“We’ve been having our employees take this employee engagement survey for 2 years. The scores on the survey go up. But the work is not getting better. Productivity is down, turnover is up, and customer satisfaction is down.”
Above was the lament of a buddy over beers. He is a Vice President in an HMO.
What happens is people game the survey results. The survey questions create a bias towards certain responses, managers & co-workers affect the responses, and everyone is unclear about the terms & words (i.e., Do you have a best friend at work?).
I asked my buddy, “What happens with the survey results?”
“Sr. management adds them to the agenda … They run out of time to discuss … They choose to delegate the task to Human Resources.”
Sent him the 5 Levers of Employee Engagement and some advice.
Surveys and data are nice, BUT it does not change the work and peoples’ thoughts & behavior.
Changes to how the work gets done, change how people work.
STOP waiting for HR & management to figure something out.
START by looking at your work and immediate team.
- Make a list of all the people on your team.
- Clearly define the value you add to their work. NOT their lives … their work.
- Define the work output that you create that your manager is accountable for.
- Define the work of your team AND what parts of their work you are accountable for.
- Ask friends and co-workers what you can do to be clearer about work expectations and how you can help them get their work done.
- Using the 5 Levers of Employee Engagement, identify which levers are working well.
- List evidence you see that it is working well. How do others see this lever working well?
- Using the 5 Levers of Employee Engagement, identify a lever to strengthen. How can you support that lever while maintaining success with the other levers?
- Define 2 to 3 short observable actions to take immediately and keep track of your progress/regress.
Stop the external survey taking; it neuters the judgment of the people who work and actually know how to recognize engagement.