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Staff Satisfaction Surveys Stink!

Nov 13, 2007
Truth is, in many organizations, the doing of the survey is more than enough. Only rarely does anyone get down to what happens next.

It's an easy fix for organizations to churn out the annual or even bi-annual ('to show we really care') survey to their people, to assess 'staff satisfaction'. It is a great tactic for the Annual Report. Yet in most cases, it stinks!

Once the results are in, they get analyzed at Corporate, Divisional and Area level. Any improvements result in back-slapping ceremonies. Individual teams may get feedback on how they did.And for many organizations that's where it stops.

Sure, they may have a briefing and belief they are going forward, but no-one gets into the deep-seated behavioral issues that need to shift - because it's tricky, time-consuming and indeed they may have no clue as to how to take this element forward (but they did their survey OK!)!

Whilst the big-picture organization things are important, they usually fit at the bottom of Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs. The upper levels of fulfillment and self esteem cannot be delivered at arms length.

The only delivery-boy for the behaviors that really make a difference to your employees engagement is the direct environment where they work. And that's where each and every manager needs to get into close one-to-one relationships with each of their people.

To truly listen, to understand what they can really do to maximize engagement/retention/attendance as the minimum (and extremely good indicators in themselves, rather than the wheeled-out "to show we care 'survey'").

Big-time pro-active contribution from a whole team of employees (or is it 'colleagues'?), the bigger reward.

And here is where the local manager can really take advantage in what's happening in his business or with his team. He can take the results and make sure that local issues are resolved fast; that he/she asks deeper, more insightful questions about what his/her people are not happy about and then fix them fast.

By developing a local culture (albeit maybe working within corporate strictures), a local manager can make a very successful opportunity work well.

If the manager finds this a tough challenge on their own, one-on-one coaching, by someone who knows what they are doing, really can add positive numbers on the bottom line. I know, I've worked with clients who have seen number spiral, for the want of a pretty small investment in relative terms

And once behaviors shift, they shift for a lifetime of value! And that's what the manager can use to spread their own particular gospel, developing businesses, and people, as they go.

What a result, for success in a sterile corporate world (and psst, against the odds!).
About the Author
(c) 2007 "How To Land Your Dream Job". You can have the job of your dreams. It takes application, attention and the information you need to get you there, young or old. There's all you need at Martin Haworth's website, http://www.HowToLandYourDreamJob.com
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