The ongoing cycle of customer experience success is comprised of four main influencers: Employees, Customers, Management, and Data. In this series, CSP examines the Employee segment of that cycle and the benefits of focusing on internal culture to drive success.
So you’ve been convinced of the value of employee engagement metrics. You want to see what can happen when you prioritize employee engagement. You’ve enlisted the help of an objective outside party, such as CSP, to collect information from your staff and learn what the key drivers of engagement are in your unique environment. Now what?
Data is the essential foundation of any strategy aimed at improving the employee experience. When you make decisions based on hard evidence, rather than personal opinions or anecdotal success stories you’ve read about from other managers, you’re already on the right track to effecting positive change.
Making the numbers “talk” is the next part of the journey. This is where evidence meets intuition – where data meets with the human touch. With an experienced analytical eye, the raw data begins to tell the story of your organization from the employee’s point of view.
Visualizing the Data
Our understanding of data is largely influenced by how that data is presented. A spreadsheet might contain all the necessary information, but often it takes a visual representation of that information for the insights within to become clear.
Bar charts, pie charts, scatter plots, and line graphs are among the most common, and most effective, ways of turning data into recognizable patterns. These days, it’s also not hard to find measurement tools that generate custom visualizations, such as CSP’s benchmarking dashboard gauges.
Why does this matter? The exact same data can be conveyed in many different ways, and each will have an effect on how that data is interpreted. What you see is what you get; how you see it determines what you get out of it.
For example, pie charts convey percentages of a whole, while scatter plots convey the frequency of each possible response. You can neither get a bell curve out of a pie chart, nor deduce a percentage out of a scatter plot. And depending on what it is you’re measuring, a percentage may tell you more than the frequency, or vice versa. (We’ll be discussing the nuances of data visualization more in an upcoming post.)
Writing the End to the Story
Once the right match has been made between the data and the presentation, and patterns are revealed, the last thing you want to do is just sit on the intelligence you’ve gathered. Now is the time to start asking the questions that will bring this story to a satisfying conclusion:
- What can be changed right now? While there is no “quick fix” to the overall employee experience, the data may point to one or two pain points where change can happen with the least investment of time and resources.
- What needs more attention or discussion? Maybe the results of the survey were mixed enough that there is no obvious conclusion without a closer look, or the solution to resolve the pattern is more complex and involves input from other decision-makers.
- Is there a larger scale cultural change that needs to happen? In some cases, the data may indicate that the internal culture of your workplace is in need of more than just a tune-up.
- Is there anything that can’t be changed? Some things will inevitably be outside of your locus of control, or otherwise limited by the availability of resources to resolve them. What might need to change is how you address these sensitive issues with employees.
These questions can help you prioritize the drivers of engagement that need to be prioritized in your employee engagement strategy. With this information, you can begin to embrace change and reap the benefits.
More posts on internal culture and employee engagement: