Employee engagement results from the feeling someone has/or doesn’t have about their personal work experience. A lot of this is affected by the relationship they have with their manager.
To evaluate it, you need a good feedback loop.
Without honest feedback your employee engagement strategy is not strategic…it’s aspirational.
Engagement Surveys Aren’t Enough
Surveys fall short of uncovering meaningful understanding. Back in the day, I listened in on more than one market research telephone survey. It was fascinating to hear the side comments people make while trying to decide how their answer fits into the canned responses provided. Even when I read verbatims later… there were missed opportunities for learning.
You need face to face conversations to getter a better beat on employee experience. Here are some questions for starters:
- What are you hoping to get from your time with us?
- Are we fulfilling your expectation?
- On a scale of 1 to 10 with 10 being “outstanding” how are we doing?
- What would it take to get to 8?
- What would it take to get to 10?
- What else is missing?
- What is your favorite part?
- What do you enjoy most about it?
- What else would you like to see?
- If we would focus on making one thing better right now, what would have the most impact for you?
While any of these questions can be asked on a survey, I think they should be asked in a personal conversation.
When feedback crosses the threshold into “data points”…we lose too much. Subjective and deeper listening is very informative. Tone of voice, facial expressions and body language tell greater truths. Listen for the dissonance in answers…then get curious and ask follow up questions.
If engagement is as important as you say it is…how are you getting beyond canned survey responses?
How are you getting beyond the predictable and prepackaged responses of a cold survey?
One last note: even face to face conversations fall short if there is low or no trust. If your internal radar is signaling that someone is holding back, they are.
If you’ve uncovered a deeper situation, what is accounting for the lack of trust?
You can be sure if trust is missing…you are a long way from that individual feeling engaged.
You have a different challenge if this is the case.
How will you earn trust going forward? Trust is foundational to employee engagement.