After Your Employee Survey…Bias For Action

I work with several companies on rolling-out the results of their employee surveys. I do executive presentations, employee town-halls, enterprise-level action planning, frontline action planning, KPI setting – the whole works! In my experience, the companies who come out successful from such initiatives are the ones with a strong “bias for action”. They have a sense of urgency for getting things done, for making the workplace better, for taking the organization forward. Often companies, leaders and HR professionals fall into the “excessive deliberation” trap. Deliberation is good, but an overdose of it can paralyze actions. It can be demotivating to people. Timelines can go for a toss. And employees are left in the lurch.

Tom Peters talked a lot about bias for action in his book “In Search of Excellence”. He also shared some slides on this on his website. I just loved the quote on the second slide:

“We have a strategic plan. It’s called doing things.” ~ Herb Kelleher

 So, stop staring indefinitely at the employee survey results. Make things happen.

7 thoughts on “After Your Employee Survey…Bias For Action

  1. Reblogged this on MY Labour Law Thoughts and commented:
    It is the time of the year where employee surveys are conducted and I found this post from Mr. Abhishek Mittal amazingly true. I always find that follow-ups are not done in a timely fashion which inevitably causes the company hardship when it comes to handling IR issues. HR should really emphasise on such surveys in order to safeguard employer’s rights and at the same time evolve into absorbing a highly strategic role within an organisation.


  2. Brilliant post, Abhishek. Analysis paralysis is such a common condition after surveys are completed. Or the analysis is completed, but then fear takes over before any action can be implemented.

    I wrote about research reported in Strategy+Business that found:
    “But this study finds that there’s a consequence to giving employees a voice: A company then has to listen. If employees conclude that a manager is just trying to win points by paying lip service to consulting them — and has no intention of acting on their advice — they are likely to stop offering input and, worse, act out their frustration by clashing with their colleagues. …

    “Conversely, employees who thought their manager was indeed paying attention spoke up more often and got along better with one another, improving the organization’s functioning as a whole.”

    There a deep lesson there, but I think Mr. Kelleher sums up the point even more eloquently. I think I’ll need to blog on the topic again.

    (Research cited above included here:


  3. Pingback: Overcome Analysis Paralysis: Have a Plan to Do Things - DerekIrvineGloboforce - Member Blogs - HR Blogs - HR Space from Personnel Today and Xpert HR

  4. Pingback: The 2 Most Pointless Employee Activities – and What You Can Do About Them

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