Ditch your next employee survey and engage EVERYONE to identify and remove the things that are causing unnecessary chaos.
In the world of business, barely a day goes by without an article popping up about how artificial intelligence, predictive analytics, and machine learning can be used to improve business decision making and workplace performance. Whilst this is true, we can’t forget that workplaces are still mostly about people, and the best way to engage people is to involve them in helping to identify and solve problems.
Engagement Surveys are disengaging
Assuming you haven’t been living deep in the Amazon for the last 20 years, chances are you have completed many employee surveys. Whilst they can be useful in some respects, many people find them a little annoying. The reason is that they everyone spends 20 minutes answering scale-based questions that can’t get to the root cause of why a problem exists. Whilst leaders might feel like they are giving everyone an opportunity to provide feedback about their employee experience, there is no opportunity for two-way dialogue nor expressing the context behind the answers. There is actually too much missing data to make meaningful decisions.
Even more problematic is that it is almost impossible to link survey answers to strategic goals. Will improving an engagement survey result cause an increase in profit? Stats 101 tells us that correlation is not equal to causation.
Then, when solutions are rolled out that don’t address the real problems, employees start feeling like they aren’t even listening to me! The irony of course is that employees become disengaged during the process of trying to measure and improve their engagement! It’s a missed opportunity.
A better way?
Instead of conducting an employee survey that possibly won’t measure what you think it is measuring, another way is to conduct what we call a short-term innovation mission. Think of it as directly involving all team members over the course of a few weeks to identify problems and opportunities as they are doing their job. Survey results represent one moment in time and are influenced by the characteristics of that moment. Boss just taken you to lunch, survey results are good. Boss made you pay for lunch, survey results are bad. But if we collect problems and frustrations and opportunities over the course of a few weeks as everyone is going about their job, we are in a much better position it collect real problems and opportunities.
Where the real value of this approach enters the fray is the fact that people like to feel some level of control over their own future. Most surveys, once completed, assume that business leaders are best placed to make decisions about what action steps should be taken. However, one could argue that it is the people who are closest to the action that should be involved in developing solutions. Moreover, by involving people in the development of solutions, including having to choose between priorities and estimate costs and impacts, everyone starts to get an understanding of what’s involved in these processes. Everyone starts learning about the commercial realities of making decisions and trade-offs.
Most importantly though, by having more involvement, everyone feels like they are being truly consulted and involved, which is possibly the most engaging thing that a company can offer to team members.
In other words, engaging people in the process of improving their own engagement is the most engaging thing a company can do.
The good news is that we can show you how.
- Date - October 7, 2020