When it comes to the art of employee engagement, many businesses can be unsure of where to start from. One of the most reliable forms of interaction that you can utilize, though, is the power of the employee engagement survey. Done right, such a survey can have an immense potential to lead to a more satisfying, authentic employee culture.
Your employees are your lifeblood. No matter the service or product you offer; without people there to help you manage, how can you possibly hope to succeed in the long-term?
One important issue that you might face at present is the challenge of engagement. You might wonder why you need employee engagement; surely the money you pay them is enough?
Sadly, the world is not quite so black and white. Employment is a two-way street. You can show your staff that they are worthwhile to the cause not only by paying them, but helping them progress. If you offer no means of engagement to make staff work harder, though, it’s hard to make that progress feel realistic.
Every single employee under your command needs progressive assistance. They need to be given the ability to see that sticking with your company is worthwhile. If you offer them no chance to grow, progress or improve, how can you expect them to stay loyal if a better offer comes along?
And it’s not all about pay, either. The best thing that you can do as a business is to listen to what your staff has to say. The pay might be good, but if working conditions and the chance for professional advancement is not present, convincing people to hang around is nigh-impossible. How can you get around that issue? It’s quite simple.
Employee Engagement: Creating a Hungry Workforce
The first thing that you need to be able to do, then, is to look at employee engagement from their perspective. If you always just look at it from your own perspective, you will never empathize with your staff. Take a moment and put yourself in the shoes of each member of staff who you feel is lazy or unproductive. Ask yourself the following:
- If you worked in the same circumstances, would you be happy with your lot?
- Given the level of work put in previously, is there a reason for the drop-off?
- When was the last time that member of staff was given a raise, or a day-off?
- When did they last get some form of reward for going above-and-beyond the call of duty?
- Do they have an avenue to progress? Can they step up in the company ladder?
- What relationship do they have with you? Do you feel like you can get on with them?
Ask yourself all of the above, and the answers should become rather clear where you’ve gone wrong. If you feel all of the above is ‘moaning’ or an employee ‘looking for attention’ then you need to re-evaluate your mentality. If you see the above as someone looking to cause problems and who ‘isn’t a good team player’ then you’re not fit for leadership. That might sound harsh, but a leader is someone who can put themselves in the shoes of their team and understand their issues.
You need to be able to empathize with their general way of feeling. If you don’t then you are leaving yourself very much open to problems later on down the line. How, then, do you create hunger?
Employee Engagement Ideas: Forming A Hungry Workforce
So, the next step is to work out why your employees feel so hurt and undervalued in the workplace. What is going wrong to leave them in such a state of mind? Again, ask yourself the following. Think how you would feel if you worked for a business that gave a negative response to all of the above.
This should make it very easy for you to see where your weaknesses and limitations stem from as a business. So, now that you know that workplace hunger is absolutely essential, how do you tap into this?
- Firstly, go to your staff and ask them directly how they feel about their role in the workplace. Tell them that there’s going to be 10-20 meetings with every staff member, and that you require them to be utterly honest with you: with no consequences for a response.
- Secondly, create an atmosphere that allows people to talk in the workplace. If a member of staff is having a hard time, you need to let them know they can tell you. If someone is having family issues or they are producing low-quality work due to exhaustion, you need to let them know that this is A) acceptable and B) fixable.
- Thirdly, you are tasked with the role of making them feel like they can be rewarded. Speak to every member of staff, tell them that you value their contribution, and that moves are in place to help create a rewards scheme. A rewarded worker is a motivated worker.
- Lastly, remove the culture of ‘omertà’ from the workplace. If everyone is valued, then their positive and negative contributions should be the same. One particular solution makes it easy for people to speak out in the workplace – engagement surveys.
Employee Engagement Survey: The Power of Surveys
The best thing that you can do as an employer to get employees to open up and talk about their work experience is a survey. Surveying how the team is getting on is your first and most useful move. Why, though, should you look to engage with a survey so much?
- For one, it transfers the voice of power to the staff. You can do the survey anonymously if you like, but it’s better to stress it’s a named survey without any worries about consequences.
- Worried about getting your feelings hurt or holding grudges due to a negative response? Don’t be. As a business leader, you can dish our critique all day. If you can’t take it back in a survey you need to look at yourself.
- At the same time, you can find that a survey offers a powerful solution for long-term development in relationships. Staff gets the chance to speak out, to tell out what is going wrong and what has to change if they can get the most out of themselves.
- It can shatter a few false truths that you had in your mind, also. When you see that staff don’t see your business as the meritocratic paradise that you presumed it was, it forces you to look within as much as anything else. Believe us, that is a good thing!
So, the survey is a good thing for you as the business leader as much as anything else. It lets you see if those preconceptions you have about your own greatness stand up to the test of time or not. Best of all, it allows you to see where you are going wrong – and what your staff feel is stopping personal and professional growth.
What, though, should a good survey ask? What questions elicit the best responses?
Employee Engagement Survey Questions: What Should Your Survey Ask?
- Do you understand company goals? This is a good question to start with. Ask your staff if they feel like they can work well because of the strategy, or if they will work in spite of it. Better yet; ask them if they even know what the strategy is!
- Do you find a link between personal goals and company goals? This is a great follow-up. It lets you see what people think of the long-term aims of the business, and how they fit into that role. Do they feel like they just ‘do a job’ or are helping towards meeting something?
- Are you proud to be a member of your team? If they answer no, ask them to elaborate on why. This is a vital question to ask, as it lets you see if the issue is from employee to management, or a company-wide problem.
- Do you feel inspired to work at you best? Another great question. Find out what is stopping them from feeling inspired to give 100%, making sure they feel comfortable answering. If they feel like they’ll be censored for saying they don’t give 100%, they’ll lie. Encourage openness and honesty.
- Do you have the information needed to do your best? This one is aimed at you. Find out if they have the tools, knowledge, coaching and information to give it their best. If they don’t, find out why they don’t.
- Who do you turn to for help when you are in trouble? A great question for finding out the strength of the structure. Is there enough trust or developmental growth with superiors to work together and ask questions?
If you ask the above, you’ll know far better where you stand as a business. Surveys are hard to get right, but open-ended questions that crave descriptive answers helps massively. It shows staff that you care for them and, more importantly, that you aren’t too proud to look to better yourself as much as the company.
For more info, please see the employee engagement survey.