Four reasons why it is not boring and pointless
Many organisations are unaware of what really matters to employees. They often do not know the answers to questions such as: How does everyone feel? Does everyone work with pleasure and passion every day? What is their attitude to recent changes? Is everyone still getting the most out of themselves? In general, these issues are only discussed during annual performance reviews or exit interviews. Would it not be much more useful to have a continuous insight into developments in terms of the culture and enthusiasm of your employees?
Four benefits of doing this are:
- It pays to invest in people
- Trends and developments are identified
- Progress monitoring motivates
- Employees feel they are heard in just 5 minutes
It pays to invest in people
‘I get back what I invest in people’, or as JW Marriot said: “If you take care of your people, your people will take care of your customers and your business will take care of itself.”
- According to Gallup, companies with highly engaged teams experience a 20% increase in productivity.
- According to the Workforce Institute on Absenteeism, companies observed a 41% reduction in sickness absence when teams were engaged.
- On average, highly engaged teams will see a 40% increase in turnover. This improvement can vary from 24% in organisations with a high turnover, to 59% in organisations with a low turnover.
And I could go on. By systematically measuring how employees feel, managers or entrepreneurs know where to make changes. This enables you to keep going in the right direction, to stay ahead of competitors and to keep employee enthusiasm at an optimal level. Measuring regularly also gives you a clearer idea of what you really need to invest your time in when it comes to employees.
Trends and developments are identified
Nothing is more liable to change than the human. People want to develop themselves, but do not want to be changed. By measuring frequently, you identify trends and developments, such as seasonal influences like the busy Christmas period. If certain parameters increase or decrease, due to miscommunication for example, it will come as no surprise. After all, you have observed the communication score decrease for a few months now. This means you can make timely adjustments.
In addition, you can see the impact of certain actions. It is possible to learn by measuring which actions influence which parameters, but this obviously comes with the caveat to avoid making incorrect assumptions. For example, there are more drownings in warm weather. Ergo, warm weather is more dangerous than bad weather. That is an incorrect assumption. There is only an absolute increase in drownings, not a relative one. As a matter of course there are more people on the beach, which means there is a greater number of people in the water and more people drown. However, whether a cultural programme has achieved anything is clearly visible. The cultural changes are visible on the dashboard.
By measuring regularly, you see what influence your contribution as a manager has on the enthusiasm of employees.
Progress monitoring motivates
When I started running in my free time, I noticed little progress after the first training sessions. I considered running boring and the results minimal. I had no clear goal and simply ran for the sake of it. As soon as I changed tack and devised a specific training programme that measured various elements I could compare with other runners online, not only did my stamina improve, but my motivation too. Running became more enjoyable and my performance improved. Employee surveys work the same way.
Employee surveys have value if carried out regularly, as you can see progress that way. This obviously does not mean you should ask a hundred questions per month; it is better to ask a maximum of twenty questions and not the same ones every time. This way it turns into something that can be completed in just five minutes.
As an entrepreneur/manager, these measurements provide you with a benchmark every month and a clear idea of employee developments. You can see where things could be better, for example. As an entrepreneur/manager, you can therefore make changes in a more targeted way and then get an idea of the effect of those adjustments in the next survey.
A one-off survey provides you with a snapshot of the situation at that moment. Measuring frequently allows you to obtain a film of the situation, which enables you to identify developments and trends. As an entrepreneur/manager, you are in control of shaping the situation the way you want. Or as Lord Kelvin put it so well: “If you cannot measure it, you cannot improve it.”
Employees feel they are heard in just 5 minutes
Since my wife and I both have our own businesses and we are the parents of three children under the age of seven, we lead full lives. Some would call it busy. This means a great deal of discussion is required to coordinate diaries on one hand and remain engaged in each other’s personal wellbeing on the other. We make an effort to listen to each other attentively by spending five minutes every evening telling the other about our day. One speaks and the other listens without asking questions or commenting until the five minutes are up. We then switch roles. It has become an important respite for us amongst our generally busy schedule.
Solkie’s engagement questionnaire takes 5 minutes to complete and enables employees to give their opinion without you as the manager or entrepreneur having to speak to everyone every month and update these results on an Excel spreadsheet. That saves time and provides a clear overview, meaning there is a plenty of time left to have a meaningful discussion.
Because it obviously remains important to have personal discussions with people!