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Demystify Engagement Data

Move from numbers to insight to action to drive both engagement and business results.


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  • Katie Bailey, Professor of Management, University of Sussex
  • Brad Borland, Independent Engagement Consultant
  • Susan Byrd, Senior Vice President of People, SpecialtyCare
  • Bobbi Chamberlain, RPR, HR Advisor, Grande Prairie Regional College
  • Jenna Filipkowski, PhD, Director of Research, Human Capital Institute (HCI)
  • Ani Girgitsova, Senior Talent Development Specialist, Progress
  • Betsy Good, MS/SPHR/SHRM-SCP, ‎HR Manager, Texas Windstorm Insurance Association
  • Vlatka Hlupic, Professor, Management Consultant, Author of “The Management Shift,” CEO and founder of The Management Shift Ltd. and Drucker Society London.
  • Claire Kelliher, BSc/MA/PhD, Professor of Work and Organization, Cranfield University
  • John Purcell, Visiting Professor, University of Bath
  • Dilys Robinson, BA/MBA/FCIPD, Principal Research Fellow, Institute for Employment Studies
  • John Schriber, ‎Director of Organization Assessment, Employee Engagement, and Values, Humana
  • Amanda Shantz, Reader in Human Resources and Organisational Behaviour, ‎IÉSEG School of Management
  • Brad Shuck, Assistant Professor, University of Louisville
  • Maradene Wills, Strategic Human Analytics Expert, Scotiabank

Your Challenge

  • A lack of understanding of how engagement impacts business performance increases the risk of engagement efforts becoming an exercise in futility.
  • Examining engagement data in isolation makes it difficult for organizations to identify key opportunities for improvement.
  • Many organizations believe they’re taking action when what they’re really doing is simply sharing the data.
  • Actions targeted at employee happiness or satisfaction will not necessarily improve employee engagement.
  • Unless engagement efforts can demonstrate true value, cynicism will continue to build and will threaten the credibility of employee engagement.

Our Advice

Critical Insight

  • Engagement is a measurement; the score is not an objective. Combat cynicism by involving leaders in the engagement process.
  • The frequent point of failure in employee engagement lies in not uncovering meaningful insights, the link between data and informed action. Sharing data is not the same as acting on data. Make sure accountabilities for practical action on data are clearly assigned.
  • HR is an important facilitator of engagement initiatives, but ownership of insights and action must be shared by HR and other functional managers alike. You can’t prescribe what will engage employees. You have to ask them and tap into the employee voice to help you fill in the blanks.

Impact and Result

  • Apply McLean & Company’s process to move from numbers to insight to action, unlocking the ROI on engagement surveys.
  • Tune in to employee voice and get to the story behind the numbers, leading to engagement initiatives that will make a real impact.

Research & Tools

1. Integrate the engagement strategy with the business strategy to maximize impact

Examine the organization’s engagement history and determine its maturity to establish engagement purpose, goals, and outcomes.

3. Drive action using insight

Prioritize actions and tailor them to department and team levels.

Guided Implementations

This guided implementation is a seven call advisory process.

Guided Implementation #1 - Integrate the engagement strategy

Call #1 - Discuss the organization’s engagement history and maturity.
Call #2 - Review engagement purpose, goals, and outcome.

Guided Implementation #2 - Move from numbers to insight

Call #1 - Discuss engagement results and identify priority drivers.
Call #2 - Identify additional metrics and select a data collection method.
Call #3 - Discuss data and discover insights.

Guided Implementation #3 - Drive action using insight

Call #1 - Discuss proposed action initiatives at the organizational and team levels.
Call #2 - Review initiative progress and plan to readjust as necessary.

Onsite Workshop

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Onsite workshops offer an easy way to accelerate your project. If you are unable to do the project yourself, and a Guided Implementation isn't enough, we offer low-cost onsite delivery of our project workshops. We take you through every phase of your project and ensure that you have a roadmap in place to complete your project successfully.

Module 1: Prepare an Engagement Strategy

The Purpose

  • Define workforce engagement.
  • Determine survey communication strategy.

Key Benefits Achieved

  • Set definition for organizational engagement.
  • Communication plan determined.




Define what an engaged workforce means for your organization.

  • Identified engagement maturity; defined purpose, goals, and outcomes.

Plan and prepare survey communication.

  • Communication plan determined.

Module 2: Plan for Data Collection and Insight Mining

The Purpose

  • Identify metrics.
  • Determine collection methods for qualitative data.

Key Benefits Achieved

  • Metrics have been determined.
  • Collection methods decided.




Identify additional metrics.

  • Additional metrics set.

Identify qualitative data collection methods.

  • Determined data sources and collection methods.

Module 3: Move from Numbers to Insight

The Purpose

  • Analyze survey results and identify insights.

Key Benefits Achieved

  • Engagement drivers are set.
  • Insights are determined.




Analyze engagement survey results.

  • Priority engagement drivers identified.

Identify engagement insights.

  • Engagement story finalized.

Module 4: Drive Action

The Purpose

  • Determine and prioritize initiatives.
  • Create action plans.

Key Benefits Achieved

  • Initiatives determined and put in a priority sequence.
  • Detailed action plans are created.




Identify engagement driver initiatives.

  • Engagement driver initiatives determined.

Prioritize initiatives.

  • Priority initiatives identified.

Create initiative action plans.

  • Detailed action plan for priority initiatives created.