We would like to thank Jeff for his time and expertise. We encourage everyone to check out his LinkedIn profile, Jeffrey A. Jolton. You can also reach him through jeffrey.a.jolton@pwc.com.

To engage their employees, organizations must give them a voice.  In our most recent podcast with Jeffrey Jolton, we talked about the importance of reaching out to employees through surveys and what it means to actually listen to the responses.   Jeffrey is the managing director of PricewaterhouseCoopers’ (PwC) people analytics practice.  He has over 15 years of executive consulting experience and has contributed to over 90 publications and presentations related to engagement and employee experience.  He is a regular presenter at numerous professional conferences and is published extensively in both business periodicals and scientific journals. He co-edited a book on global HR practices and holds a PhD in industrial organizational psychology from Ohio University.

Employers often try to engage with their employees through engagement surveys. Yet, they don’t often see honest feedback and optimistic participation. This indifference to engagement surveys comes from a lack of action in response to the survey. When the survey process is done properly, it provides the company with better data on how to improve. However, if the organization doesn’t take timely steps to make those improvements, employees will begin to doubt the efficacy of the effort they expended filling out the survey. This apathy will result in a much less effective surveying process and workforce that doesn’t trust its leadership. Managers and leaders then should act on the feedback they receive in a positive way to improve the company overall.

Jeff discussed that in engaging employees, companies should have intentionality. He emphasized that if a company is just doing it because everyone else is and doesn’t really have a sense of why they want an engaged environment, then they’re not going to see a lot of success.  Jeff continued by saying that many companies don’t actually know what engaging employees would mean and how would it change their business, yet they still take employee surveys because that’s what they think they should be doing. He opined that a survey is an effective strategy when done intentionally. Surveys should communicate to employees that their feedback is crucial for the company’s well-being. Surveys should also be able to get across to the employees that the feedback will be used for them and not against them. Surveys should contain questions that are relevant to those taking it. Finally, survey data should be analyzed and best off the results, noticeable actions should be published to the company and implemented. When companies take action based on survey results, employees are more likely to participate in giving future feedback. However, Jeff concluded by saying that surveys may not be the right tool for all companies. Companies should think of the right strategy for them and act accordingly

Companies should be authentic in wanting to engage employees. Listen to the full podcast to learn more on how employee feedback can propel companies forward.  Reach out to your colleagues and be a force for change.