I keep seeing more and more products about getting employee feedback. There are more software companies that are helping organizations collect data specific to the workplace and how employees feel. I find these valuable but on the other hand I also find them very high level and not helping organization facilitate dialogue between management and employees.Companies conduct annual or biannual engagement surveys asking employees of their job satisfaction. It's been estimated in some studies over 70% of employees and corporate America are not happy with their jobs but then why are we doing such studies or surveys when we cannot deal directly with the employer?
We have our own assessment tool and the number one question we get is "are the results anonymous?" I reply "no they are not because we get information that allows managers and the organization to be positioned to approach and coach employees." The second question we always get is the validity of the data meaning can employees fudge their answers? Here's the thing about assessments or surveys. If they are well written you have the opportunity to get information that allows you to build your workplace culture. The flip side of the equation is if employees feel it's anonymous they might also use the forum as a platform to just simply vent or target the organization in specific areas. Last, I can tell you I have been in many board meetings through the years when these type of things are done. Managers are not looking in the mirror and saying I need to learn from this, rather they are trying to think of who said what about them!
Workplace studies and surveys should build a bridge for commonality between management and employees; nevertheless, they often create a sense of perplexity and curiosity as to who said what and why. I believe this is as a result of the number one problem we have in corporate America:
"We cannot have direct conversations of conflict plausibly and thoughtfully with one another"
The key to a good workplace study is as follows:
- Ask questions that are neutral and give a wide spectrum of answers for the employee.
- The answers are used to facilitate a dialogue between the manager and their employees and NOT avoid "who said what".
- Let employees know that the answers will be used to help them and not judge them-I know what some of you might be thinking but here's the thing. If employees are already unhappy and they feel like they cannot trust management doing anything anonymously does not build direct trust between people.
- Train managers not only on how to interpret the results but how to coach to them. this will build incredible trust on behalf of the employees towards management and the workplace.
- Educate employees on their answers and what they need to do to improve their own situation as they are truly responsible for their own learning and employee happiness.
If you would like to learn about an assessment study tool that can truly improve the relationships between managers and employees and improve your workplace culture check out Get Your Pulse: click here