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Things that make you go hmmmm…

In today’s post, I present to you a bit of an ode to the obvious and not, unfortunately, a righteous C&C Music Factory jam. In my work and in my HR circles, I am exposed to and advise on a lot of talent management practices. One of the regular themes that pops up is that of employee surveys. Love them or hate them, I think they are here to stay. However, there is one little secret to dealing with the madness of surveys. Ok, maybe two little secrets.

Time to ThinkFirst of all, the key to employee surveys is to not ask too many questions. In fact, in my opinion there is really only one or two questions that truly need to be asked – but that is a post for another day (consider that a teaser trailer!) Once you have narrowed things down to a few key questions, (i.e. what you what to know about) the only other thing to remember is that you have to actually do something when you get the employee responses. Yes, that is right, you need to respond/act/acknowledge the survey feedback. It is appalling the amount of organizations that spend thousands and thousands of dollars to survey their employees each year and then they do NOTHING with the results!

The awesome thing is that when you actually do show that you have listened to your staff, amazing things can happen. For example, in one company I worked for, we used to get routinely slaughtered on questions pertaining to how we recognize and reward our employees. Every year the score got worse and worse and every year we basically paid lip service to the question and did nothing about it. So you get what you pay for I guess.

Then, one year, we actually made a concerted effort to work with our employees to develop a system that better enabled managers to recognize and reward staff and for peers to be able to recognize each other for their results, effort and accomplishments. In fact, the question score improved by over 20 percentage points and was considered to be statistically significant in its year over year improvement.

So for us as a leadership team, it caused some serious naval gazing. I mean, who would have thought that could happen (improve a score by that much?). Really, I mean, think about it. Ask a question, listen to the response and then ACT. The end result – things improve. ASK, LISTEN, RESPOND and ACT. Sounds like a formula for success to me! What about you? As always I welcome your comments and feedback.

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles/FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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