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The Survey Action Cycle: Ask – Analyse – Act – Announce

Updated: Feb 22, 2021

Statistics show that employees are pessimistic when it comes to whether they think their managers will listen to their survey feedback.

(Credit to for infographic)

A survey designed to be purely tick-box may be completed and forgotten instantaneously – simply done to remove it from the inbox. However, if you have invested time and energy developing insightful survey questions and allowed ample opportunity for free commentary, and your participant has spent time and energy responding, you owe them a debt of gratitude. They have given you their thoughts for one reason … to be heard. They have engaged and helped you in your role. They have given you the key to unlocking the next stage of success for your organisation.

When the responses have been collated, analysed and conclusions drawn, the critical work starts.

  • Ensure that once they click ‘send’, they receive a personalised response thanking them for taking the time to talk to you, assuring them that you value their opinion.

  • Your survey should be designed to tease out both latent and overt, positive and negative issues within the organisation. After all the joint organisational effort of creating and completing the survey, the organisation owes it to itself to make some changes in accordance with the results.

  • Do something, however small, a quick-win, to show your staff that you listened, that you understood and that you are committed to making changes as a result of their feedback. Tell them quickly and make something noticeable happen quickly. It may be as small as supplying a preferred brand of coffee! Then you can start talking about the longer-term changes you are planning.

  • Use posters, a blog, a newsletter, announcements at meetings. A simple “You said… abc, we did…xyz” works well. Keep your staff involved and they are more likely to give you more honest and actionable feedback in future.

  • In time, ask them for feedback on the changes made, hopefully you will receive positive reinforcement and more suggestions for further improvements.

  • And then thank them …. and then look at the feedback … and then do something …. and then tell them … and then go back and consult again …

The graphic below shows how this is a continual process; a survey without the next steps is simply a huge waste of everybody’s time and could actually damage engagement. When you take your survey through the full cycle and implement actions, you can build engagement and improve your business.

The first survey is simply that; the first. Though valuable and leading to initial improvement, it should be seen as the start of a continual learning cycle of asking, analysing, acting on the results and announcing what you have done in response. Further surveys will help to foster engagement and a culture of continuous improvement and innovation. e.g.

First Survey

ASK – Send out your survey remembering to say thank you to respondents.

ANALYSE – Look at the numbers and comments; what are they telling you? What is working well? What needs improving? And what matters most to them?

ACT – Do something about it. Make a change. Even the smallest improvement can have a big impact on employee experience.

ANNOUNCE – Show your audience you have listened by publicising the improvements made as a result of feedback received.

Subsequent Surveys

ASK – The next survey may include questions on the changes you made as a result of the first survey, to check you heard and understood correctly. In this way you are building engagement.

ANALYSE – Look at the statistics and comments; what are you being told? Did you get it right? What further changes need to be made?

ACT – Do something. No survey leads to inactivity; there is always an outcome available for business improvement.

ANNOUNCE – Again, thank your audience and tell them about your actions.

ReponseStar can assist with getting the most out of your survey and can help you focus on the free text comments, making sure nothing requiring immediate response or action is missed.

You could give us a quick call to find out what ResponseStar could do to unlock your potential.

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