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Keep the Momentum Going: Action Steps for Improving Workplace Health

Keep the Momentum Going: Action Steps for Improving Workplace Health

Congratulations—you had the courage and curiosity to assess your workplace culture through the Best Christian Workplaces Employee Engagement Survey. Your Best Christian Workplaces consultant went through the results with your team, highlighting strengths and opportunities for improvement.

Now what? How do you act on your assessment of workplace culture and make specific plans to improve and build a healthy workplace with engaged employees?

Two keys to forward momentum are ownership of the process and collaborative communication.

Ownership of the Process

Workplace culture is owned top-down; culture is built bottom-up. Every person in an organization contributes to culture in their day-to-day interactions. The process of increasing the health of your workplace culture will have multiple owners with different spheres of influence. If improving culture is up to everyone, then no one person owns the responsibility for actions. If improving culture is assigned to one person in an organization, there may be limited buy-in and cooperation among different teams. Effective ownership of culture change is held at various levels of the organization and connected to specific desired outcomes. Who should you enlist to develop momentum for the implementation of survey results?

  • Senior leadership: Effective organizations will align their engagement data with their overall strategic plan, so they are only working from one playbook, not trying to juggle different plans. A key member of the senior leadership team needs to own and integrate the results of the engagement survey so that they can demonstrate a commitment to action steps that move ideas into reality. Senior leadership buy-in means that resources will be allocated to action plans, to bring them to fruition. Also, senior leaders need to take the time to consider how action items to improve workplace culture fit into their overall strategic plan and goal setting. It will take engaged employees and a healthy workplace culture to achieve your strategic objectives, so the emphasis on a flourishing workplace reinforces your ability to move forward with your strategic plan.
  • Human Resources professional: In many organizations, someone in the Human Resources area took the initiative for the logistics of the Employee Engagement Survey. This is appropriate, as workplace culture and engaged employees are issues that impact your people management goals. However, responsibility for implementing action items as a result of the survey process should include both HR and other key people throughout the organization.
  • Culture Champions: Organizations that see strong growth in their workplace culture usually have “culture champions” on teams throughout the organization. These culture champions from different teams meet together to share ideas, cross-pollinate, and generate momentum for positive change. While this group may not have decision-making authority for large-scale change, they may be empowered to update processes that are causing frustration and pain points in areas for front-line workers. They can also influence senior leadership by sharing action ideas and leading up.

Collaborative Communication

People want to know that they were heard. When your staff took the time to participate in the Employee Engagement Survey, they trusted that you would look at the results and make positive changes based on the feedback. As you communicate results to your staff, consider both immediate feedback and longer-term communication plans. You may be hesitant to communicate much before you have specific action plans, but silence also indicates something to your staff. Balance your need for concrete action timelines with your employees’ need to know that you are listening.

  • Initial Communication: Once your leadership team has been debriefed on your survey results, you can craft some initial feedback to share with staff. At this point, you don’t want to overcommit to actions that have not yet been determined. Share that you appreciate their feedback, you are listening and learning from the results, and you are working on action steps. You may mention a couple of the Flourish Factors that were high and a couple that were low. Acknowledge that you want to learn and grow in areas that are weak. If you are assembling a cross-team group of culture champions to consider action steps, mention your commitment to this. Then give a timeline for the next report.
  • Communication Over Time: Consider your calendar for employee communication and your 12-month cycle of information sharing. Weave information about actions that have resulted from the survey into regular monthly or quarterly communication. As you implement changes based on survey results and your strategic plan, tie the information together. Here’s an example of linked communication: “As you remember, our survey results showed that we had an opportunity to grow our cross-department teamwork since some of our teams are siloed. We are implementing [specific change] based on employee feedback and our commitment to a flourishing workplace."

An ongoing communication plan involves sharing information and listening to feedback. By practicing healthy communication as you share the results of your Employee Engagement Survey, you are not only impacting the Healthy Communication flourish factor, but other areas such as trust in leadership.

You Are Not Alone

Best Christian Workplaces is committed to walking with you on your journey toward a flourishing workplace culture.

  • Dedicated Consultant: You don’t have to figure out the results of your survey by yourself. Your Best Christian Workplaces consultant has deep experience in working with Ministry Partners to make sure that each organization understands its current reality and develops an action plan to move forward. Their commitment to your organization is ongoing. Continue to interact with your consultant as you implement plans and seek additional resources.
  • Resources: In your Employee Engagement Survey debrief and report, you will have access to resources to help you implement change. Your customized report will offer suggestions on areas to focus on for improvement. The Action Planning Guide gives you step-by-step instructions for culture transformation. The Guide includes helpful worksheets for teams to plan their next steps. In addition, the Best Christian Workplaces website offers resources that are focused on specific areas where you want to grow—including articles, white papers, and e-books. Listen in to the Flourishing Culture Leadership Podcast and be inspired by peers who are also on the road to flourishing.
  • Additional Services: As you’re implementing change and growing a flourishing workplace, you may decide to engage Best Christian Workplaces for additional services. Leadership 360 evaluations and Discovery Groups are just a few of the many ways that Best Christian Workplaces can work with you and your leadership team to incorporate workplace health into your ongoing growth.

It takes time for action to result in culture change. Our experience shows that it can take 18-24 months of consistent actions and behaviors to result in culture change. Organizations that keep their focus on workplace health, and continue assessing their employee engagement, will see improvement over time. And once an organization has achieved a flourishing workplace, there is still more to learn. Consider your engagement survey as one indicator of health, similar to an annual physical. As you grow older, you may need to support your health with different techniques and tools. Employee engagement and workplace health is a dynamic process because you are adding new people, and launching people into other endeavors. By committing to a flourishing workplace, you can continue to learn and grow over time.