Case Study

Systematically listening to employee feedback

IAS – the International AIDS Society

The IAS is an NGO that educates and advocates for a world in which HIV no longer presents a threat to public health and individual well-being.

Systematically listening to employee feedback

In 2022 the IAS decided to take a systematic approach to employee surveys and in October 2022 they ran their first survey in partnership with Agenda Consulting.

With Agenda Consulting’s advice and guidance, the IAS decided on a consistent survey rhythm which enables the organisation to systematically listen to their employees and creates more opportunities for staff to provide feedback.

Consulting staff to improve retention

The IAS wants their staff to feel heard. It is important for the organisation to see what their strengths are and in which areas they need to improve. It is vital to understand whether there are policies or areas that need improvement, based on the feedback of staff.

“Consultation is important for motivation and retention. Even if we can’t implement or change everything because of constraints, it is important that staff feel heard.” – Catherine Berner, Human Resources Manager, IAS

Achieving high survey response rates with good communication

The IAS used the following approaches to achieve a high survey response rate:

  • Explained both in a staff meeting and by email why it was important to participate and provide their feedback.
  • Set up reminder emails to all staff.
  • For those who were absent from work whilst the survey took place (e.g., on maternity leave), the HR team reached out individually to encourage them to still participate.

“We’re a relatively small organisation, so it’s easy to speak to people in the corridor. Word of mouth was very helpful in getting people to take part in the survey and improving our response rates.” – Catherine Berner, Human Resources Manager, IAS

We decided to partner with Agenda Consulting on our surveys because they are used to working with charities and NGOs. Agenda Consulting’s Reflections platform is strong, the report is well written, and the results are easy to understand. It’s a very practical tool – we can generate and download reports by demographic as and when we wish. The advice of Catherine and Georgia from Agenda Consulting was very valuable – they are clearly experts.

Disseminating survey results and taking action

The IAS’s post-survey process involved a presentation from Agenda Consulting to the organisation’s senior management team of the whole organisation results and narrative report. The senior management team then had a retreat where they analysed the report together and developed an action plan.

Each department had a meeting to discuss the results of the survey and possible actions to be implemented.

Results were then presented in a whole-staff meeting, along with the action plan. The senior management team decided to present these together to demonstrate to the staff that they took feedback seriously and that there were tangible actions in place as a result.

For accountability, an update on progress was shared with all staff a year after the survey.

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