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9 Steps to make work better

“We’ve been having our employees take this employee engagement survey for 2 years. The scores on the survey go up. But the work is not getting better. Productivity is down, turnover is up,  and customer satisfaction is down.”

Above was the lament of a buddy over  beers.  He is a Vice President in an HMO.


This is common with companies and managers who are removed from the work. They believe that a magic survey or assessment will solve morale & other perceived people problems.

What happens is people game the survey results, the survey questions create bias towards certain responses, managers & co-workers affect the responses, everyone is unclear about the terms & words (i.e.  Do you have a best friend at work?).

I asked my buddy “What happens with the survey results?”

“Sr. management adds them to the agenda … They run out of time to discuss  … They choose to delegate the task to Human Resources.” 

Sent him the 5 Levers of Employee Engagement and some advice.


Surveys and data are nice BUT it does not change the work and peoples’ thoughts & behavior at work.

CHANGES TO HOW THE WORK GETS DONE, CHANGE HOW PEOPLE WORK

STOP waiting for HR & management to figure something out.

START BY LOOKING AT YOUR WORK AND IMMEDIATE TEAM.

- Make a list of all the people on your team.

- Clearly define the value you add to their work.  NOT their lives … their work.

- Define the work output that you create that your manager is accountable for.

- Define the work of your team AND what parts of their work you are accountable for.

- Ask friends and co-workers what you can do to be clearer about work expectations and how you can help them get their work done.

- Using the 5 Levers of Employee Engagement identify which levers are working well.

- List evidence you see that it is working well. How do others see this lever working well?

- Using the 5 Levers of Employee Engagement identify a lever to strengthen. How can you strengthen that lever while maintaining success with the other levers?

- Define 2 to 3 short observable actions to take immediately and keep track of your progress / regress.

Repeat

- Stop the external survey taking, it neuters the judgment of the people who work and actually know what Engagement in their work is.


WHAT DO YOU THINK?

What has been your positive and negative experience with external surveys and assessments to define the current condition of the people in your work? How would your work change if you followed the 9 steps above?