I Received Some Low Survey Scores – Now What? Tips for Managers

You’re a hard-working manager but recently received low scores in the management, job fit and/or senior management categories. You’re committed to improving these scores but not sure what to do. The category/topic label is just that – a label or name. It doesn’t provide the additional information that clues you in on which specific actions to take. Flail in the sea of possible actions no longer. We have targeted actions, based on recent survey findings, that should help you move the needle.

And the Study Shows …

SMD conducted their fourth annual study to assess how often each of the most commonly measured employee experiences (survey categories) was found to be a statistically signifi­cant driver of business outcomes, taking the research to the next level this year. This year’s study also investigated the multiple items underneath each employee experience label. These specific components arm you with a one-two punch, providing a clear path for improvements that will serve to improve the employee experience. Plus, when these experiences are rated favorably, there are positive impacts to outcomes like turnover rates, customer satisfaction, and financial performance.

Deep Dive2019-criterion-study-table

For the fourth consecutive year, SMD found that the top drivers of outcomes were Management, Job Fit, and Senior Leadership – with Management being the most consistent driver of outcomes. For these top three employee experience drivers, the items that most commonly linked to the outcomes were as follows.


  • I receive useful feedback from my manager.
  • The person I report to creates an environment of trust.
Job Fit:
  • I like the work I do.
  • My job makes good use of my skills and abilities.
Senior Leaders:
  • Senior management’s actions support this organization’s mission and values.
  • I am confident that senior leadership at my location is leading us in the right direction for future success.

Now, you know where to focus to make an impact!

Additional Findings

Read more about the study and additional findings here in our “Employee-Experience Deep Dive: Study Shows what Lies Beneath” white paper. Spoiler alert on a few more findings below:

Engagement NOT a Silver Bullet: Engagement fell a spot in this year’s analysis – and its impact is still largely on voluntary turnover. Setting aside this connection, engagement only contributes to the other outcomes less than 29% of the time.

Rose to the Top: In addition to the consistent top drivers, there were some new experiences – safety perceptions and teamwork – that rose to the top.