Last week we talked about the good, bad and the ugly about how we’re using (or not sufficiently using) the huge investment we make in employee engagement surveying. Many of you shared great reasons for conducting pulse surveys including using the results as input to elevate culture, reduce barriers in people doing their best work, retain great people, ensure people feel valued, and to gauge individuals’ wellbeing (particularly right now.) All great intentions for taking a measured pulse and following it up with intentional resources based on what was uncovered.
I still want us to take the conversation one step deeper. Whether you’re describing it this way or not, these intentions really are about elevating the employee employee experience and go beyond measuring the employee experience.
And there is no better time than now.
One of the opportunities in this zany world of work we’re in right now is that we can do things differently. We can shake things up. We can push the pause button on “how we do things” and evaluate if it’s working. It is also a great time to refocus on only what matters most to the busy folks (still left or busier than ever). If there is anything that may not be working about your pulse surveying, now is the time to raise the red flag and right the ship.
I invite you to learn more in my previous vlog about Engagement Surveys.
Why the Employee Experience Matters
Although different organizations may define the employee experience in different ways, the employee experience, in essence, is everything that happens from hire to retire that impacts the lives of employees and leaders both inside and outside of work. It also is inclusive of all the factors impacting the physical, emotional, social and fiscal well-being of the individual.
While this may seem like semantics, there are some key work constructs that the employee experience helps to untangle such as deconstructing the misnomer that there is a work and home self and challenging the notion that work happens “at work.” It also challenges us to do better with respecting and valuing people by backing up the time when people “earn” our appreciation; in the world of the employee experience, our working relationship starts the second someone considers working for us. (For more on this, check out this article that talks about the seven phases of the employee experience.)
How to Ensure Your Engagement Survey Still Fits
If engagement surveys are the check-in about “how” people experience work in a consistent standardized way across teams, divisions and even countries, it’s essential to ensure the questions and the method it’s delivered fits with the employee experience you’re espousing to have.
The “why” is to create an employee and leader experience where everyone feels they belong, contribute meaningfully, want to stay, would recommend to others, and can do their best work. Your survey is not engagement – it is one way to evaluate it – and to validate the findings other key measures are required (frankly they were required all along but it was just far easier to just do a survey every two years to say we get what everyone is feeling).
Ultimately, we’re trying to create an army of recruiters. A network of raving fans. A congregation who agrees with the big “why” of your company. It’s pretty tough to do that if your employee experience stinks. And it’s pretty hard to validate you have a great employee experience if you never quantify it (what we measure matters after all).
This post, and the two that have preceded it, is a call for us to get real about how much time and effort we’re spending on surveying versus actually impacting a culture that people can’t wait to tell their friends, neighbours, customers and even social media followers about.
During these uncertain times, we have an opportunity to completely shake up the way we do things, what we invest our time and financial resources in, and what we are measuring to ensure that it matters. If you have had any doubts as to the effectiveness of your engagement surveying, now is the time to fill the holes. Even if you have a procurement contract with a survey company, this doesn’t preclude you from raising the bar; partner with the company versus delegate such important work to them. Together you will get better as a result.
If you were serious about reinventing employee experience and you’re just not sure where to start, why don’t we grab a virtual coffee? I’m happy for you to pick my brain As a fellow Traveler in the quest to ensure that people deserve to feel fulfilled and do meaningful work in the place where they spent the most waking hours of their life.
Here are some links to previous blogs about Employee Engagement Surveys: