Lead Discussions

Employee Engagement Cycle: Discussion

Once you have gathered feedback from your employees, make sure to recognize and celebrate strengths. This will allow your team to continue to be successful in areas that are already supporting engagement. 

The goal of the discussion is to answer the questions rather than problem-solve:

  •  Which issues are the most important to address, given our goals and priorities?
  • Which issues will get in our way if we don’t address them?
  • Which issues are not a high priority, even if they could use improvement?

Reports are available to teams where five or more faculty or five or more staff responded to the survey. It's important to reinforce and support your team for participating in the survey and sharing their feedback. See the tips below to ensure your discussions are successful:

  • Conduct ongoing check-ins to provide opportunities for team members to continue sharing their feedback to their leaders so that these smaller units/teams feel heard, supported, and open to providing feedback in the future.
  • Pay attention to the majority or total consensus or disagreement, not one or two people. Those concerns can be addressed in 1:1 meetings.
  • Carefully consider the results where the majority is neutral, those are areas that you could potentially convert to a favorable response by providing more information and discussion.
  • Make it clear that all of the responses are confidential and figuring out who said what is not the point of the survey or any action steps taken. 

Resources for Conducting Effective Discussions

The following materials will help you prepare for an effective discussion:

  1. Interpreting Your Survey Results guide (PDF) - a step-by-step fillable PDF worksheet to analyze your engagement data and prepare for the next steps.
  2. Employee Engagement Cycle: Discussion Quick Guide (PDF)* - a quick guide that will help you consider the main elements of preparing for an effective discussion, including establishing discussion agenda and facilitation tips. 
  3. Employee Engagement Drivers and Self-Reflection Questions (PDF)* - a quick guide for a supervisor/leader that is useful in thinking through some of the survey results before having a team discussion. All off the self-reflection questions are grouped by driver.
  4. Employee Engagement Drivers and Discussion Questions (PDF)* - a quick guide for an employee that can help solicit feedback in a way that informs priorities and action planning to increase employee engagement. This guide also has a small worksheet at the end that allows an employee to takes notes on their priorities and questions for their supervisor/leader. Can be printed and filled out prior to the discussion or during the discussion.

* These guides are part of the Employee Engagement Module of the Supervisory Development Course. A full module can be accessed at: supervising.umn.edu.


Next: Take Action.

Quick Links


Employee Engagement at the U 
Leader examples and case studies  

Learn about Employee Engagement
Module on engagement fundamentals