Metalworking Solutions Increases Survey Participation Rate 21% in Just One Year


Metalworking Solutions is a manufacturing organization located in Chattanooga, Tennessee. They wanted to collect actionable data from their people and create an initial baseline measurement to guide their future engagement efforts. They partnered with People Element and ran their first annual engagement survey in 2021. 


When all the data was in from their initial 2021 engagement survey, a representative from People Element compiled their results and presented it to their leadership team in an Executive Presentation. Based on this presentation, Metalworking Solutions identified two main opportunity categories that they wanted to improve on throughout the next year: 

  1. Perception of Fair Treatment – Based on their results, they found that employees felt there was a lack of equality and the main area that needed improvement was the perception of fair treatment among employees.   
  2. Growth and Development – This category includes measurements of growth and development opportunities in the organization such as promotion procedures and encouragement to further professional development. The survey responses showed that employees did not feel there were many opportunities for them to grow and develop within the organization. 

They ended their 2021 engagement survey with a 65% participation rate which is right around the industry average. Along with the two identified categories, they wanted to focus on improving their participation rate and capturing as many responses as possible in their 2022 engagement survey. 


Transparency Around Pay 

First, to address the Perception of Fair Treatment, Metalworking Solutions decided to update the company’s pay structure and attendance policy. They replaced the existing pay format with a three-piece wage scale which outlined exactly how compensation is determined. They shared the new structure and policy with employees and ensured that everyone understood how it worked. Their aim was for full transparency around pay and creating a clear sense of equality for all employees. 

Cross Training Opportunities 

In response to Growth and Development, Metalworking Solutions decided to give their teams the ability to cross-train for other roles. The idea behind this initiative was to give employees the opportunity to learn new skills and experience different parts of the organization. This helped people gain a better perspective on the work that their colleagues do and solidify where they want to be. Along with this, they made it a point to list open positions first internally to give current employees priority. 

Push for Participation 

Although their baseline participation rate of 65% was not bad for their first survey, they wanted to boost participation rates so they could hear from more of their people. To do this, they had automated daily participation reports sent from the People Element platform directly to each department so that the teams would know exactly where they were at. These daily reports encouraged some friendly competition between departments to see who could reach the highest participation rates. In addition, they sent out more frequent email and SMS survey reminders to their employees which contributed to more survey completions.  

About Metalworking Solutions

Since being founded in 2006 in Chattanooga, Tennessee, Metalworking Solutions has been committed to providing reliable service and high-quality sheet metal parts for its customers. They value building relationships with people and care deeply about always meeting expectations. Their culture is rooted in strengthening their people and communities by providing a workplace where they can grow personally and professionally.  


Metalworking Solutions saw a significant positive increase across the board in their 2022 engagement survey results.  

  • Engagement refers to the percentage of the population that is engaged based on People Element’s Engagement Index. 
  • Favorability refers to the percentage of favorable survey responses. 

By focusing on the opportunity areas from their 2021 survey, they were able to see a 10% increase in overall employee engagement. This is a significant increase for a one-year period and brought their employee engagement level to 73%. Their current engagement level is thirteen points above the manufacturing industry benchmark. In the same period, they also saw overall favorability, which refers to the percentage of favorable survey responses, increase by 6%.  

The organization increased scores across the board, but they saw the most significant increase in the participation rate. In 2022 their survey participation spiked to 86%, an increase of 21 percentage points. Metalworking Solutions was able to collect responses from nearly every surveyed employee in their workforce.  

Now sitting above all industry benchmarks, the organization plans to maintain and expand their employee listening efforts and continue to make gradual increases to its scores in coming years.  

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