By Becci Gould

For many companies, it’s that time of year again – the annual staff survey results land on your desk…and it’s not a pretty sight. Whether it Best Companies or you own survey results, it often tends to be this time of year (typical when moods are at their lowest – Blue Monday, National Pull a Sickie Day etc) but instead of beating yourself up, here’s how can you turn the negativity into a positive and start turning those results around.

Whilst you might be pleased with the overall result, chances are, you’ll be zoning in on the negatives – the scores that have dipped, focusing with gritted teeth on those that have plummeted – it’s human nature. Loss of faith in your leadership, lapses in loyalty to the company, declining belief in what you stand for – it can make for bleak reading. Especially for a leader – or a HR professional.

And times are tough – with the Brexit outcome still up in the air, redundancies being handed out left right and centre and employees expecting more and more from their employers, it’s no wonder your results aren’t leaving you jumping for joy. Our latest research showed only 42% feel emotionally connected to their companies and over a third (34%) say they’d consider writing a negative review on Glassdoor or other review websites if they weren’t happy with their company culture.

But instead of sitting in a boardroom, endlessly poring over the results – think positively, after all, at least you’ve now got the facts, you have the power to turn things around. Here’s where you can start:

  • Be honest about the results – admit the areas you need to work on. Don’t be shy about communicating your challenges, your people will respect you for it.
  • Take the time to listen – really listen – to their problems; face to face. Give them chance to let off steam, get it all off their chest – yes, it may make that particular week a living hell, but it’ll pay dividends in the future. Psychologically people can’t get on board with new ideas unless they’ve had chance to challenge and have their say.
  • Involve your people in finding a solution – co-creation is key here, if they don’t trust you, they’ll be far more bought into the outcome if they or their peers have helped create the solution.  
  • Help them connect to your company emotionally – your scores could be a sign your employees aren’t connecting to your purpose and values (maybe you don’t have them at all). And we know from the reams of evidence out there that purpose is the no.1 way to build trust in leadership, loyalty and happiness at work.
  • Do it properly – invest time, budget and resource into doing all of the above properly – token gestures just aren’t going to cut it, your employees are far too savvy for that!

Want to find out more or interested in a free private consultation with one of our employee engagement experts? Contact