There are many mixed views on how effective employee engagement surveys are. It all boils down to what you want to get out of it: is obtaining a high score your sole objective, or do you see engagement surveys as a way to identify where you should focus to have the biggest, positive impact on life at work?

Even among HR professionals there are mixed views about whether conducting a company engagement survey is worth the time and effort, especially as it might paint a negative picture that reflects poorly on the business. Whatever the results of your engagement survey, without full commitment from the business leaders to act on the results it becomes a pointless exercise, or worse still is seen as no more than an exercise paying lip service to employee engagement, which serves only to lower engagement and morale even further.

At Bango, we have committed to conducting an engagement survey annually, regardless of results. Bango doesn’t just want to measure engagement at a point in time, we want to continually improve engagement. That means the results of the survey are merely the starting point, not the end point. The invaluable feedback the Bango survey provides from our employees focuses our efforts on providing a working culture and environment that continues to attract top talent. Repeating the survey every year ensures we don’t get complacent, and we retain our high performing people. Even a high score provides opportunities for improvement and change.

We have just completed the latest Bango employee engagement survey. Twelve months after lockdowns became a part of daily life, and with the global pandemic changing our lives on many different levels and in many different ways, we knew there would be a significant impact on people’s wellbeing so felt now more than ever, it was vital to conduct the survey.

How did we do? Across the tech sector the average engagement score is 69%. You can imagine how delighted we were to discover that even during the one of the most challenging years we’ve experienced, the overall engagement score at Bango has achieved a record high score of 82%.

I will say that a high engagement score like this is no accident. People are what makes Bango a truly unique place to work. It isn’t a coincidence that the Bango THRIVE core values – Transparent / Happy / Reliable / Innovative / Victorious / Expressive – at the heart of Bango culture, are focused on how we behave in our working lives. We place these values at the heart of the engagement survey, by grouping the questions by each core THRIVE value.

During such a period of remote working and additional stress in personal and professional lives, how is such a high score achievable? Promoting wellbeing has been even more of a priority over this last year. We could not have foreseen what has happened over the last year but having an employee assistance programme, medical care including a program for mental health support, income protection scheme, plus regular (virtual) social events, and gifts & care packages sent regularly to everyone’s homes made a big difference to employees. Most of these initiatives were already in place but really came into their own during lockdown.

One, long-standing Bango employee benefit in particular proved vital to supporting people throughout the past 12 months – flexible working hours which became essential, particularly to those with school age children. Bango Bendi-time has been a feature of our working lives for many years, allowing people to balance personal needs with their working lives, and this gave people the ability to manage their time according to their individual needs during the pandemic.

One of the main reasons the engagement survey continues to be bought-in to across Bango (the survey achieved a 99% response rate this year), and a key driver of the increased score, is that we are not just doing the survey to temperature check, we want to continue to grow engagement and the vibrant, innovative culture that is a hallmark of life at Bango. The survey is not an isolated activity once a year, we formulate an action list based on the feedback and are committed to addressing points raised through the survey, keeping the action list visible and regularly reported on throughout the year. Newer employees commented on the openness of Bango (Transparency is another core THRIVE value), for many, it was the first time in their working lives that they have been invited to share their views and to see the results of such a process.

The success of this process shines through in the increased scores from the questions grouped in the “Happy” core value section of the survey. Here the score increased to 89% (+4% from 2020) which is extremely positive, maybe even surprising given the challenges everyone is currently facing. This is why at Bango, we definitely will continue to bother with an employee engagement survey.