Interpreting Survey Results

The Employee Engagement Survey is an opportunity to hear employee feedback. The survey results can help you identify where things are going well and where improvements can be made. Note that the survey results are a snapshot in time. To see the full picture, it’s critical to consider the data in the context of your work and strategic priorities. This section will help you: 

  • Navigate through steps in interpreting your survey results,
  • Prepare for sharing and discussing the results with your employees, and
  • Provide initial ideas for action.

decorativeNote: we recommend printing out the Interpreting Survey Results Guide to follow along with the content:

1. Watch the Introductory Video

While this video displays data from the 2017 Employee Engagement Survey, the guidelines for data interpretation remain the same.

Employee Engagement: Interpreting Survey Results

2. Review the Interpreting Survey Results Guide

Use the Interpreting Survey Results Guide below as a step-by-step fillable PDF worksheet to analyze your engagement data and prepare for the next steps.

View Printable Guide


3. Plan for the Next Steps

Review the Survey Follow-Up Item Results

Survey Follow-up ItemsThree survey follow-up items were added to the survey in 2014 to provide an indication about employee perceptions on whether they had participated in a feedback session around the survey results, whether they had seen action taken on survey results, and whether they felt the results would be used constructively.  

The reason these questions are important is the tendency for engagement to decline when employees perceive their input has been ignored or discounted. Knowing your employees’ perceptions gives you another place to start in action planning.

It is important to provide ongoing communication of progress around the steps taken to share results and take action. Often employees do not realize -  or may forget - that actions taken to improve the work environment were a direct result of the feedback provided in the survey. For this reason, it is also important to provide a summary of all actions taken to support employee engagement prior to the next survey administration.

Next: Lead Discussions.

Quick Links

Employee Engagement at the U 
Leader examples and case studies  

Learn about Employee Engagement
Module on engagement fundamentals

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If you have questions about interpreting survey results email A limited number of in-person consultations are also available.