What Would Your Employees Say?

business cultureAs the employment market tightens in most major cities and the battle for top talent heats up, it might be a good time to figure out what your employees are saying about your company. As an employer, it would be good for you to know if they are looking or being tempted by other offers as well as whether they would recommend your organization as a good place to work.

Remember, it’s not all about pay, although that is important. It’s about a good workplace, somewhere they actually look forward to spending 40+ hours per week at, not just tolerating. It’s about opportunities to learn and grow, advancement potential and generally feeling like what they do matters. The easiest way to take the temperature is this set of questions originally developed by the Gallup organization years ago.

  1. Do I know what is expected of me at work?
  2. Do I have the equipment and materials I need to do my work right?
  3. At work, do I have the opportunity to do what I do best every day?
  4. In the last 7 days, have I received praise or recognition for good work?
  5. Does my supervisor, or someone at work, seem to care about me as a person?
  6. Is there someone at work who encourages my development?
  7. At work, do my opinions seem to count?
  8. Does the mission or purpose of my company make me feel like my work is important?
  9. Are my coworkers committed to doing quality work?
  10. Do I have a best friend at work?
  11. In the last 6 months have I talked with someone about my progress?
  12. This past year have I had opportunities to learn and grow?

If your employees can answer “Yes” to most or all of these, you probably have a very productive workforce. However, if it’s more like half yes and no, you run the risk of losing good employees and might have trouble recruiting. It takes employees less than 5 minutes to fill this out. Make sure to do it anonymously or you won’t get accurate answers. Plug the questions into one of the online survey tools like SurveyMonkey if you want to make it even easier.

The key is to have the intention of actively dealing with whatever themes or concerns show up. Not all of them, but select one or two as priorities. Remember communication is a key to good leadership so state a purpose for doing the survey – “we want to make sure you are all getting what you need” – or something similar before sending it out. Let them know that depending upon the responses, each issue or concern will be dealt with according to the priority and breadth of the responses. Don’t make it mandatory. If people don’t want to participate, that will tell you something. Once you have the responses, pick the one or two things that are most concerning and address them in some way.  Communicate what was selected and that you will be doing the survey in another 6-12 months to see how it’s going. If you don’t plan to address any of the issues that come up in the survey, don’t do it in the first place. You will only make things worse and reinforce the perception that you don’t care as an employer.

Just the fact that you are concerned about your employees – how they feel and that you want them to be able to answer yes to these types of questions – will go a long way towards improving workplace morale. It is also likely to enhance productivity and stave off some people from leaving for what might be considered greener pastures. And when recruiting, you can mention that you conduct a survey on a regular basis and take action based on the findings. This matters to new recruits