It’s a fairly common practice that organizations administer an annual employee engagement survey. Since an engaged workforce is a higher performing workforce, it’s beneficial to check in and assess whether or not people are feeling good about the work they do and the people with whom they work.
I’ve had a lot of experience conducting focus groups in organizations and when I have asked about internal engagement surveys I have heard things such as, “Everyone knows this survey is a waste of time. We pencil whip it and give them the results they want”; or “This survey is simply a metric. They produce a slick presentation of the results but we get no detailed information upon which we can act.”
I have worked with organizations that have employee engagement surveys with five to seven items. Maybe it’s me, but I can’t imagine how you can develop preventative measures and actionable items from such an instrument.
I frequently remind organizational leaders that what you pay attention to signifies its importance. A five to seven item survey around engagement sends a huge message that “we are just checking the box.” A flourishing culture needs an engaged workforce, and to that end, “engagement” should not be given short shrift. It requires a survey instrument that measures many dimensions of the organization’s culture. It should be administered by an external consultant: someone who acts like an anthropologist observing the organization, talking to people and processing the data to identify gaps and significant findings. Further, the assessment should be administered in live sessions and the results processed in large groups of people from all levels of the organization.
At Flourishing Culture Consultants, LLCTM, we assess the culture of an organization using the Six S’s. We:
- Survey. Gather quantitative data to determine strengths, weaknesses and areas of opportunity.
- Surface. Conduct focus groups and interviews to surface the stories/beliefs/perceptions that support the assessment findings.
- Summarize. Develop assessment report that utilizes both data sets to determine significant findings.
- Share. Conduct a workshop with key stakeholders from all levels of the organization to validate the assessment findings.
- Select. Process key issues.
- Strategize. Utilize the group to set strategic course for the future.
When an assessment is conducted in this way, it says, “This is important” and truly acts as a catalyst for change.
For more information on the Six S Flourishing Culture Assessment©, contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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