We recently completed an employee engagement survey for a hi-tech client and after evaluating the survey results five key findings surfaced. The respondents indicated that they wanted more transparency from the leadership team along with more timely decisions. The respondents also indicated that they were looking for more responsibility, an improvement in communication and, finally, a work environment that is more engaging and team oriented. So. let’s delve deeper into the detailed results.
The survey respondents indicated that the leadership team needed to be more transparent and open with the employees. A business is a reflection of the leaders of the organization, and if the leaders ensure transparency, the team will mirror this value. Honesty was determined to be a key value of the company, and if practiced more consistently, the result will be an effective better functioning team that trusts and believes in the executives.
Good leaders are creative, innovative, flexible and decisive; however, decisions-makers may be forced at times to deviate from the set course and make a decision without all of the information. It is during these critical situations that the team will need to look for guidance, evaluate the data and reach a decision that is the best given the available data. The survey respondents indicated that the decision making process was often too protracted. The leaders were afraid of making decisions and were risk adverse. Some risk is acceptable and the respondents, including the leaders of the company, determined that decisions needed to be more timely even if the information was incomplete.
Ability to Delegate
Trusting the team and learning to delegate to subordinates are an important signs of strength, not weakness. Delegating tasks to department managers and individual contributors is one of the most important skills a leader needs to have. The key to delegation is identifying the strengths of the team, and capitalizing on those strengths and hold each team member accountable for their decisions. This will prove to your team that as a leader you trust and believe in them and are fair. The survey results indicated that the respondents wanted to have more responsibility and management needed to learn to delegate more, provided that decision-making parameters were established and properly communicated.
Being a Good Communicator
Being a good communicator is critical to all leaders in a growing organization. Knowing what you want accomplished and explaining the company’s vision for the future to the team are extremely important. The survey results indicated that the leaders lacked the ability to communicate the vision and strategy. Healthy lines of communication were also determined to be poor. The respondents requested that management establish an all-hands meeting, newsletters, webinars and state-of-the-company presentations to improve communication. Communication is also managing by walking around and creating an open door policy. Making it a point to talk to the employees on a daily basis was determined to build trust and keep the leaders in the loop. The results also indicated that the company executives need to make themselves available to discuss the strategic as well as tactical issues.
Having a Sense of Humor
Because the respondents spend so much time at work the survey results indicated that they want to be a part of a company that can “work-hard and play-hard”. Challenges happen all the time in business. A client may go elsewhere, the company website goes down, the telephone lines to customer service are interrupted or the company’s line of credit is not extended. Guiding the team through these or any challenges without panicking and with a sense of purpose is as important as tackling the underlining reasons why a particular event occurred. It was determined that having a sense of humor will pay off as it will allow the team to laugh at the mistakes and learn from them. Good leaders are successful in building a team, encouraging healthy discussions and learning from the daily business challenges.
The employee survey results were communicated to the employees and action plans were developed and are currently being implemented. The leaders of the company made a commitment to ensure transparency in the process, be inclusive and maintain on-going communication. They also agreed to establish accountability measures for improvement by evaluating the progress made over the next survey cycle. This initiative was truly a team effort regardless of level in the organization.