Annual employee engagement survey


An increase in response rate and a clear picture of strengths and key areas in need of improvement


The need for change

Having previously worked with a couple of other providers, they wanted a change of approach and a more robust survey platform with simpler reporting and a more comprehensive level of support to understand their data and drive action planning. As an organisation, they had experienced lots of growth through mergers and acquisitions, they had a pretty new executive team, and this naturally brought about a need to align different cultures and see how engaged people are. Audrey Barry, Employee Engagement Manager at Clarion Housing Group, explains their reasons for choosing ETS: “What really appealed to us with ETS was the first-class dedication, knowledge and expertise of their team. They took the time to get to know our business, they offered great advice and were able to tailor their approach to fit our needs.”


Aligning to their culture

We worked extensively with Audrey and other key stakeholders at Clarion to develop our understanding of their culture and strategy. This gave us a great basis for designing their questionnaire, including a bespoke engagement index and tailored questions aligned to their culture enabling them to measure and turn a spotlight on each pillar of ‘the Clarion Way’. We also reviewed and advised them on the best rating scale to use moving forwards. And although there was a significant change to the rating scale, moving from a historic 10 -point scale to a four point scale in 2019, our team was able to convert the historic survey data to 4 point scores making a historic comparison possible.

When it came to the survey itself, we were able to configure a platform that would enable 3,500 of Clarion’s employees to complete the survey online. In addition, we arranged for provision of a paper-based option for around 500 people without easy access to the online platform.

The most important aspect of the survey technology from Clarion’s perspective was the reporting, and in particular the manager reports. They wanted these to be really intuitive and easy for their managers to interpret, as reports from their previous provider weren’t giving them what they needed.

To date Clarion has been running the survey annually but they plan to actively explore the option of more regular check-ins in the near future.



A clear picture

Despite having gone through a period of transition it was encouraging to see a 6% increase in the response rate in the latest survey. Audrey Barry, comments: “Overall the survey has given us a clear line in the sand on employee engagement. What’s positive is that our senior leaders are totally bought into its value as a diagnostic and, even more importantly, to taking action to improve our workplaces and better look after our people.” Following their survey, ETS prepared an executive report for Clarion’s leaders which gave them an impactful summary of current engagement and priority action areas. It also included a broader analysis assessing their culture alignment for each pillar of the Clarion Way and an in depth review of inclusion and diversity across a number of protected characteristics captured within the survey. This gave them a really clear picture of their strength areas to leverage and key areas in need of some improvement alongside recommendations for practical action to help drive these areas forwards. 1) Great line manager-team relationships. 2) Increase visibility of senior leadership to build trust. 3) Build a feedback culture. 4) Make the survey more meaningful for people as way to ‘have their say’. Audrey Barry says of working with ETS: “We’ve very much enjoyed working with ETS and have great trust in the whole team there. They are truly flexible, genuine partners who continually challenge our thinking, share their knowledge and demonstrate their commitment to driving us forward as an organisation.”


Business Impact

Able to assess current engagement and priority action areas
Able to assess culture alignment for each pillar of the Clarion Way