Although I write on employee engagement the most important engagement in my life was my engagement to Susan. Today we have been married for 20 years! Now that’s engagement that has sustained itself over 20 years!
Archives for May 2008
Lets put measurement in the hands of the “carpenters” not the consultants!
by David Zinger
Abandon tired old surveys. Many employees are tired of employee engagement surveys. It feels like a workplace intrusion similar to the intrusion of the telephone survey requests you get just as you are sitting down to eat with your family. Employees have thoughts similar to the one expressed below:
Oh please, not another survey that is going to ask us a ton of questions, be shelved in some drawer or computer file for months, take forever for us to find out the results, and then leave us wondering what action will be taken after an external consultant gives us a 30 minute slick slide show, showing what we already know.
Don’t waste money. The money that is spent having experts construct the survey and create fancy looking charts and presentations may be better invested on actual initiatives that engage employees.
Focus on one question. I am not against measuring engagement with the very very occasional longer survey but I advocate fast surveys, with just one question, where the question and results are given to the people who can make a difference with the data right away and leaders or managers are not left taxed with a whole bunch of more duties on a working plate that is already overflowing.
Usability trumps rigorous validity and reliability. I taught a graduate level course on testing and measurement. The 3 big concerns in surveys and measurement are: validity, reliability, and usability. I am not naive about issues around reliability, validity, and confidentiality but first and foremost I am a practitioner of engagement and I think we don’t attend enough to the third key criteria of measurement: usability. Let’s use surveys, polls, and measurement to assess engagement quickly and get on with the actual work of engagement.
From start to finish in under 24 hours. I have developed a simple and powerful method to create timely and helpful surveys. The survey can be constructed in a matter of minutes, the responses can be gathered within a few hours, and action can be launched before 24 hours have elapsed.
Check out this sample survey. For a quick sample of what I am talking about, see a quick emotional survey on work I constructed for my management blog:
- Click here to see a survey created in under 5 minutes. The question took me 3 minutes to create, I had a click-able link in a minute, and the data automatically began populating a spreadsheet (all this in less than 5 minutes of work)! I had 188 responses in about 6 hours.
- Click here to see the results from almost 500 readers with a sample of some of the comments a few days later. The statistics were interesting but I think the comments and the following conversation were most significant. I encourage you to read the dialogue in the 21 opinions after the blog post.
Engage today. If I was a manager of the “slacker manager” group I surveyed above, I would have an instant pulse on the workplace, a lot of insightful comments, and the start of engaging conversations about disengagement and engagement and what we need to do.
Learn to employ social media tools for employee engagement. This is an example of the application of powerful, pervasive and free social media tools (Google Shared Documents and a Blogging Platform) to enhance or improve engagement. No budget dollars were harmed or squandered in the production, assessment, and actions based on the one question survey!
For more information about the survey or using social media tools in employee engagement contact David Zinger at firstname.lastname@example.org or phone (204) 254-2130.
Here is a short snippet on friendship from a Gallup article on Are You Neglecting New Employees:
This is one of the most common ways a vital friendship is formed at work — discovering a coworker with common interests or beliefs. The best workgroups we have studied engage in passionate conversations and e-mail discussions about non-work topics. This helps the group bond and makes it stronger.
Photo Credit: Mr. Pumpkin and Mr. Apple by http://flickr.com/photos/orinrobertjohn/159744546/
Click here to listen a Blog Talk Radio interview I had with Zane Safrit on employee engagement:
David Zinger, founder of the Employee Engagement community on Ning (http://employeeengagement.ning.com) will talk with me today about employee engagement and its role in corporate success and its foundation for creating customer evangelists and their word-of-mouth advertising for your company.