At a recent meeting with the CEO of a large organization, he was talking the forthcoming launch of his next annual employee engagement survey. (To understand what’s wrong with annual surveys, read this: When an Annual Survey Isn’t an Annual Survey).
I asked him what had been done with the results from their last survey conducted twelve months ago. How had it worked?
“Well, we received some tremendous insights and ideas. There are a lot of areas we’re focusing on – but there’s a lot of work to do.”
His experience is not unique. When you’re an Engaged Owner who runs a survey properly, and particularly when participants are able to contribute anonymously, you will get incredibly valuable feedback that will help you to drive positive change in your business – it is, after all, the reason why you run the survey in the first place! It also stands to reason that the more employees have you have, the larger the number of suggestions you’re likely to receive. This is especially exciting considering that the best employee engagement ideas come from your team. The issue, however, is that most surveys tend to generate a huge amount of work for business owners and leaders.
The conversation continued:
“So, when you run the same survey as you did last year, once again, you’re expecting to receive lot insight and feedback that will result in a lot of work for your leaders. How do you feel about that?”
And he very rightly said,
“Well, it is improving the business.”
“Don’t you think it would be better if, over time, you were able to transfer the workload, energy and to a greater extent, ownership, for improving engagement to your team?”
“Of course! How do I do that?”
I explained that by changing the annual survey to a quarterly one and then empowering his team members to take action as a result of the feedback received, he would see the workload and energy transferring – over time – from the leaders to the employees. I also shared a comment made by one of Engagement Multiplier’s fabulous client community members, Chris Hale of Perigon Wealth Management:
“We’ve grown a lot as an organization – about five-fold in the last 2½ years. One of the challenges in doing so is who the leadership is in an evolving and growing group. The Engagement Multiplier process has allowed a couple of the people that we thought would be great leaders (but either didn’t have the permission or the opportunity to demonstrate themselves in that way) to really take this process, lead it and own it. They’re clearly the leaders in the organization now. For example, we have someone, very tactical, who runs our day-to-day operations. She just came to the forefront and not only led the team through articulating what they thought our Purpose was but went so far as to make sure the partners had a meeting to define our Purpose. It’s just what you want a self managing team to be.”
Transferrable insight: Improving employee engagement levels takes work – but it doesn’t all have to sit with the business owner and leadership team. The right engagement model and framework opens up opportunities for your team members to take more ownership of the initiatives that will improve the health, wealth and happiness of your organization. They will invariably love the challenge and over time you’ll see growing organizational capability developing before your eyes.