I remember the first engagement survey I ever filled in and the few after that — they all had the same pattern.
- I found no value in it — it was another admin task
- I put it on the backburner
- I ignored the reminder emails and requests from my manager till the last possible date
- I completed it without giving it much thought
How naive was I!
Few years into my career, after yet another mindlessly completed survey result was out, our team lead didn’t only send out the survey results. But he ran us through every parameter, what each of it meant, where we stood and what could be done so that we could be better.
The discussion was followed through with concrete actions and some extremely fruitful results for the team.
That episode was an eye-opener for me. And since then the lens through which I see an employee engagement survey has dramatically altered.
These surveys usually encompass a broad array of parameters: well-being, flexibility, leadership, physical workspace, innovation, motivation, training, communication, connection, belonging, pride, diversity and inclusion, etc.
Everyone across the organization is expected to participate. This ensures that the feedback that comes in is funneled through every filter — Not just one team, not just one section of the business.
My simple takeaway
The complaints discussed around the watercooler or during the walk to get coffee with your peers, the reasons that make you proud about the organization you work for — all can and should be voiced in the survey.
An employee engagement survey needs more love than just an afterthought.
Why should I bother?
We ought to remember that we spend a significant amount of time and energy at our workplace. We bring our whole selves to work. The value we provide and the way we feel at and about work ties into our overall well being.
The way we work at making our personal relationships and spaces work for us, the same way we should try and make our workplace relationships, values, and space work for us.
Feedback and communication is the best way to do it. In my 15 years of corporate experience, I am yet to find a better way to do it.
There are multiple avenues of providing and receiving feedback and in my humble opinion, we should be maximizing all the opportunities.
Employee Engagement survey is one of these strong platforms to share your thoughts about the team, workspace, organization, policies, and much more.
Other avenues where feedback works wonders:
Retrospective | Postmortem — Important Feedback loop
It is no secret feedback is important. In this world of agile and DevOps and continuous development, it is imperative to…
Does anyone care?
Yes. The organization cares. The leaders care. Everyone is in it together. Leaders are as human as you and me. Everyone in the organization hierarchy has the intent to make the workplace a better and inclusive place for everyone.
Organizations have realized the value of acting on feedback. Leaders realize the value of employee engagement, employee satisfaction, organizational culture. There is a common consensus that efficiency and productivity are driven by well being.
These surveys especially hold the leaders at all layers accountable and drive them towards action. It gives them a view of what is working and what needs improvement in their immediate teams.
One layer and one step at a time, the actions amalgamate and outcomes are achieved in tandem with the feedback.
The survey outcomes hold the company leadership accountable. The survey provides a score that reflects not only how your immediate management and team are favored but it provides a score on how the organization as a whole is marked.
The scores not only reflect how everything performs today but also provides a comparison with the previous year. It provides a platform for everyone to reflect on what works and what can be done to improve.
The survey gives a view across an array of parameters. As a result, the leadership can take concrete actions to address parameters that are not favorable and to strengthen the activities or processes that work.
- When the survey comes in, give it some thought.
- Express your true opinions. The surveys are usually a “agree” “disagree” style questionnaire with an option to provide more information. If there is more, do not worry about the grammar or vocabulary of how you say it. Say it.
- Realize the potential or the power of the platform and the value of your own voice.
Providing feedback is one part of what we should do. Holding our leaders responsible for actions and receiving feedback on how the actions are progressing is our responsibility and right.
Like any other area of life, when one knows that their voices are heard and their opinion is valued, that is when a synergy is formed and everyone then works towards a common goal.
Does this survey mean every feedback, every opinion will be or can be actioned? Probably no. Depending on the size and complexity of an organization, change might take longer. Organizational culture is not formed in a day and every change is a step towards how we want our culture to be shaped.
It starts with us.