Organizational Effectiveness-Working at Iowa

Campus Address
121-51 USB
Mailing Address

121 University Services Building, Suite 51
Iowa City, IA 52242-1911
United States

Action Planning Guide Principles

1. Open Sharing of Results

Leaders are encouraged to utilize the opportunity to positively impact engagement by being open and transparent about survey results as soon as possible.  To gain the advantage of this step, communicate early.  The longer the lag time between when faculty/staff took the survey and your response about the survey, the harder it may be to link recognition and improvement efforts back to the survey.  Another key point of this communication is to outline how your unit plans to respond.

2. Understanding the Data

Action planning is most effectively done through a dialogue process to further clarify the survey results.  It is important to include all employee types in the dialogue.  If only a few leaders interpret the data and select areas of focus, the organization misses the opportunity to further engage and understand the faculty/staff perceptions. Everyone has a part of improving engagement.

  1. Senior Leaders at the University set the cultural tone and create a vision of University Success.
  2. Leaders and Supervisors also lead by example. They help employees understand how their work is connected to the unit success, make sure employees have the training and resources to do the job and to grow, and they recognize employee effort.
  3. Employees have responsibility to engagement as well.  Employees can take advantage of developmental opportunities, invest their "heart and mind" to the work, and collaboratively exchange ideas and support to coworkers and a positive environment.

3. Results to Action

We recommend a 1-2-3 approach to action planning. After dialog with faculty and staff the leadership team selects one or two area's of focus, e.g. clear unit goals. Select actions that will impact those area's of focus, e,g, to increase faculty and staff understanding of unit goals. 1) Discussing unit goals at staff meetings or posting to an internal website and 2) encourage all faculty and staff to set performance goals that contribute to unit goals. Third, communicate multiple times about these efforts and reference Working At Iowa and employee engagement, e.g. post or share progress toward goals and connect it to the good work engaged employees are accomplishing.

For more information or assistance with using your results to improve engagement and productivity, please email