Imagine someone professing their passion for mediocre food, or their dedication to a so-so friendship – it’s just not going to happen. The same goes for disengaged employees who are feeling “meh” about their job (and I’m betting most of us have seen it happen or experienced it ourselves). This is why soliciting employee feedback is critical to every employer.
Gallup is calling the continued drop in employee engagement a crisis and a sign of mismanagement – nearly 70 percent of employees are disengaged at work, or worse, “actively” disengaged (think: miserable and negative). Stop and ask yourself – how can we move the needle on employee engagement when we only hear from employees once a year, or after a major employee issue shared during an exit interview? The lack of real-time feedback is where the gap lies between leaders’ and employees’ perception of satisfaction.
An annual survey can still be effective as long as it’s not too daunting of a task for your workforce. If your survey is mind-numbing, response rates will be low and lack any thoughtful, detailed feedback that can be used to improve your organization. My strong suggestions:
- Try to keep your surveys short. Employees are willing to spend ten minutes providing candid feedback; not an hour’s worth of their time answering 50 plus questions. The short survey also allows the company to take in that data and do something with it.
- Ask for a little, more often: Introducing micro-surveys during the year can be an easy, impactful way to drill down on some key areas for improvement and provide real-time data, giving companies the ability to react and anticipate change. Employees will appreciate the opportunity to share feedback more frequently while it’s top-of-mind… what’s going well, what’s frustrating and are they happy?
There are plenty of tools in the marketplace that help elicit and track feedback on a real-time basis. The right mix for your organization could apply any number of methods, but it’s important to have a combination of both quantitative and qualitative data to get the best results. How a company incorporates employee feedback into its culture has a great impact on employee engagement, but the “too little, too late” approach will likely be costly on many levels.