Give Your Employees What They Really Want This Year

listening to employeesToday’s guest post comes from David Niu, Founder & CEO of employee engagement survey company TINYpulse. We’ve written about the sad state of employee engagement today, as the number of employees who are actively engaged continues to hover well below where most organizations would like them to be.  David’s post below shares how managers and HR leaders can help counter these trends through a process of measuring, sharing, and acting on employee feedback.

What would happen if, all of a sudden, your employees were in charge? For some managers, this could be a really scary prospect. But if we actually knew what our employees would do with a newfound management opportunity, we’d get great insights into what they thought was lacking in their workplaces.  It was with this in mind that TINYpulse released our first-ever New Year Employee Report. We interviewed more than 1,000 full-time workers, and asked them to think about their workplace wish lists for the New Year.  We posed the following question: If you were promoted to be your boss’s boss in the New Year, what’s the one thing you would change?

It turns out the top three wishes revolved around interpersonal dynamics and behavior:

#1 Fire, demote, or improve the caliber of employees

#2 Establish standards for behavior and company policies

#3 Improve communication

So often managers aren’t tuned into what frustrates or burns out their employees. I’ve certainly been guilty of this myself in the past. And this ignorance can come back and harm any manager when our best and brightest employees give their two week notice. That’s why I’m such a strong advocate of proactively soliciting employee feedback via regular surveys. It’s the most direct way out there to know exactly what’s on my employees’ minds.

Ask For Feedback…Constantly

I often get asked about annual vs. pulsing surveys. Your employees won’t wait a full year to give you feedback before they quit. So why would you wait a whole year to capture their feedback?

Pulsing surveys are weekly or bi-weekly one- or two-question surveys. They offer managers quick snapshots of employee sentiment, empowering leaders with quick, actionable data they can use to stem the attrition tide. As managers we’re used to looking at our performance metrics on a regular basis. Employee feedback metrics should be no different.

Share Feedback, Even The Nasty Stuff

One concern we often hear from our clients is what to do with negative feedback. It can be uncomfortable, and no one likes airing their dirty laundry.  The fact is, sharing all feedback is critical to get employees to buy in to the survey process. There is no better way to show your employees that you are genuinely receptive to their feedback than by showing them you are listening – and listening to all of it. If you share all the feedback with the team, you will be rewarded with continued, candid responses.

Get Ready To Act on That Feedback

There is a lot of data out there showing that not acting on employee feedback actually causes disengagement. It’s one reason why managers must be ready to act on the feedback they receive.  While this can seem daunting, there is an easy way to break up your action plan into short-term and long-term tactics. Tackle a few easy, quick wins first. It shows your employees you are listening and committed to making their workplace better. And, it buys you time to work on those hard-to-tackle problems that can really turn a work environment around.

Whether you’re a C-level leader or you manage a small team, employees expect a lot out of you and their work environments. Commit to giving them a better place to work , and start asking what’s really on their minds.

Hey readers, any many of you are doing employee surveys – and acting upon them in a systematic way?

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