Working with: Company G

From top level figures to actionable insights.

Company G had run an employee survey through another provider, but the results they received centred only on top level figures. What they wanted was to understand how they might use their results to make a real difference to their employees.

When they approached FWPXA, they weren’t looking to re-run the survey. Instead, they wanted a clear understanding of the results. And ways to obtain qualitative information and identify actionable recommendations that would positively impact their teams.

Lynne took time to understand the existing survey data. She then facilitated a series of workshops to get in-depth insights from employees about what needed to change. It was important this process was seen as a genuine catalyst for action, so she identified four main areas of focus from the survey and encouraged discussion on those topics.

By the end of the process, Lynne had detailed 31 actionable recommendations. She prioritised these against potential impact on employee experience (high/low) versus likely cost/time investment. The result was 11 high impact, low cost recommendations which formed the basis of Company G’s focus for the next six months.

Lynne also provided additional support to help implement several of the recommended actions. Six months on, a follow up workshop highlighted these were also the areas which had seen the most improvement.

The problem

Company G was using an ‘off-the-shelf’ employee survey. The questions weren’t tailored to their employees or their sector and, rather, focused on top-level data points. The emphasis was on creating an upsell for the survey provider, not on giving actionable insight to help Company G address any issues raised by the survey.

Additionally, the data produced lacked sufficient detail, with no indication of what the figures meant or how they might influence employee experience in the future. Results were compared to prior survey responses and national benchmarks, but they lacked interpretation to show whether changes were considered positive or negative.

FWPXA was, therefore, approached as they were known for getting to the heart of employee insights. It was hoped Lynne would be able to give them more tangible information to work with, and she did.

Applying a new mindset:
Communicate, Listen, Understand, Act mindset

The four fundamentals we live by: Communicate, Listen, Understand, Act


Understanding the start point

By the time Lynne was involved, the communicate element had already been completed. The survey had been issued, responses received, and a report sent through from the original provider. Company G now had a sense of ‘what’ the situation was, but they were missing the ‘why’.

Their aim in conducting the survey was to have a way to proactively address any employee concerns, not just measure them. What they needed was an understanding of how results were trending, as well as any areas of concern. As the initial survey results didn’t provide that clarity, Lynne ran a series of workshops to gain the required additional insight directly from the employees.


Completing top-line analysis and identifying themes

With survey results in hand, Lynne set about working through the top-level results. The report from the original provider included statements, such as:

52% of respondents feel there’s too much work. Open answers reveal urgency and amount of workload.

While this may have been accurate, it didn’t provide Company G with sufficient information to know how to address that issue.

It wasn’t possible to get a more detailed breakdown of the original results e.g. by department. So, instead, Lynne relied on comparisons of the current survey outputs with prior results and industry averages.  By highlighting those figures which showed the greatest variances from these benchmarks, she was able to identify four areas of focus:

  • Tasks and responsibilities: How well employees understood the expectations of their role and the tasks they needed to complete.
  • Mental stress levels: Whether employees felt their own mental stress levels were at an appropriate level to allow them to work effectively.
  • Work fluency/workflows: The efficiency of work processes and how easy employees found it to be productive.
  • Knowledge limits: Whether employees felt they were operating within or at the limits of their work knowledge.

These topics created the main discussion points for the employee workshops, as Lynne sought to understand these issues in more detail.


Using focus groups to clarify areas of concern

Lynne used a series of employee workshops to get a better understanding of the issues at Company G. To help get feedback from a cross-section of the business, individuals were selected to represent their departments. Larger departments were given proportionally more attendees.

The first session focused on exploring the top-level figures. Lynne was careful to position these sessions as a positive mechanism for change and was encouraged by the openness of the delegates.

During the session, Lynne:

  • Ensured confidentiality – employee representatives weren’t asked to share their own responses.
  • Shared the four areas of focus – she explained why the top-line results had made these topics of interest.
  • Invited insight – attendees were split into groups and asked to identify factors they felt might have contributed to the scores for two of the four issues.
  • Facilitated a full feedback session – each topic was discussed in turn to highlight key thoughts from the group discussions. The remaining attendees were then invited to share any additional reflections not already covered.

Once the first workshop was completed, Lynne produced a report for the CEO of Company G. She shared information on the key areas of focus and detailed insight on why employees felt issues had been rated that way.

This provided a great basis for the follow-up workshop, which centred on finding possible solutions to the main areas of concern.


Identifying solutions, prioritising them, and putting them into practice

Two weeks after the first focus group, Lynne ran a second session. This time, she focused on understanding what recommendations employees had to address the key areas of concern.

Through the discussions, it was clear mental stress levels were being directly impacted by the other issues. So, Lynne encouraged the employees to help identify solutions to address underlying causes within the other three focus areas.

Armed with this employee feedback and insight from the first workshop, Lynne then used her knowledge to propose additional recommendations which she knew could make a tangible impact on the employee experience at Company G.

Overall, she presented 31 actionable recommendations in her report. Recognising this could feel overwhelming, she helped senior leaders prioritise the actions by assessing employee impact against time/cost investment. The result was 11 easily actionable insights which formed the focus of Company G’s actions for the next six months.

Key recommendations included:

  • Focusing on Professional Development Reviews (PDRs): Prioritising them and ensuring managers have sufficient time to complete them; using them to review job descriptions to get a clearer understanding of current responsibilities.
  • Alignment in goal setting: Allowing employees to feed into company and departmental goals before they’re agreed; clearer links between personal goals and daily workload.
  • Speeding up approval processes: Reviewing approvers and sign off levels; introducing more collaborative review processes.
  • Improving company communication: Making changes to regular company-wide meetings to improve overall communication; reducing silos; and introducing cross-functional teams and knowledge sharing at all levels, especially where ‘bottlenecks’ of expertise exist.

Having outlined the key recommendations, Lynne was then asked to help Company G review their PDR process. It was important any changes supported the recommended actions from the survey, so Lynne supported them by:

  • Reviewing PDR questions and ensuring they directly related to the purpose of the PDR process (identifying training requirements, supporting promotions and salary changes) and incorporated themes from the report (e.g. understanding workload)
  • Developing training resources for managers so they understood the purpose of PDRs and were able to conduct them effectively.
  • Planning and communicating a quarterly review process. This included offering advice and guidance to help managers set targets based on the quarter, rather than on the full year.
  • Creating a clearer link between personal PDR goals and daily activities, making personal goals more realistic and not an ‘add on’ to their workload.

Company G also looked to address some of the communication concerns. In particular, they started by changing the weekly company-wide meeting so it was less about just informing employees of key issues. Rather, they started to re-balance it, and use it as a way to share more information across teams.

While these two areas didn’t address all the concerns raised, prioritising the actions offered a constructive way to move forward. It allowed Company G to start dealing with the issues and gave them tangible steps to take.

What happened next?

Checking in to see what’s changed

The changes Company G were making were going to take time. The PDR process needs a few quarters to see whether the training and education has taken effect. And changing company-wide communication is no small undertaking. So Lynne checked in after six months to see what progress had been made.

She organised a further employee workshop to gain immediate feedback from employees on how things had changed. The feedback varied:

  • Tasks and responsibilities: While there were positive comments about the PDR process overall, there was still work to be done. The process of setting company and departmental goals had improved, but there were still issues with job descriptions and consistency between managers.
  • Work fluency/workflows: Limited progress had been made on improving workflows, with project management and process documentation still presenting issues. Company G had been having discussions on this, but no new process had yet been agreed. So proposals were made to refresh the efforts that focused on this area.
  • Knowledge limits: There had certainly been improvements in the company-wide meetings. They’d become more relaxed, and more people were now contributing to the sessions. There had also been some progress on knowledge sharing and cross-functional teams, but this seemed focused within certain teams and not yet company-wide.
  • Mental stress levels: As no specific actions had been identified for this topic, it wasn’t reviewed in the workshop. But it is now reviewed more regularly through the quarterly PDRs and future employee surveys.

As with any business, the results from an employee survey don’t just change overnight – there’s a process of education and improvement. By using FWPXA, Company G were able to make impactful changes to their employee experience. They went from having vague high-level figures that told them very little, to understanding the nature of their issues in-depth. It was that shift that enabled them, with support from Lynne, to prioritise their actions to focus on those which made the most difference straight away.


Lynne did a great job getting into the detail of our employee survey. She worked hard to build credibility with our teams so we could get to grips with what was important to them. With Lynne’s help, we’ve had a number of successes improving our employee experience, and we’re excited to see what comes out of the next survey. Thank you.

Managing Director, Company G

Looking for some support?

While ideally Company G would have had a consistent contact from start to finish for their employee survey, sometimes that just isn’t possible. The important thing for FWPXA is that you’re able to get actionable insight and support to implement the changes you need. It’s all about giving your employees the best experience possible, and there’s nothing better than helping you to facilitate that.

If you have a survey that lacks the detail you need to take action, or if you just want to get a clearer understanding of your current employee experience, let’s chat.

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