It is time to retool your gage for employee engagement.
Surveys – a tired overused tool that is asked to do too much. I believe there is value in having a gage for engagement but I think we have gotten old and tired in using employee engagement surveys not just as one gage but our only gage. We are asking so much of surveys that I believe that employee engagement surveys are often unintentional contributors to employee disengagement as it raises employee skepticism and critical and anonymous view of the organization. There are so many questions asked that managers and organizations can not respond to each one and because of the complexity of the survey and data presentation it can take forever before the results are shared with employees. I know some organizations that are rolling out their next employee engagement survey before the previous one was released!
Keep your eye on results. How do you measure engagement? I hope with results of the individual and organization rather than survey perceptions. Of course you can get some initial data from surveys, maybe even a decent benchmark, but overall engagement is directed towards results that matter for both the individual and the organization not a score on a survey.
Give me a higher score, NOW! This reminds me of an anecdote I heard from one organization where managers had part of their bonus tied into the employee engagement survey scores for their area. One manager had low scores. Remedy? He gathered his staff together and told them they must give him higher scores on the next survey. At least he was direct even if quite disengaging.
How many dials can you read? How much action can you take? You can’t attend to 100 dials of engagement and I believe you should never ask an employee engagement question in a survey unless you are prepared to demonstrate to all employees that specific actions will be taken if the the score is low. Strive to eliminate questions — exaggerate the essentials and leave the obvious vague.
How often do you check your gage? How often do you calibrate engagement. And no, I am not suggesting more surveys. In addition who gets to read the gage and how long is the time lapse between the measure and the meaning?
4 Questions in under 2 minutes. How about some quick conversations between employees and managers every morning about their work, results, and engagement. Here are 4 questions to start an engaging conversation:
- How are you today?
- What stood out for you yesterday at work?
- What results did you achieve and what relationships did you build yesterday?
- What can you, I, and the organization do today to foster high levels of engagement, strong relationships, and robust results?
And do not turn these into survey questions. They are conversation starters not another bunch of questions for a survey.
Next Post: Out with the old, in with the new – A Playful Employee Engagement APGAR score!
~ ~ ~ ~ ~
David Zinger, M.Ed., is an employee engagement writer, educator, speaker, coach, and consultant. David founded and moderates the 2400+ member Employee Engagement Network. His personal website offers 1000 posts/articles relating to employee engagement and reached over 1,000,000 page views in under 4 months in 2010. David is involved in the application of Enterprise 2.0 approaches to engagement and the precursor, creating engaging approaches to communication, collaboration, and community within Enterprise 2.0.
Connect with David Zinger today for education, speaking, and coaching on engagement.
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Phone 204 254 2130 Website: www.davidzinger.com