If You Want The Answers, You Need To Ask The Questions!

Friday, March 10 2017

I have a voice regarding the direction of the company.

This is one of the important questions we ask when we assess organizational engagement. It is also often the lowest score rated by employees on the CORE Strengths survey. We reviewed the data for the last 12 months and found that the average score for all the employees who completed this question was 5.27 out of 10. There is room for improvement!

So in the spirit of asking, consider how you would answer these questions about engagement in your organization:

If you are a leader:

  • How engaged do you believe your employees are?
  • Would they rate their ability to provide input into where the organization should be headed higher than 5.27 out of 10? Lower?
  • Do you have a formal way to collect information about your employees’ perceptions of those factors that affect their engagement and organizational success?
  • Do you believe their perception of how much you care impacts employee performance?

If you are an employee:

  • What score (1 – 10) would you give if asked whether you have a voice in the organization?
  • Does your manager consult you regularly about effective communication, clarity of expectations, or other matters that have a direct impact on your engagement?
  • Does your employer collect this data, build a plan for action, and then measure progress?
  • Does how much you believe your leaders care affect how much you care?

When we ask business leaders what sets them apart from their competitors almost all of them tell us it’s their people. That question, which we use deliberately, helps to demonstrate two important issues:

  • First, if everyone believes their differentiator is their people, then is it truly a differentiator?
  • Second, if virtually all employees believe their employer doesn’t care enough to listen to them, then perhaps the real competitor isn’t another company offering like services, but the internal perception of employer indifference. The research tells us that this perception can result in employees leaving to seek greener pastures.

When we compare the differences between what leaders and employees believe about important indicators of engagement, employees rate their organizations as much as 30% lower than their leaders. Clearly, we as leaders need to ask more questions!