Having follow-up data available can help to keep action planning on track and can also be quite motivating if measurable change has occurred in the areas that have been targeted. If there is not a plan in place to gather follow-up feedback, at least have a “state of the action plan” meeting scheduled with each manager to review the timeline and measurable goals.
We at Strategic Programs, Inc. have worked with clients who have had great success with action planning at the manager level. It can help to make large amounts of data less overwhelming and can be just the thing to create positive, sustainable change in your organization.