ITV employee survey case study

  • Company: www.itv.com
  • Solution: Create a programme comprising an online survey tool to measure engagement and support action planning
  • Result: Huge rise in engagement in line with improved business performance
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Engagement was at the heart of ITV’s business transformation plan and ETS was appointed in 2010 as a partner to create an employee survey programme that would help drive business improvement.

Challenge: Boost engagement to support ITV’s business strategy

ITV faced a big challenge in addressing engagement. The previous survey was seen as a tick-box exercise, people didn’t understand engagement and there was little buy-in from management.

There was a perception that ‘engagement’ was driven by HR and was not embedded in the business. It wasn’t meaningful for people as results weren’t acted on.

ITV brought in a new team to lead the programme, of which Donna Squire, Head of HR, Learning & Development, was part. She explains:

“Engagement at ITV was a greenfield site. We felt a bespoke approach was needed that was aligned with other internal communications and would give us data to drive the business strategy forward. The first job was to get buy-in from senior stakeholders starting with our Chairman and our CEO.”

Solution: Create a programme comprising an online survey tool to measure engagement and support action planning

We worked with ITV at great pace to create the new engagement programme after first getting a clear understanding of ITV’s culture, objectives and business plans.

Designing the survey

When designing the new questionnaire, we included questions which would help us understand colleagues’ perceptions about working at ITV and what drives their engagement while making sure the survey was also well aligned with their business aims.

ITV was keen to involve managers and colleagues on this journey to get buy-in for the engagement programme. Donna Squire explains:

“We really wanted to create an appetite among managers to understand their teams’ engagement; we wanted their help and support rather than dictating and pushing out directives.”

Online survey tool

We created a flexible online survey tool to use both for survey completion and to create reports. Everything is visually distinctive, carrying ITV branding to ensure it is familiar for ITV’s colleagues.

Creating a buzz

What really sets ITV’s engagement programme apart has been its use of compelling communications. Donna Squire explains:

“It was so important for us to create a buzz around engagement. We launched the ‘Get engaged’ campaign, which has had a massive impact on raising awareness, encouraging survey participation and telling people what’s changing as a result of their feedback. For us, an important thing was to tell the story …. You said, we did.”

The evolution of engagement

As ITV is a fast-moving business, the engagement programme has had to evolve too. It’s now in its fourth year and we’ve supported its development to meet changing business needs.

Regular ‘temperature check’

ITV also asked us to create an online ‘pulse survey tool’ to use as a ‘temperature check’ to get feedback from smaller groups of colleagues on hot topics. From the results they measure index scores as well as key themes coming through.

Result: Huge rise in engagement in line with improved business performance

Celebrating successes

What ITV has done with its survey results has helped to catch colleagues’ imagination to get people
engaged with taking action. Among a host of great initiatives created by the L&D team, they’ve set up:

  • CEO lunches where high performing managers are recognised for their achievements
  • Manager focus groups connecting higher and lower-scoring managers
  • Managing for Engagement workshops and storytelling sessions for best practice sharing
  • Lunch & Learn sessions from managers in the business, sharing with colleagues what engagement means to them.

Getting the basics right

Just as significantly, ITV has got the basics right too. They always communicate results back to colleagues soon after the survey and use visually impactful poster campaigns to show changes taking place as a result of colleague feedback. Follow-up and maintaining continual progress at a local level also plays a major part in keeping engagement in the minds of all colleagues throughout the year.

Reporting tools for managers

Reporting on results at all levels is intuitive for ITV thanks to an intuitive online reporting tool, which enables them to cut the data and generate different reports.

Managers at ITV receive a report designed to get across the key information quickly. It presents the five questions recommended for action, and has guidance that makes it easy for them to identify key actions to discuss with their teams.

ITV’s management team has been actively involved in championing engagement and driving action on survey results. We’ve worked with ITV to present survey results back to management, matching this to their business priorities. Donna Squire explains:

“There’s been huge appetite from senior leaders and managers for survey results. This is testament to the team’s effort in securing and maintaining buy-in for understanding and improving engagement at ITV. Functional reports that truly relate to what their people think has helped embed engagement at the heart of what they do.”

Business transformation

There’s been a substantial rise in overall engagement levels by around one third since 2009 – in the latest results, engagement was at 91%.

This has been mirrored by improved business fortunes for ITV too. Profits and share price have seen sharp rises with the former growing by 6% in 2012 to £348 million.

Engagement has been central to this transformation, a fact publically recognised by ITV’s Chairman in their latest annual report.

Summary: Business impact of engagement programme

  • Engagement data is driving business improvement leading to increased profits
  • Overall engagement has gone up by one third to 91%
  • ITV is able to accurately measure how colleagues feel and what engages them.