HR Solutions’ Proven and American Hospital Association Endorsed
Five-Step Process For Successfully Conducting Employee Engagement / Opinion Surveys
HR Solutions has been an Employee Enagement /Opinion Survey specialist since its inception and
we are proud to be known and recognized as the leading provider of these AHA-endorsed value-
added employee survey instruments to the healthcare field.
Our firm has helped thousands of healthcare and non-healthcare organizations with employee and
customer satisfaction surveys, including Ascension Healthcare, BJC Health System, Harvard
Medical School, Johns Hopkins Health System and Mayo Clinic. This vast experience provides
healthcare clients with access to the largest national databases of healthcare employee
opinions; vital in benchmarking employee feedback against peer organizations. Our healthcare
clients have access to Best Practice approaches from a cross-section of healthcare and non-
healthcare organizations. Applying insights from outside the healthcare field is crucial in
helping hospitals retain satisfied, loyal employees in today’s tight marketplace.
Healthcare Employee Engagement/Opinion Surveys
Our standard Employee Engagement/Opinion surveys are available in short and more
• The short-form is ideal for companies who elect to continually spot-check
employees’ opinions and keep abreast of what’s important and how the
organization is doing.
• The comprehensive survey is highly efficient; accurately measuring 19 key topics,
while keeping employee completion time to a minimum.
• Our Sweet 16™ is specifically designed to measure Employee Engagement levels
tied to commitment, motivation and a sense of purpose within the organization.
Administered both online (web) and offline (paper), these instruments are unmatched in the
We can also design entirely customized survey instruments linked to your goals and objectives. In our
experience, 30-40 items is ideal to measure an organization’s Employee Engagement/Opinion Survey
level accurately, but a hallmark of our offering is our flexibility to accommodate broader surveys to meet
your specific needs.
What Differentiates Employee Engagement/Opinion Survey Products
From Its Peers?
HR Solutions has helped thousands of healthcare and non-healthcare organizations with
employee and customer satisfaction surveys.
What distinguishes HR Solutions in the minds of our clients and differentiates our Employee
Engagement/Opinion offerings from other survey providers is:
• Customized survey instruments linked to your business goals
• Advanced technology-driven and flexible reporting and action-planning systems
• Results-oriented recommendations tied to business objectives
• Cross-correlations between EOS and Patient Satisfaction survey data to understand
alignments or gaps between employees’ and patients’ opinions
• HR Solutions’ unwavering commitment to continuous innovation led to a series of
“firsts” in the healthcare field from which AHA members will benefit:
• Magnet Hospital norms; Aspiring Magnet Hospital norms
• Department-based norms for top-40 healthcare departments
• “Custom” survey item normative/benchmark data
• PI.3.1 Joint Commission on employee/patient safety norms
• Healthcare-specific Best-In-Class™ (top 10%) normative data
• Benchmark scores against Academic/Teaching hospital norms
We recommend that the survey process should be completed within a two-month
time frame. Albeit, HR Solutions’ noted agility can allow your organization to
accelerate the process.
HR Solutions’ Five Step Proven Survey Process
“ We have been evaluating the marketplace for months, looking for
the provider of employee satisfaction surveys that we could recommend to
our 5,000 AHA hospital members,” reports Andrew Schoneich, assistant vice
president strategic alliances for AHA Solutions, a wholly-owned subsidiary
of the AHA. “What set HR Solutions apart from its competitors were its post-
survey action planning and communication support. This is a firm that
understands that just doing an employee opinion survey isn’t enough, rather
it’s the actionable findings and end results that matter. Our reference calls
with HR Solutions’ impressive client list echoed this fact.
MANAGEMENT KICK-OFF MEETING
The Management Kick-off Meeting prepares your organization’s management team for an effective
and positive engagement.
Topics for Discussion:
• The survey tool itself; how it was designed and how it is to be completed by employees;
• Project roll-out procedures;
• Frequently asked questions that may arise during survey administration;
• How to avoid the most common mistakes made with the survey;
• Sequence of all steps of the recommended survey process;
• Purpose of the feedback sessions; and
• Recommended final report, communication and action-planning steps.
Benefits of Conducting a Management Kick-off Meeting:
• Prepares Management for an effective and positive survey process;
• Identifies risks, rewards, and addresses concerns;
• Lays the groundwork for a successful experience;
• Assesses Management commitment.
Overview of a Management Kick-off Meeting:
Introduction to HR Solutions
The Survey Itself
• Dimensions (each survey dimension is reviewed)
• Written Section (Comments Report)
Survey Process Overview
• Data Tabulation / Reporting
• Final Written Report & Action Planning
• Post-Survey Communication and Support
Questions and Answers
There are three reasons why you should consider having an HR Solutions’ consultant administer
your survey project:
1 Instill more confidence in the survey process, due to the greater perceived objectivity and
confidentiality assurances of an outside 3rd party.
For a survey to be valid, the survey respondents must feel comfortable sharing their true feelings on
the survey without perceived fear of retribution. Therefore, it is key for the employees to trust the
survey is totally confidential. In our experience, having a 3rd party administrator significantly
increases the perception among employees that the survey is truly confidential. Thus, allowing the
employees to answer the survey items in a truthful manner without the fear that HR or their
supervisor will find out how individuals feel about their respective jobs. During the administration
our experienced consultants will explain the many ways that HR Solutions guarantees to protect
their confidentiality by emphasizing the following:
• The 3rd party administrator is the only person handling and shipping the surveys directly to our
• Our scanning/transcribing process ensures the surveys are destroyed immediately after they are
• HR Solutions strongly recommends a five-person threshold that only allows results to be
reported for work groups or demographics that have five survey respondents or more. Thus it is
impossible for the organization to identify one employee’s results.
These steps reassure employees that HR Solutions and the company are committed to maintaining
2 Better educate the employees on a survey that HR Solutions is more intimately familiar with.
Our administrators will carefully and correctly inform your employees on the details of the survey,
its response scale, and key definitions (i.e., senior management, coworkers, supervisor, work group,
organization). HR Solutions’ consultants have extensive experience with our survey instruments and
will make certain that your employees understand the survey and its process completely.
3 Ensure each of the surveys are coded correctly.
HR Solutions will clearly explain to employees how to complete the survey’s coding grid with their
supervisor’s code. It is imperative that the surveys are coded correctly to ensure that the
supervisors/managers of your organization receive accurate results that will in-turn yield more
effective and meaningful action plans.
If employees believe their survey is confidential, they will be more honest in their responses. If
employees understand the survey structure, they will complete the survey accurately. If employees
understand the coding process, data results will be presented correctly. All of these factors will
ultimately lead to more accurate survey results and a more successful survey process.
HR SOLUTIONS ANALYTICS
HR Solutions has powerful analytic capabilities that will provide an unprecedented vantage point of your
complex business relationships. Supported by advanced methods of multivariate analysis, our signature
analytic suite will model the behavioral and attitudinal relationships that drive valued business results.
The following information provides a “To-Do List” and integrated approach on your next Employee
Cross-Survey Causal Modeling
As part of our analytic suite, HR Solutions can perform a causal model analysis between your organization’s
Employee Opinion Survey data and your existing Customer Satisfaction data. A full analysis between each of
your data points can uncover previously unexpected relationships and actionable trends. For example, a
causal analysis between your employee and customer data will show whether or not there is a connection
between employee satisfaction and the reasons customers choose your products.
Key Driver Analysis
Building on this theme, our key driver analysis is a statistical tool which can help determine which survey
items are most closely linked to Overall Job Satisfaction (or any other survey topic of your choosing) and
assist in prioritizing action plans.
A Key Driver Analysis can help you decide how to best utilize your resources by identifying the key topics
that have the greatest impact on employee or customer perceptions. For example, one of our clients on a
limited time-frame strove to improve their score on Overall Job Satisfaction. Because they could not address
all of the survey opportunities within the initial months of action planning, they requested a key driver analysis
to help identify which topics will most likely have the biggest effect on employee satisfaction.
HR Solutions uses correlations to help prioritize efforts. However, correlations should not replace qualitative
data (feedback sessions).
Strategic Priority Matrix
HR Solutions continually works to isolate the most useful and interesting data from its extensive national
databases. Recently, we completed a research study which focused on identifying the top ten influencers of
an employee’s Overall Job Satisfaction. This proprietary data fuels analyses such as the Strategic Priority
Matrix, and will offer you extraordinary predictive capabilities not available anywhere else.
HR Solutions’ Strategic Priority Matrix offers you a visual representation of your survey results, helping you
to immediately perceive, analyze and prioritize the organization’s opportunities in a visually cohesive manner.
The Matrix report graphically displays two levels of Survey Dimension data, plotting both their distance from
national norms and their relationship to overall job satisfaction. This crucial data is conveniently organized
according to “priority quadrants,” allowing you to immediately focus on those dimensions that will deliver the
Another strong benefit of this analysis is its ability to focus on both organizational and departmental levels.
This type of targeted perspective is crucial to any change effort, and will give you a customized level of
control not possible with simpler analyses.
HR SOLUTIONS ANALYTICS
As you are aware, HR Solutions’ typical process includes an analysis which presents organizational data in an
easy-to-read, condensed format. An analysis adds value to the survey process and simplifies interpretation of
the statistical survey results. For repeat clients, the analysis is driven by the percent change (as well as the
difference from the normative score) to identify survey highlights and opportunities for improvement.
In preparing the analysis, we load your scores into our database and segment the results into three basic
parts: core highlights, ancillary highlights and opportunities for improvement.
The analysis also lists the work groups that scored significantly different from the rest of the organization to
help prioritize both the Feedback Sessions as well as the action planning process.
One of our clients faced with limited resources, strove to improve their score on
Overall Job Satisfaction. They could not address all of the survey opportunities
within the initial months of action planning, so they requested a Key Driver Analysis
to help identify which topics would provide them the greatest return on investment.
HR Solutions’ Key Driver Analysis illuminated which items were most closely tied
to Overall Job Satisfaction: recognition for a job well done and involve employees
in decisions which affected them.
By ordering a Key Driver Analysis, the organization saved itself valuable time and
money that may have been spent restructuring the benefits package (based on
previously received employee feedback) when greater gains in morale were
made via positive reinforcement and employee involvement in decision making.
• Our analysis simplifies client interpretation of the statistical survey results.
• Our analysis of your survey results saves you time since you don’t have to dig through your
Data Results Books to proceed with interpretation.
• We load all of your scores into our National Healthcare Normative Database and separate the
results into four segments for easy analysis:
1 First, core highlights identified by the survey, are the elements about which people
felt positively in terms of the organization and their job. These core highlights are typically
shown by dimension or subject category.
2 Second, are the ancillary highlights — the individual items which in and of
themselves did not make the dimensional highlight, but are worth mentioning as positive.
3 Third, the core opportunities for improvement by dimension. These are key opportunities
which will be probed for a large part of the feedback sessions and will form a large part of
the action plan.
4 Lastly, the ancillary opportunities for improvement which, again, are the individual items
that showed up below the norm, but not to such a degree where dimension scores are
• The analysis also identifies the work groups whose scores were significantly different from the
rest of the organization to help prioritize both the feedback sessions and the action
• You also receive a summary page which outlines the normative comparison by dimension, and
details your organization’s overall ranking in the HR Solutions’ Healthcare Normative Database
to assist with benchmarking your results versus other organizations.
The Initial Presentation of Survey Results introduces your Senior Management Team (CEO, VPs, HR
Directors, etc.) to the statistical data results at an organizational level, while preparing them for the
next steps in the survey process. During the presentation, the survey dimensions are described, and
the scores and statistical highlights/opportunities for improvement are detailed.
Specifically, the Initial Presentation Will Cover:
• Participation rate, both at a organizational level and by each of the major departments.
• Your organization’s ranking in HR Solutions’ National Healthcare Normative Database.
• Description of each of the survey dimensions.
• Graphical representation of your organization’s score compared to the normative score. [Note:
A comparison to historical data is also provided for repeat clients, depicting the percent change.]
• Discussion of the statistical highlights and opportunities for improvement at the global level.
The Initial Presentation will also provide your management team with detailed information regarding
the next steps in the survey process, including:
• The purpose and importance of conducting feedback sessions.
• Distributing data and survey information.
• Final Report and Final Presentation of the survey results.
• Action planning.
One of the main benefits of the Initial Presentation is that it helps to bring management together to
form cohesive leadership support for the next steps of the survey process, which is essential to a
successful survey. HR Solutions recommends conducting the senior management feedback session
immediately following the Initial Presentation, so that executives can fully understand the process
and purpose of the feedback sessions.
The Initial Presentation forms the important bridge between the first phase of the survey and the
follow-on steps that are essential to a successful outcome.
Feedback sessions are an excellent way to validate and expand upon your survey’s statistical
results. Surveys provide strictly quantitative data, so conducting feedback sessions allows you to
qualify that survey data with specific examples and quotes from employees to define opportunities
and highlights within the work group/organization.
Conducting feedback sessions will enable you to avoid a common mistake: creating action plans
based on statistics alone. Without the benefits of conducting a feedback session, managers often
assume the employees’ reasoning for certain results and end up creating action plans that are
irrelevant or simply misconstrued.
Advantages of Conducting Feedback Sessions:
• Management is made aware of any departmental or work group changes since the survey
• The validity of the statistical results is tested by monitoring employees’ reactions to the collected
• Approval or disapproval of certain items mentioned in the survey, which greatly assists
management in setting the right priorities for change;
• Employees are included in the solution by soliciting their recommendations and suggestions;
• Based upon the feedback given by the employees, facilitators and employee can uncover
• Employees can identify their priorities for change, the top three areas they would like to see
improve as a result of the survey.
Using HR Solutions’ highly trained, expert facilitators to conduct the feedback sessions ensures
confidentiality among the employees and allows them to provide open and honest feedback. We
employ innovative and proven techniques to probe and explore the underlying factors that give
meaning and insight to employee quantitative data.
A Final Report consolidates all information gathered throughout the survey process. The report includes
write-in comments, quantitative information and qualitative insight gained from feedback sessions.
The Final Report Will:
• Utilize the qualitative insight gathered from the employee feedback sessions to provide context
to the underlying root causes of employee satisfaction in the quantitative data which can lead to
positive and lasting change.
• Use the statistical results and qualitative feedback to identify the organization’s Core and
Ancillary Opportunities for Improvement. More importantly, the Final Report contains HR
Solutions recommendations to remedy these critical areas for improvement. Our
recommendations are based on our experience and have proven to work for our Best-In-Class
clients in healthcare and other industries (Top 10%).
• Assimilate a compilation of Employee Suggestions and Quick Wins. Quick Wins are easy and
typically rather inexpensive actions which if taken, give the leadership team incredible
credibility among employees for acting upon their suggestions.
• Include a Department Specific section detailing department or location opportunities for
improvement that were not pervasive throughout the organization. This section provides a
“snapshot” of the areas of concern for a particular department or location.
• Contain the Written Comment Themes section which provides a summary of the written
comments employees made in the open-ended comment area of the survey instrument.
• Include a Best-Practices communication guide for the management team instructing them how
to handle Post Survey Communication and Action Planning. The guide educates management on
how to effectively communicate the next steps to employees and coach the management team
to avoid common pitfalls.
• Feature the comprehensive Feedback Summaries for all work groups attending feedback
sessions. The feedback summaries will include a qualitative analysis of the main opportunities
for improvement, at both the organizational and work group levels. In addition, the feedback
summaries will include each session’s priorities for change, which is invaluable in determining
the workgroup/department action plan.
• Contain an Action Planning Checklist with useful tips as your organization moves forward.
• Provide executive management with a Parameter Report. The parameter report ranks all of the
work groups in the organization on two very important factors: Overall Job Satisfaction and
• Contain a Sample Action Planning Worksheet which can be used as the model for the
organization. The form is brief and action-oriented in order to maximize the value of your
managers’ time and minimize the amount of time required to develop the action plan.
• If desired as part of your investment, we can perform a Cross Correlation analysis between your
most recent patient satisfaction survey results and the results to your Employee
Engagement/Opinion Survey. This analysis of similar items across both surveys can indicate
areas in which the opinions of employees and patients converge and, more importantly, where
• As an additional investment, you may elect to include a Union Vulnerability analysis informing
you if your employee population is susceptible to union organization.
The Final Report is an extraordinarily useful tool that helps your organization create meaningful
action plans and strategic timelines to address the survey results.
For more than 100 years, the American Hospital Association has been a powerful
symbol of quality. AHA Solutions, a subsidiary of the AHA, awards the AHA
endorsement only to products and services that help hospitals achieve organizational
excellence. Healthcare organizations that select AHA-endorsed products support the
AHA's efforts on behalf of the nation's hospitals. AHA Solutions is proud to
reinvest its profits in the AHA's mission: creating healthier communities.
AHA Solutions, Inc., a subsidiary of the American Hospital Association, is
compensated for the use of the AHA marks and for its assistance in marketing
endorsed products and services. By agreement, pricing of endorsed products and
services may not be increased by the providers to reflect fees paid to the AHA.
HR Solutions International, Inc. | 25 E. Washington Street, Suite 600 | Chicago, IL 60602 | 312.236.7170 | www.hrsolutionsinc.com