The challenge

Back in 2008 the RSC wanted to gain a better understanding of how their employees felt about working for the organisation.

The RSC wanted to engage with their staff and discover what motivated their employees.

Over the past five years the organisation has restructured and gained new leadership.

The RSC were keen to keep all 420 members of staff on board throughout this period of change, and develop strong employee engagement across its offices in the UK, US, China., Japan, Brazil and India.

What did we do?

In the beginning The Survey Initiative created a bespoke survey to analyse the main drivers for employee engagement and motivation. The first survey helped to benchmark levels of employee engagement within the organisation.

This ‘starting point’ helped the organisation develop new ways of working collaboratively with employees on a variety of initiatives to improve employee engagement.

Over this period, the Survey Initiative has run a number of focus groups at the RSC to ensure staff felt confident that their responses were taken seriously and were anonymous.

The trust The Survey Initiative has built-up with employees is one of the secrets to the survey’s success.


The RSC has always enjoyed above average industry statistics for employee engagement, but since 2008 the organisation has been transformed. Check out these stats!


  • Leadership 55% – 85%
  • Management style 86% – 89%
  • Learning and development 60% – 75%
  • Communication 60% – 77%
  • Team Working 84% – 90%
  • Views on RSC overall 79% – 89%


Thanks to the employee engagement surveys the company has embarked on fresh strategies to move the business forward, and develop new opportunities for its employees.

Measures have included:

  • Developed a series of focus groups and workshops to keep employees engaged with RSC developments.
  • Set-up pilots to gain essential feedback on new ways of working.
  • Introduced new flexible ways of working.
  • Involved, collaborated and engaged with staff on strategic decisions.
  • Transformed to a culture of high performance and then progressed to one of empowerment.
  • Launched the ‘Excellence’ awards to focus on employee recognition.
  • Introduced new training, mentoring and coaching schemes for all managers.

The future…

The Survey Initiative has just completed the RSC’s fifth employee engagement survey and it has been very warmly received with an 84% response rate, a level maintained throughout the five years of operation. The RSC were also delighted to see that 83% of their workforce believed that action would be taken as a result of the survey.

The RSC is keen to maintain its high levels of employee engagement, and will continue to survey its employees to understand their views. “Employee engagement surveys have been a vital element in our business development. We’ve worked in partnership with The Survey Initiative to help achieve our long term goals. The Survey Initiative takes the time to listen and delivers research and feedback that we can rely upon and trust. We would recommend them to any other organisation looking to gain an analysis of their employee engagement through a survey which specifically meets their needs. ”

Karen Roberts, Head of HR, Royal Society of Chemistry

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