Disengagement: The Black Hole of Employee Engagement Surveys


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Stop Doing This for Better Employee Engagement:

The Annual or Bi-annual Cycle of Disengagement – The Black Hole of Employee Engagement Surveys

Coming up soon, for most organizations, is the annual or bi-annual employee engagement survey. It’s the time of the year where we have the opportunity to provide feedback to our respective organizations on everything from senior leadership effectiveness and the connection to our managers to workplace engagement items like job satisfaction, compensation, benefits, etc.

So, if your organization is like most we encounter the survey process goes something like this: An all-employee announcement goes out informing us it is engagement survey time and they would like everyones participation so they can become a better place to work. An anonymous link goes to all employees and you have 2-3 weeks to link in and complete the survey questions. You go in, complete the survey questions, and provide a number of written comments on how you think the organization can be a better place to work.

Then what usually happens? The sound of crickets. The sound is a result of a long lag time before anything is heard (if ever) regarding the results of the survey. Now, there are a few exceptions to this, but believe us, not many! That is right, we provide feedback and then it falls into the “Black Hole of Employee Engagement Surveys.”

On top of this, if any action is taken it is usually either short lived, not organizationally enabled or leader supported, or rarely provides any meaningful impact to employee engagement. And then, before you know it, the announcement comes out that it’s employee engagement survey time once again. Sigh.

It is a cycle that, rather than engaging people, it often produces apathy and indifference leading to disengagement and the employee attitude that ends with something like this, “Why should I provide feedback when nothing ever comes from it?”. One way to at least keep from adding to disengagement is to stop conducting surveys that get sucked into the vortex of the engagement survey black hole.

However, we have found that if you spend the time, people and financial resources to survey, then spend the time, people and financial resources on all-employee engagement training and in forming cross-functional “survey and feedback performance teams” that provide insights and recommendations for enhancing employee engagement based on the results, you can start to truly move the needle on organizational employee engagement. Rather than relegating the survey follow-up to HR (which is already swamped), or mid-level managers who “Have a business to run,” our saying is “If you want better employee engagement, you better engage your employees”. Profound we know, but sometimes the answer to the most difficult opportunities is standing right before us. Increasing employee engagement can be as simple as engaging your employees in the survey and results process.

So stop the annual survey cycle of disengagement. Your organization will thank you!

We have consistently shown in working with our clients double digit increases in year over year employee engagement scores. We simply start by taking their annual survey feedback and partner with them to turn that feedback into meaningful, year over year sustainable employee engagement by engaging their employees. If you want to know more about increasing employee engagement, contact us here.


For more information on how to more actively engage in your organization join our DESTINATION: SUCCESS page, or contact us!


Cornerstone Learning is a performance and leadership consulting organization that has worked with clients all over the world. Our focus is working with individuals and organizations to create performance solutions that deliver top-tier results by inspiring, enabling, and developing employee-led, leader supported, and organization enabled performance. We are able to successfully deliver this through multiple products and services such as employee surveysonline training, performance assessments, and performance coaching. The goal at Cornerstone Learning is to assist our clients in enabling success by developing a dynamic and customized pathway to deliver role model organizational and personal performance.