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Xref’s Employee Engagement Survey results revealed

Xref recently conducted our annual Employee Engagement Survey with the help of Xref Engage. Xref’s People and Culture team, Cecelia Coleman and Aleksandra Radujko, shared the objectives and outcomes for the survey and where to next.

Xref team in branded black and green shirts posing for a group photo with their hands up in the air
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I think the diversity of perspective within our workforce is probably one of the biggest key learnings [that Xref’s 2023 Employee Engagement Survey uncovered]. We learned insights that otherwise may have remained hidden" - Cecelia Coleman


Level of employee engagement


Enjoy the work they do


Nationalities represented worldwide

For many organisations, knowing what makes their people tick and understanding what they need can be a challenge. Each individual is so diverse.   

“The key to unlocking high engagement and retention from your employees is simply to ask them about their needs and wants,” says Dr Peter Langford, General Manager of Xref Engage. 

Employee engagement surveys are the perfect solution to understand your people better. As a HR organisation, Xref is always interested in people. Xref was curious to hear the opinions of their own talent and understand the areas of improvement. 

Why conduct an Employee Engagement Survey? 

Organisations have different objectives when conducting an employee engagement survey. For some,  it could be to identify areas of improvement, others wish to measure performance to benchmark themselves against industry standards or competitors. Or, it could be to set strategies and company goals for the year ahead.

Xref chose to conduct a 2023 Employee Engagement Survey because, as a company that is growing globally, it is vital they cater to the needs of all people and learn from feedback given. 

Xref’s goal was to measure employee engagement and gather insights that would enable them to make informed decisions when driving positive change within the organisation. Ultimately, Xref aims for this to enhance employee satisfaction and productivity.

As a result, Xref created an employee survey with the help of the expert Xref Engage team. We asked Xref’s People and Culture team, Cecelia Coleman and Aleksandra (Aleks) Radujko about the results, objectives and outcomes of the survey and where to next. 

Xref’s Employee Engagement Survey: A summary

  • Number of questions: 75, plus 9 demographic questions
  • Type of questions: Rating scale (1-5), multiple choice, open-ended
  • Categories surveyed: 24

Xref’s Employee Engagement Survey had 75 questions that were a combination of multiple choice, open-ended questions or questions that sought information through a rating scale. 

There were more rating-scale style questions to ensure quantitative data to help produce data and metrics that translated into clear, actionable insights. The open-ended questions gave Xref employees the chance to share honest and unconstrained feedback. 

The vast majority of the questions were in the rating-scale style which saw Xref employees rate how they felt Xref does in regard to the question or statement on a scale of 1-5. For example, ‘I believe there is strong support between teams and cross-team collaboration’ Rate 1-5 how closely you agree with this statement. 

There were 24 question categories covered in the survey. A category groups questions in the survey into one of 24 topics including but not limited to, flexibility, teamwork, progress, leadership, health and safety, wellbeing, engagement, technology and more. 

Xref branded green graphic with categories (above) of questions asked in Xref's employee engagement survey

Survey objectives and outcomes

For Xref, the consultative nature of the process of building their employee engagement survey was vital to achieving the main objective of their survey. The Xref Engage team helped create questions that would ultimately gather more insights. A range of question types were used, but ultimately, follow-up questions or open-ended questions helped to collect even more information.

Cecelia: “Our main objective was to translate people's voices into data to really help us formulate our people and culture strategy.

Based on our employees’ feedback, we wanted to identify pain points and look at employee feelings and concerns.”

Moving forward, Xref will build on the information collected and look at different areas to drill into specifically. By starting general and broad, Xref can, at a later point, dive deeper into specific feedback.

Benefits of an employee engagement survey

There are thousands of benefits regarding employee engagement when running a survey. For Xref, the top 3 benefits were:

1. Insight into employee satisfaction: This survey provided a structured way to gauge how satisfied and engaged our employees are with their work, team, and Xref business as a whole. 

2. Identifying areas for improvement: Pinpointing specific areas or issues within our company that need attention, allowing for targeted improvement efforts. 

3. Enhanced communication: The survey encouraged open and honest communication between employees and management with the aim to foster a culture of trust and transparency within Xref.

Cecelia explained, 

“Trust was a key theme for us in ensuring the employee engagement survey was a success. Employees trusting the process, trusting the anonymity of the survey and trusting that we would follow up and implement initiatives in line with the feedback given.” 

Results of Xref’s Employee Engagement Survey

The results from Xref’s Employee Engagement survey were overwhelmingly positive and optimistic. Here is a selection of the statistics Xref is most proud of: 

81% Employee Engagement

When completing the Employee Engagement Survey, the people at Xref scored their engagement levels at 81%. ‘Engagement’ refers to the level of job satisfaction and commitment of your people to your organisation. In this case, Xref’s results indicate that the large majority of Xref staff are satisfied and committed to their role and to the organisation. 

In fact, this score is 6% higher when benchmarked against other organisations in the Information, Communication and Technologies (ICT) industry who have conducted Xref Engage surveys. 

84% Progress

84% of people at Xref feel the company is making progress. A ‘progress’ score demonstrates how your people feel about organisational performance. Is your business going places and moving forward on plans and strategies? This result was 15% higher than other organisations in the ICT category. 

90% enjoy their work

90% of Xref’s people reported that they enjoy the work that they do. 

Areas for improvement

The 2023 Employee Engagement Survey also revealed a clear guide on areas for improvement. Two areas that stood out for Xref to focus on were learning and development opportunities plus cross-team collaboration.  

Insights learned about the people at Xref

Xref’s employees have a people-first mindset - this means a strong focus on colleagues and customers. Being driven by ambition and a big heart (two of Xref’s three core values), the people of Xref have a growth mindset. 

The Employee Engagement Survey indicated that Xref confidently fosters a helpful and supportive environment. 99% of employees felt their coworkers gave them help and support, while 97% believe their manager offers help and support as well. 

94% of Xref’s people believe the flexible approach to work meets their needs. 

Cecelia explains “Understanding more about our employees’ experiences -  their pain points, challenges and hearing feedback helps to shape us moving forward. In turn, we shape our company's overall direction regarding how to engage our employees and further improve employee engagement for the future.”

By giving people a voice, Xref uncovered some key areas of success and opportunities for improvement. With a workforce scattered worldwide across five offices and 19 different nationalities represented as part of the survey, finding out what makes the diverse team at Xref tick, is crucial. 

Main actions and initiatives implemented

Cecelia and Aleks have been very busy since the survey closed implementing lots of different initiatives. Some of these initiatives include: 

Learning and development (L+D) workshops

71% of Xref respondents say they are developing the skills for career progression. Yet, many participants want more focus on L+D and career pathways. 

Cecelia: We've been working with leaders on developing different career pathways within their particular areas of business units. 

Leadership and cross-functional collaboration

Xref has implemented multiple initiatives so leaders can work together. Our leaders gather in the office for face-to-face collaboration opportunities and to learn from one another. There are even more initiatives being implemented at an Executive level. 

When the people of Xref were asked, does your ‘work unit receive help and support from other work units’, a key finding from the survey was that there is a need to improve cross-team or cross-function collaboration. 

76% of survey respondents felt that their team members receive help and support from other business units. While this is a positive result, Xref’s People and Culture team chose this as an area to focus on improving. 

Cecelia: We've also been focusing on improving cross-team collaboration. We are in the early stages of implementing coffee chats, which are informal meetings with a colleague from a different department. These coffee chats will be one of the many cross-team collaboration tools we can use. 

There are many benefits of cross-team collaboration. We’re trying to build communication across different parts of the business, because, at the end of the day, while we all have different roles, we share a common goal. 

Core commitments from team managers 

Cecelia: One of the first things we did was share the results with each team, leader or manager. We spoke with them about what we could do and what the key focus areas were. So each team or manager focused on three core improvements, or initiatives to to work on. 

Karina Guerra, General Manager of Marketing and Customer Intelligence shared her core commitments as a result of feedback from her team in the Employee Engagement Survey.

“The Engagement Survey results encouraged team managers and our People and Culture team to work together on the improvement of the existing performance review process and questions asked. The leaders in my team and I went through our standard performance review and worked on the questions. 
Now those formal reviews have been completed and I have interesting insights into what my team want to work on for the next 12 months and how they wish to do so.” 

The tech behind the survey: About Xref Engage 

Xref designed and ran their Employee Engagement Survey using the expert advice and software of Xref Engage. 

Xref Engage (formerly Voice Project) offers simple surveys with expert advice. Once your customised survey has been sent and results returned, the platform offers deep insights with easy-to-read graphs. 

Users have the opportunity to view and filter data, exploring specific metrics or creating tailored reports to satisfy organisational goals. 

For Aleks, the Data Studio analytics were the most powerful for her. 

“That dashboard was really good -it offers clear visibility, and the UI is so intuitive, helping us understand our results.”


Questionnaires like Xref’s 2023 Employee Engagement Survey are vital in increasing employee engagement and retention because they give clear insight into employee needs, wants and feelings. In the current talent shortage environment, retention is crucial to avoid attrition. 

Satisfied employees lead to stronger business outcomes like increased productivity, positively impacting a company’s bottom line. 

Overall, Xref's employee engagement survey showed how engaged their people are and what areas the business can improve upon. 84% of employees would recommend Xref as a good place to work. 

With a truly global workforce, the Employee Engagement Survey showcased the diversity of opinion throughout all of Xref’s people. 

“I think the diversity of perspective within our workforce is probably one of the biggest key learnings. The survey brought forth insights that otherwise may have remained hidden,” said Cecelia

She elaborates, “Our team clearly expressed how important transparent communication is. We needed to ensure that we followed up on feedback and communicated to our people what progress we were making and what initiatives we were implementing.”

Xref is already looking forward to the results of next year's survey to understand the impact of the actions taken and initiatives implemented, to gain further insight into what is important to their people.

If you would like to conduct your own Employee Engagement Survey with the expert advice of Xref Engage and uncover what your employees think about your organisation, reach out for a free demo today.

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