Some people love data and will want to spend weeks dissecting and digesting every possible number and comparison available. However, this probably isn't the most useful approach to improving your culture (we've written about this here). There is actually a lot you can do by taking a very simple approach to your results and moving straight into discussions and idea generation for action. Thus, here we present the five minute guide to Culture Amp results using our Insight report. Most companies choose some overall company level focus points but it can also be useful for Managers and their teams to find one or two unique things to work on.
Here's a quick guide for Managers on working with results.
This manager leads a group with 7 employees and they have achieved an 86% response rate. This is a good response rate and exceeds our global average of around 80%. For most purposes you can relax once you hit around 75%. For a more detailed guide take a look at our post here. It's good not to get too fixated on response rates - you still have legitimate respondents - and you can always tell people you can only act on the feedback you receive. Once people see you acting on the feedback you'll often find your response rates going up naturally over time. Remember, you have 100% of the people who took the time to respond so the most important thing is to consider, discuss and act on their feedback.
Engagement Score (or other Key Factor)
We often use the average score from a few key questions to create a combined outcome factor such as Engagement here. This factor then represents the key things you want to improve in your company and gives you an outcome measure with better measurement characteristics. You can read more about Engagement here. The scores themselves are percentage favorable scores - they represent the percentage of people who rated the questions using either of the top two rating options. You can read about this here. The 49% Engagement score here is lower than the overall company score (down 23 percentage points).
If you're looking at overall company results you might also have other surveys, or a benchmark score here to compare yourself against but, it is best to focus on your own future trend - the trend is your friend.
The Other Factors are usually combinations of questions (just like Key Factor above) that represent aspects of the workplace that may influence or impact your Key Factor score. For example we'd expect things such as Leadership and Management to have an impact on Engagement levels amongst employees. A manager can see how positive, neutral or negative their employees feel about the broad areas by hovering on each factor, and the green (or red) comparisons on the right show how this compares with the company overall.
Clicking the heading will sort any of the columns and clicking on any factor will take you through to see the individual questions that contribute to the factor. At the company level you might also have benchmark, or prior survey comparisons to view.
Where's the biggest impact?
We generally use a Key Factor, such as Engagement, as our primary indicator in our ongoing quest to improve our culture (or whatever else we want to improve). However, Key Factors such as Engagement tend to measure things that are the outcomes of many inputs and are hard to directly impact - it is difficult to just make people want to stay at your company for example. This is where measuring impact comes into play to see which non-outcome questions had the biggest impact on Engagement scores across all of the individuals in your organization. The report uses statistical algorithms to arrive at these results and you can read more about this here.
The key thing is to just pick one or two of the top five Impact questions as your focii for improvement. Don't worry if it is the top question or the fifth one (you can even look a little further down the list via clicking All Rated Questions). Pick questions you feel you might be able to act on, or ask your team to help you pick them. You might also pick one high scoring question as a strength and a low scoring item as an opportunity. Now, even though these non-outcome questions are more actionable than outcome questions it isn't always 100% clear what you should do.
Remember, a survey is just a tool to help guide your focus and discussions with employees and track your progress. Speak with your team or department about the results and the Impact questions and together try to understand how you might experiment and test ideas for improving things.
The Impact just helps you and your team narrow your focus and concentrate on something that is likely to improve things for everyone (not just a few louder voices). Agile culture practices don't thrive on an analytic search for the perfect interpretation of your results. Agile cultures thrive on using available data to quickly develop ideas and experiments, fail fast when you have to, and to get on with it.
Postscript on Comments
As a manager you may or may not have access to comments. Access to comments is sometimes restricted because they can often be identifiable and in many cases it is best to view them after you have absorbed your quantitative results. Check with your HR administrator as to what you have been given access to. Comments can provide some interesting color and some further insight into specific issues that may be raised by your survey. However, comments should be viewed as secondary to the quantitative results for a number of reasons.
- Comments are often from a smaller number of respondents so they may not be representative of everyone. The whole point of a survey is to allow each employee an equal say or vote so focusing on comments from a few individuals can defeat this whole purpose.
- Some people may write most of the comments across multiple questions and they may write the most. The noisiest cog is again getting the most attention.
- People are by their nature sensitive to negative feedback so we will often focus on negative comments and ignore both the survey results and other comments.
Here's an example most of us can probably relate to:
The best thing to do with comments is leave them until you've absorbed your results and then to use comments to understand some more detail. If you have a low score on something check the comments for those that might help you understand and the same for things you might have higher scores on. Comments can form part of your results conversations where you ask employees about their thoughts but remember they are more individual so it is best to paraphrase a few that are constructive and in line with the overall results. This can emphasize that it is the overall results that will shape the ongoing conversation and action and that constructive comments are going to get the most voice.