Without emotional commitment, employee engagement surveys fall into the category of useless data.

Employee engagement surveys improving business results?
Only works if you show vulnerability!

Engagement surveys can be more than a way for employees to vent their frustrations about their boss or the food in the company cafeteria.

Actually, if you act on the results of your employee engagement survey – really listen and do something with what your employees tell you –   I can promise you your business results will improve!
But it only works if there is emotional commitment of the leaders. 

Without emotional commitment, employee engagement surveys fall into the category of useless data.

This year I guided several companies in employee engagement.

3 Main points of concern when doing an engagement survey:

1. A score is only but a score

The primal reason of an employee engagement survey is to find out how people feel. If you want to get answers on what makes people happy, angry or sad, don’t just ask them to give scores. Don’t robotize the process. Asking for scores gives you scores. Easy to work with, but without any real value.  Scores don’t tell you what is really going on behind the scene.

2. Make it human

Any employee with a crumb of emotional awareness can spot the falsity of the check – a – box feedback exercise from a mile away. Employers who want to hear what their employees think, will have to really, truly ask and be ready to listen.

Take time to interact. Listen actively. Give your full attention. Ask questions. Don’t interrupt and frequently paraphrase back to confirm understanding. This is why it is so important to provide training throughout the organization in listening, probing for information and interpersonal communication.
If you don’t feel you are up to it right yet, look for an interviewer who is trustworthy. Someone people easily open up with.

3. Emotional commitment

Engagement requires emotional commitment on the part of leaders. It’s ok to put the results of the survey in to an action plan. But don’t stop just there! The biggest lack pointed out by all the surveys I did was the lack of genuine and sincere interest.

There is more. Interviewees told me that they would find it strange if their boss suddenly would give them praise or would ask them how they were doing as a result of the findings of the survey. They said they would perceive this new behavior as not genuine, not authentic, not sincere.  That’s why in my opinion the biggest challenge most leaders are facing is to become more emotionally involved with their employees.  

Most of today’s leaders excel in rational and logical thinking, rather then in emotional and intuitive thinking. Emotional connection starts with vulnerability. Are you prepared to open up and say to one of your employees “Hey, what I’m about to say might sound strange.  Survey results showed that I could improve in connecting.  I’m willing to try and to learn, but I need your help. Are you prepared to take this journey with me?

Vulnerability is where real connection starts. From human to human. It takes courage. Do you have it? 

Take the free SELF TEST on Personal Leadership skills to find out!

Free SELF TEST Personal Leadership Skills

I developed “The Road to TRANSFORMATION” to help you increase employee engagement. A clear action plan towards a sustainable engagement culture.

If you enjoyed this post, I’d be very grateful if you’d help it spread by emailing it to a friend, or sharing it on Twitter, Linkedin or Facebook. Thank you!

So grateful to have shared this with you!

Live on purpose,



P.S.: On the 17th of February I’m giving a workshop on employee engagement with Martine Tempels, Senior VP Telenet for Business. For more info and registration click here.

P.S.: Leadership Road to Freedom open training on the 30th of March. For more info and registration click here.

Ann Baeke

Natural Leadership wants to help people, teams and organizations with their self-realization in an authentic and effective way. Self – realization brings freedom. People will feel happier and energized. Their performance increases. 

I put the mission of Natural Leadership –  finding self – realization and the freedom to unlock your full potential – to work by doing two things:

  • First helping leaders in strengthening their personal leadership.
  • Second helping teams and organizations in creating a culture of engagement.

Both reinforce each other and transform people and organizations. Result: Increase in well – being, profit and growth.




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