Working at Iowa - Action Planning Guide Principle Two

Active involvement (dialogue) in interpretation of results and selecting area of focus.Interpretation of the results is most effectively done through a dialogue process. 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 an opportunity to further engage and understand their faculty/staff perceptions.

Key Steps

After determining who should be involved in selecting areas of focus and how this can be accomplished, explore the results with the appropriate group(s).

Questions for dialoguing about data include:

    1. What surprised you in the data?
    2. If you were to pick one thing to dig into and learn more about, what would it be?
    3. What are we doing well?
    4. What should we change?
    5. What should we celebrate?
    6. What are the other data points related to this topic, e.g. customer satisfaction data, supervisors observation of staff morale, etc.?
    7. Where do these other data points conflict or support things we are seeing in the WAI data?
    8. How do these results relate to our organization’s key priorities and goals? 

Assistance with planning and facilitation of the dialogue process is available through UI Organizational Effectiveness: (319) 335 2687.

 Narrow down to themes, and consider whether there are stories to illustrate a set of themes. Begin to describe what you hope to achieve in a response plan.

Things to Consider

Engagement survey work is about using the data to drive dialogue, celebrating successes, and planning for improvement. The best results come from having the faculty/staff involved determine what is important to them rather than getting mired in whether the data is “perfect” or “significant.”

We encourage organizations to consider focus areas that are both 1) changeable and 2) important to faculty and staff.

The most important issues and changeable issues might not be the ones with the lowest scores. It’s not likely that any organization can focus on everything identified in the survey results. Choose your focus areas based on the collective expertise of your faculty and staff. Organizations with active strategic plans and multiple data sources might work to consider which items best support strategic priorities. Other organizations might find several small issues that can quickly be addressed.

Outcomes and Resources

  • The desired outcome is to better understand the survey results, develop areas of focus and create enthusiasm for change.
  • Worksheet for creating a dialogue and selecting areas of focus.