Employee Surveys News

October 26th 2010 - Let's Get Engaged!

September 2nd 2010 - The Importance of Anonymity

August 14th 2010 - Is Engagement the Same in the USA?

July 8th 2010 - What's in a Name?

May 14th 2010 - Recruiting for Behaviours

Apr 5th 2010 - The Cost of the Economy on Your Employee Turnover

Feb 1st 2010 - Glass Ceiling or Career Choice?

Dec 30th 2009 - Christmas Fun Survey Results

Nov 24th 2009 - 8 Ways to End 2009 on a High

Nov 17th 2009 - 8 Ways to Create a Positive Workplace Environment

Nov 10th 2009 - Improving Motivation during the Winter Months

Oct 22nd 2009 - Mixed Messages in Employment Relationships

Oct 13th 2009 - Employee Engagement during the Economic Downturn

Sept 30th 2009 - Are You Ready For The Upturn?

 

26th October 2010

Let's Get Engaged!

As a business psychologist, if I had a pound for every time I heard the term ‘engagement’, I wouldn’t be writing this blog. I’d be sunning myself at my villa in the Bahamas!!

Engagement is huge for businesses. Those who engage their employees have been found through extensive research to be more profitable. And it is most definitely the case that customer engagement will increase profit share too.

So, what does engagement mean? Well, think about what it means when you become engaged to be married. You are giving someone your trust, commitment, promise, and future. Is this any different in terms of employee and customer engagement?

You certainly want your employees trust, commitment and promise to give at least a proportion of their future to you. Similarly with your customers, you need to gain their trust in you, create commitment so they choose you over your competitors, and promise that you will deliver exactly what is expected. So what about the future? It is always going to be easier to sell to those customers who have already bought from you than to find new customers, so you are definitely looking to keep hold of this customer into the future.

Sounds so simple – engage your employees and engage your customers and profits will flourish. So, how can this be achieved? Social media is definitely a tool that can help!

Engage with your customers through social media. Take interest in their tweets (especially if these relate to the service you have provided for them), respond to their needs, create relationships and engage.

And, as for your employees, well funnily enough they are on social media too! So many businesses block these tools as they do not want employees to be procrastinating during the working day. How about using them to engage with your employees? Get discussions going online, open forums and closed groups will allow your employees to come together as a team online.

So, come on then! LET’S GET ENGAGED!

 

September 2nd 2010

The Importance of Anonymity

 

Anonymity is crucial in ensuring high response rates and true results in employee surveys.

So, how can this be reliably achieved?

1. Host online - online surveys will carry with them a greater sense of anonymity than paper surveys

2. Focus mainly on forced choice responses rather than open text

3. Outline exactly how the results are seen by the administrator

4. Outsource - this will give employees the security that their results are being handlded outside of the organisation

5. Make sure they are anonymous! If you are promising anonymity, make sure there is no way you can trace individual responses.

 

August 14th 2010

Is Engagement the Same in the USA?

 

Check out this video from the CEO of The Employee Engagement Group in the US, outline the 10 Steps of Employee Engagement.

 

 

 

July 8th 2010

What’s in a Name?

Employee engagement.  Two words that are cropping up an awful lot at the minute.  So much so that many people now describe them as ‘buzzwords’ or words that are in fashion but mean nothing.  As a result, the meaning is being lost. 

So, why get so hung up on the name?

Engagement.  What does this word bring to mind?  Lifelong commitment to another.  Putting all your trust in another.  A display of your affection for another.  Your willingness to do anything for another.  How is employee engagement any different?  Engaged employees are those who trust their leader and organisation, who are committed to the organisation, are satisfied in their role, are willing to ‘go the extra mile’.  So really, employee engagement would be a perfect way to describe those employees who give 100% to their organisation.  If only real marriage were like that!!

What companies now need to consider is not the label but what the concept means and how it can work for their business.  There is no ‘employee engagement’ model that can be transferred organisation to organisation.  It is what you make it and what works in your organisation.  But, get it working well and you will see the return on investment.

What’s in a name?  Often a lot more than you’re prepared to discover!

 

May 14th 2010

Recruiting for Behaviours

What’s more costly?  Recruiting an individual who has the exact qualification you need for the job, but who leaves after 3 months because he doesn’t fit into their team or the organisation, or recruiting an individual without the qualification, who fits great into the team and the organisation, performs highly and gains the qualification you require of them through the organisation?  The answer will always be the latter, recruiting them for fit and training them for skills.  Yet organisations still hunt down the exact experience and skills they require without considering the person-organisation fit.

Organisations know what drives people performance – motivation, employee engagement, organisational commitment, job satisfaction, good working relationships, etc.  These are much higher indicators of performance than capability to do the role.  Why?  Because people who experience these to a high level will want to perform well for the organisation rather than doing the bare minimum required of them. 

Yet, when it comes to recruitment, this knowledge tends to go out the window.  Organisations do not aim to recruit someone who will show high levels of commitment, who will be satisfied with their role and the team they work with, who are open to being engaged, and who will create good working relationships both with colleagues and clients.  Instead, they look for those who have worked in a similar role, who have experience with main competitors, who display career progression through their career, who have the qualifications desired for the role, etc, etc.

Recruiting for behaviours and training for skills will result in more commitment, drive and performance from the individual.  It will also ensure they stay in their role and, eventually, advance above it.  So how can you find these people?

  1. The job description – what behaviours do you require for that role?  Will the person need to be happy working in a team or on their own?  What behaviours will fit well with the team?  What values are you looking for to fit with those of the organisation?
  2. The job advert – does the job advert portray the kind of person you are keen to recruit or does it focus on skills and experience?  Do the values of your organisation come through in the job advert?
  3. The CV sort – do the personality and values of the individual come through in the CV?  Can you imagine the person behind the CV?  Have they worked for long periods in organisations with similar culture to your own? 
  4. The interview – do your questions reflect the behavioural competencies you require for the role?  Does it ask the individual to give examples of behaviours they have displayed in the past?
  5. Other recruitment processes – does your recruitment process align with the behaviours you require?  Are you running an assessment centre with tasks centred round these behaviours?  Will you ask them to complete a psychometric to gain a greater understanding of their values and personality?
  6. Including the team – is the team the individual will be working with included in the recruitment process?  Are they given involvement in picking the final candidate?  Is the candidate given the opportunity to socialise with the team to establish fit for both the team and the candidate?

Taking the above into consideration will help lead to the right fit for your organisation. 

 

April 5th 2010

The Cost of the Economy on Your Employee Turnover

The current economy has seen a huge drop in the number of roles available to job-seekers.  As a result, more people are staying within their current roles.  But, what is going to happen when the number of roles available does increase?

The answer is massive loss of talent for some organisations.  The loss of key people will not make things any easier for organisations.  Which is why NOW is the time to start thinking about when the economy picks up and how this will affect your business.

Those organisations who have maintained, or even improved, levels of motivation and engagement recently will be the winners in the employment battle.  These organisations will keep hold of the people that make their business what it is, who strive to perform to their highest ability and who generate large amounts of revenue for their employer.  They will also build reputation to attract the highest level of talent into their organisation and away from their competitors.  They will emerge strongest from the economic downturn with heads held high and workplaces seeping over with high potential and talented individuals.

Those who have disengaged their employees through the downturn, who have seen a drop in morale levels and who have ignored the views of their employees will be left behind.  There will be massive talent flight from the organisation, and a drop in reputation leading to lack of new talent in.

Now is the time to be thinking about how your organisation has moved through the downturn.  Have you communicated effectively with your employees throughout?  Have you been open and honest about the effect the downturn has had on the organisation?  Have you kept your employees in the loop at all times?  Do you know the views of your employees and how the downturn is affecting them?  Have you dealt with any issues that have arisen quickly and effectively?  Have you ensured that development has continued, despite budget slashing?  Have you maintained a work/life balance for your employees?  Have you managed difficulties, such as redundancies or pay freezes, effectively to minimise the effect on employee morale?  Have you created an environment of fun and enjoyment? 

If you have answered no to any of the above, you need to overcome this, and quickly.  Talk to your employees.  Run a survey to find out their views.  You may find they differ completely from your expectations.  Create actions to overcome issues and negative responses.  Deal with these quickly and effectively.  Discuss ways forward with all employees and gain their future commitment to you by outlining how you see the business moving forward with them.  Note changes in employee turnover and address these issues immediately, such as through the use of exit surveys, to outline the reasons people have for leaving the organisation.

If the issue of low morale, motivation and engagement is not addressed now, you may find your organisation being left behind when the upturn comes.

 

Feb 1st 2010

Glass Ceiling or Career Choice?

The saying goes that people in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones. But wouldn’t you feel like throwing stones if you continually tried to work your way up the ladder only to find a glass ceiling blocking your progress? Does the glass ceiling really exist for women, or are we simply looking at the stats in the wrong light?

The glass ceiling is defined as an unofficial barrier to workplace advancement, usually as the result of discrimination, such as sexism or racism. The term was coined in the 80s and used most commonly to describe how women are unable to advance up the career ladder due to inequality. With equality issues raised consistently and females showing greater strength in breaking through the barrier, can we say it still exists? It is certainly the case that males still hold the majority of management positions. However, could the stats simply be a result of females’ career choices? More females are likely to give up their career or reduce their hours in order to look after their family, than males. Therefore, the stats are going to reflect this not only in management but in all roles.

It may be time to stop using the term glass ceiling to suggest some level of discrimination has occurred and understand it is choices made that lead to such gender inequality of management roles. The most decisive way of understanding whether the glass ceiling is in existence is to look at the stats relating to gender conversions from job application through to success. With stats focussing solely on proportions of males to females in management roles or the pay gap, we can not gain a true understanding of whether this phenomenon is reality.

 

Dec 30th 2009

Christmas Fun Survey Results

 Thanks to all those who completed our fun Christmas survey!  The results can be found below.  We hope you all had a great Christmas and look forward to a prosperous New Year!

 

1. My favourite thing about Christmas is:

1.

Time off

32.4%

=2.

All day eating

21.6%

=2.

Children’s joy from presents

21.6%

4.

All day drinking

16.2%

5.

Presents

8.1%

 

 2.  Do you prefer a real Christmas tree?

1.

Yes

75.7%

2.

No

24.3%

 

3.  Where would you prefer to be on Christmas Day?

1.

At home with the family

67.6%

2.

On an Australian beach

16.2%

=3.

Out with your friends

5.4%

=3.

At work

5.4%

=3.

On a desert island alone

5.4%

 

4.  Do you wake up excited about the fun filled day ahead?

1.

Get up slowly knowing today is exciting but tiring

35.1%

2.

Just the usual Christmas Day events

32.4%

3.

Jump out of bed with excitement

24.3%

4.

Would rather stay in bed til dinner time

8.1%

5.

Dread it

0

 

5.  Do you avoid extended family members or visit everyone?

1.

I try and visit them all

29.7%

=1.

I only visit those who will entertain me and make me laugh

29.7%

=1.

We like to entertain and invite them to come to us

29.7%

2.

They will visit us if they want to see us

8.1%

3.

It’s hard, they are old and don’t like visitors

2.7%

 

6.  Have you been naughty this year?

1.

No

56.8%

2.

Yes

43.2%

 

7.  What would be your ideal Christmas wish?

1.

Win the lottery

54.1%

2.

Grant your family eternal happiness

29.7%

3.

Get a promotion at work

8.1%

4.

End world poverty

5.4%

5.

Everything on my current Christmas list

2.7%

 

8.  Which of the following Christmas icons are you most like?

1.

Rudolf (doing everything for everyone else)

45.9%

=2.

Christmas Angel

24.3%

=2.

Santa Claus

24.3%

4.

Scrooge

5.4%

5.

Virgin Mary

0

 

9.  I wish it could be Christmas everyday...

1.

Once a year

51.4%

2.

Never (I’m a Scrooge don’t you know!)

18.9%

3.

Twice a year

16.2%

4.

Every month

10.8%

5.

Every day

2.7%

 

10.  Which of the following Christmas foods would you least like to eat in a Bush Tucker trial?

1.

Eggnog

37.8%

2.

Brussel Sprouts

35.1%

3.

Turkey soup

16.2%

4.

Christmas pudding

8.1%

5.

Mince pies

2.7%

 

11.  Which present do you just know is waiting for you under the tree?

1.

Nothing

29.7%

2.

Perfume

27%

3.

Bath lotions

18.9%

4.

Socks

16.2%

5.

Jewellery

8.1%

 

12.  How grateful are you for unwanted gifts?

1.

Just be grateful you got something

59.5%

2.

Lose it

16.2%

3.

Pretend to be really grateful but burn it first chance you get

10.8%

4.

Make an excuse and use it every time you see that person

8.1%

5.

Tell the person you don’t want it and throw it out

5.4%

 

13.  Do you ever regret what you do at the work's Christmas party?

1.

I’m proud of myself for having a great time every year

43.2%

2.

No (I don’t really like loud music)

21.6%

3.

Every year the same old regrets, I should drink less

18.9%

4.

Only once but I have left that company now

13.5%

5.

It depends who invites me to dance

2.7%

 

14.  Has anyone ever kissed you under the misletoe that you wish hadn't?

1.

Never, it’s such a lame excuse for a kiss

35.1%

2.

Maybe I can’t remember – Christmas sherry?

24.3%

3.

Never really get asked, it’s an old fashioned thing

18.9%

=4.

Yes every year but I don’t know how to say no

10.8%

=4.

Only once, will never fall for that again

10.8%

 

15.  I'm hopeless at keeping New Year resolutions...

1.

Never make any – I’m perfect

24.3%

2.

One year my resolutions lasted a few months

21.6%

=3.

Always have great intentions but never act on them

18.9%

=3.

I am really good at keeping my resolutions

18.9%

5.

My resolutions only last to the first weekend in January

16.2%

 

16.  What has been your highlight of 2009?

=1.

1st black President

35.1%

=1.

Big Brother is finally over for ever

35.1%

3.

Britain’s Got Talent

13.5%

4.

England making the World Cup play-offs

10.8%

5.

Peter Andre seeing the light

5.4%

 

17.  Which of these celebrity legends will you miss most?

1.

Michael Jackson

43.2%

=2.

Patrick Swayze

16.2%

=2.

Bobby Robson

16.2%

=2.

Stephen Gately

16.2%

5.

Natasha Richardson

8.1%

 

18.  What is the most significant thing about 2009?

1.

Global recession

70.3%

2.

Personal achievements

18.9%

3.

Expense scandal

5.4%

=4.

War on terror

2.7%

=4.

Michael Jackson’s death

2.7%

 

19.  What is the best reality TV show of 2009?

1.

X Factor

35.1%

2.

Britain’s Got Talent

24.3%

=3.

Don’t really watch them

18.9%

=3.

They are all poor and have run their course

18.9%

5.

Celebrity Get Me Out of Here

2.7%

 

20.  Who is the most influential person of 2009?

1.

Partner

45.9%

2.

Parents

32.4%

3.

Historical icon

18.9%

4.

Celebrity icon

2.7%

5.

Boss

0

 

Nov 24th 2009

8 Ways to End 2009 on a High

2009 has been a difficult year for many organisations. It is, therefore, essential that we end the year on a high, creating the atmosphere we want to work with in 2010.


So, how can we achieve this while still maintaining productivity?

1. Make the last week fantastic.
Ensure all employees want to come into work because the energy is high, the banter is uplifting and the pressures are off till next year. Employees will remember this enjoyable week and the experiences of bonding on a personal level with fellow employees. This comradeship will be carried into the New Year.

 

2. Be energetic about Christmas.
Christmas is when employees get to forget about work and spend quality time with their families. Keep Christmas alive as much as possible. The thought of it snowing, the idea of Santa and the kids and the joy it brings. The warmth you emit onto your fellow colleagues will lift their spirits and create an exciting atmosphere. Be ready on the 1st December to start the Christmas countdown!

 

3. Make the Christmas Party about the employees.
Try to ensure that it's about employee bonding and having fun. Some will just turn up and go through the motions as they do every year. Try to bring people out of their comfort zones without embarrassing them. After all, we all love dancing the conga once someone pulls us into it!!

 

4. New strategies.
Discuss new strategies that will make employees lives easier when they return after the break. Employees with unrealistic targets this year will find no comfort in the thought of returning next year to the same pressures and problems. Constructive guidance and strategies can help employees approach work differently and more positively.

 

5. Help departments with work load issues.
Hire temporary staff in the run up to Christmas to ensure that all departments' deadlines are completed before the New Year begins. Students in particular will be looking for work over the holiday period so utilise this resource. This could also be a great opportunity to identify future graduates for your organisation.

 

6. Give departments ‘free time' during the last week.
Give them time to wander around the organisation meeting and introducing themselves to different people in different roles and capacities. Allow them to spend time in different departments, understanding these roles and how they profit the organisation.

 

7. Hand over some responsibility.
December is a perfect opportunity to hand over some responsibility to those below the managers. This will not only alleviate the pressure on management, but will also highlight key talent for future management roles. This change in the dynamics within the organisation will uplift all employees and inspire them to move up the career ladder, encouraging them to meet all challenges head on.

 

8. Have fun together as an organisation.
Managers vs. employees games are always a method of uniting the managers and employees. For example, you could have a football 5-a side, badminton, or rounders tournament involving all departments one day during the last week, or it could be at lunchtime for the last two weeks, and the final is on the last day to minimise disruption.



To ensure 2010 continues on a high, measure your employees' perceptions with an employee survey. This will help lead to effective organisational development so that you don't only start the year on a high but maintain this throughout.


Contact me now for more information on a staff survey solution that will work for you in 2010.

 

Nov 17th 2009

8 Ways to Create a Positive Workplace Environment

Personnel Surveys believe that positivity creates an enjoyable and lively environment where people want to work. This will naturally lead to higher levels of performance and productivity and, in turn, lower levels of turnover and absence.


So, how can we ensure that a positive environment is maintained at all times?

 

1. Lead by example and display positivity at all times.
Managers and decision makers are influential characters, with subordinates acknowledging and learning from their actions. Those who are happy, jolly, and positive individuals make it harder for subordinates to find negatives. Always use positive language and never negative. Even small changes, such as ‘if you finish that' to ‘when you finish that' can make huge differences to a person's positivity levels. The glass is always half full!

 

2. Always be honest to your workforce.
Be prepared for difficult conversations by ensuring you have all the possible answers and do not have to think on the spot. Give your employees as much information as you possibly can. Maintain levels of positivity by ensuring that all employees feel secure when dealing with you.

 

3. A professional attitude to sensitive information is critical and should always be maintained.
Never leak information to friends in other departments. Employees need to feel secure that their personal details and issues are kept exactly that and a culture of tale telling and back stabbing within the organisation should be avoided at all costs.

 

4. Positive communication throughout the entire organisation can easily uplift the spirits.
Every department should be shouting about any achievement that they make, putting up posters, sending emails, and letting the organisational family aware of their achievement. This approach will send employees home talking about their achievement and how proud they are to work at the organisation.

 

5. Ensure praise is given where it is due.
Employees will feel more positive if they believe they are making a valued effort towards the organisational strategy. However, make sure you consider who you are praising and how you approach this to ensure the praise is not mistaken as patronisation.

 

6. Look to the future rather than dwelling on past mistakes.
Employees will naturally focus on past initiatives that have failed. Approach these in the positive light by looking at how such problems can be avoided in the future and how insights have been gained as a result of that initiative.

 

7. If the weather is looking positive act on this.
Get the entire workforce energised and active during the lunch break. For instance, organise a basketball, football, or rounder's match during this time. Releasing endorphins through physical exercise is a natural energy boost, giving an excellent positive lift. Even sending an email commenting on how lovely the weather is can really create a positive atmosphere.

 

8. Encourage innovation and idea generation.
And act on them! Ensure your employees are always looking to the positive and how the organisation can move forward. This lies mainly with department leaders so ensure they are motivating and inspiring their team to bring forward new ideas.


A positive environment is a productive environment.


Following the above tips can help ensure that your organisation is a positive place to work.

 

 

November 10th 2009

Improving Motivation during the Winter Months

Winter can be a hard cold time for everyone, getting to work before the sun comes up and going home after it has gone down. Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) affects 7% of the UK population with symptoms including depression, sleep problems, lethargy and anxiety.

So how can we ensure that morale and motivation stay at high levels during the winter months?

 

1. Ensure your employees have a break outdoors during the day.

It is easy to work through lunch or grab a quick bite in the staff canteen. However, this means we really are missing out on the chance of seeing any daylight hours. Even a short ten minute stroll outdoors can lift the spirits and refresh the brain. Provide incentives for those taking a break outdoors, such as staff deals with local coffee shops or cafes.

 

2. Use bright colours round the workplace.

Using colour therapy has been shown to significantly improve people’s moods. Offices that are grey and drab are more likely to result in employees feeling lethargic and lower their mood. This does not have to mean a total office refit. Just sending out emails in bright colours or using bright signs and notices can help. How about putting a small plant on each employee’s desk to brighten up their workstation?

 

3. Make sure the office is well lit.

Having low levels of lighting will only lead to increased SAD symptoms. Ensure that your workplace is well lit at all times to reduce feelings of lethargy. For those particularly affected, it may be worthwhile increasing the lighting within their area with the help of lamps. Make sure that windows are kept clean and as much natural light is entering the office as possible. Do not obstruct the windows with blinds.

 

4. Make a big deal of Christmas!

It might sound cheesy but a lot of people see Christmas as the only highlight of the winter months. Moods can easily be raised by focusing on Christmas. Run decorations competitions between departments. Have a Christmas fancy dress competition. Stage an organisation wide nativity. Play music in the run up to Christmas. Have an advent calendar with special treats behind each door, with the most successful employee of the day getting to open it. Moods will instantly rise when Christmas is brought into the workplace!

 

5. Encourage holiday time during winter.

Most employees tend to take time off during the summer. However, winter sun can really lift the spirits while the weather at home is anything but sunny! It could be worthwhile providing incentives for time off during the winter. For example, for every 4 days off between October and February, get one day off free. This will also solve problems of reduced workforces during the summer months.

 

6. Get active.

Exercise naturally releases endorphins, improving moods and lifting spirits. Educate all employees about the advantages of leading a healthy lifestyle through exercise. How about organising a sponsored walk for charity? This has many advantages including getting everyone up and active, team building, helping a good cause, raising organisational profile through free publicity, getting everyone out of the office during lunchtime, and focusing employees’ attentions away from their own problems.

 

7. Encourage healthy eating.

Eating high levels of carbohydrates, such as pies, pasties, white bread and other starchy products, can lead to high levels of lethargy. Encourage your employees to eat lots of fresh fruit and vegetables, to improve energy levels. Have a different soup of the day every week in the canteen at reduced rates. Run free fruit days. Educate all employees about the advantages of leading a healthy lifestyle through food.

 

8. Family time.

With minimum daylight hours, spending active outdoor time with the family over winter can be difficult. Encourage your employees to get out with their families over winter. Advertise local outdoor events to your employees, which would keep the whole family entertained. You could run an organisation family day including outdoor activities and adventures. How about a treasure hunt? Or a ramble around a local well known historical point? Something that will involve the whole family getting them out together over the weekend.

 

With improved levels of motivation and morale, productivity and performance will also increase, while turnover and absences will naturally decrease. Following the above tips can help ensure that your employees’ motivation does not dip during winter.

For more information on measuring employee motivation, take a look at our website.

 

Have a great winter!

 

October 22nd 2009

Mixed Messages in Employment Relationships

Mixed messages have to be the most annoying part of any relationship - saying one thing and doing another. We’ve all been at the receiving end and spent many a sleepless night wondering what is going on! Sometimes we come out the other side for the better, most of the time we come out of it stressed and heartbroken, with our positive view of relationships shattered.

So why should an employment relationship be any different? Every day we go to work we are part of a number of differing relationships – with our colleagues, with our manager, with our organisation. These relationships hold similar bearings to those in our personal lives. We have certain expectations from the relationship. We want to be treated with respect, we want to be treated fairly, we want the relationship to be fun, we want it to be meaningful, we want it to be relaxing, we want it to be rewarding, and we want it to be centred round trust. When the relationship doesn’t meet our expectations, we are left distraught, confused, angry, and lose our sense of trust.

Yet organisations often fail to forget that they have a vast number of relationships to manage and the mixed messages they send out are leading to exactly these feelings. This could be as simple as a manager promising their team member time off and then taking this from them. However, it can also be a much higher level mixed message, as the recent case of bank management bonuses has shown. While the majority of people work to make ends meet during the downturn, UK banks have announced their city bonuses are to rise by 50%. This is a huge mixed message that not only breaks down the relationship between these banks and their workers, but also between the banks and the general public. Excessive bonuses have been cited as one of the contributing factors to the downturn. So this news is surely a huge mixed message. Certainly, angry responses to this news would suggest so!

So, what happens to our workforce when we are delivering mixed messages? Low morale is certainly going to be the main symptom. And where does low morale lead to? Low performance and productivity, and high turnover and absence – exactly what companies are trying to avoid. So the main advice for organisations has to be to avoid mixed messages at all costs. If for some reason you cannot meet the expectations you promised your employees, explain to them in detail why this is the case. Let them understand why this is occurring and compromise in other ways to maintain their trust. The main factor has to always be communication. Communicate everything you possibly can and for those you can’t, explain why you can’t communicate this. This will instantly lead to less mixed messages within workplace relationships.

So what message can you take from this article? Definitely not a mixed one!

Personnel Surveys can provide employee surveys measuring a variety of factors – not least communication and relationships within the workplace! Contact us for more information.

 

October 13th 2009

Employee Engagement during the Economic Downturn

Currently, the following sound all too familiar: Job losses; pay freezes; reduction in benefits; reduction in working hours; recruitment freezes; development freezes, and so on. Essentially, DOOM and GLOOM!!!

So, how can we continue to ensure that our employees are engaged when we are hitting them with this negativity?

High levels of employee engagement are essential for organisations. Engaged employees are more likely to give their all to their role, and then more! They are more likely to proactively promote your brand to customers. They are more willing to show their full commitment to the organisation. They are more willing to assist their colleagues. Employee engagement is essentially the difference between completing the role at an adequate level and completing the role at a level above expectations. And the results are lower levels of turnover and absenteeism, higher levels of performance and productivity, a better service for customers, a more efficient workforce and, overall, increased profits.

During periods of economic downturn, organisations are continually striving to do more with less. Maintaining high levels of employee engagement is essential in achieving this. So how, when budgets are continually being slashed and the threat of redundancy is hanging over employees’ heads, can this be achieved?

One of the simplest ways of ensuring your employees are engaged is through constant honest communication. Employees are essentially concerned with how things will affect them. There is little point in relaying company news without communicating to your employees about how it will affect them. Without this employees will fill the gaps in themselves, creating a false representation of the reality and a sense of unease. If there is no news to convey, let them know this also. Sometimes it is essential to let employees know that there is nothing to know. With this, employees’ trust in the organisation will undoubtedly increase and an honest culture will prevail. It is difficult to give guarantees that roles are safe when we are unsure what the future may bring. However, it is not so difficult to communicate how you are doing everything in your power to come through the downturn and protect your employees. Leaders at all levels need to ensure this is the case, with the support coming from top level management.

Leaders themselves need to take more action in times of uncertainty. They need to engage with their employees on a personal level to understand their needs through difficult times. For example, it may be the case that a team member’s husband has been made redundant. This is going to result in increased pressure for that team member and the leader should take time to understand how they can assist. Further, leaders need to lead by example, showing their employees how they can lead them through the recession and into the upturn. This requires leaders to show confidence in the organisation and to relay this confidence throughout their team.

Leaders essentially are at the core of ensuring employee engagement is high by understanding each of their employees as individuals. It is essential to remember that we are all driven to perform in different ways. For example, while one person may need constant reassurance that they are performing well, others may find this patronising. If a leader can engage with each of their employees on an individual level and, essentially, adapt their leadership style to each, this will undoubtedly lead to higher levels of engagement.

One of the leading ways of ensuring employee engagement is high is through involvement. This reiterates the above to some degree, in that employees should be communicated to at all times and involved in all company news. However, involvement also goes much further to actively encourage your employees’ own views and opinions. This could include involving your employees in key decisions. It could mean relaying high level decisions to employees and asking for their feedback. It could include creating a culture of innovation by encouraging employees to come up with their own ideas for improving the organisation and its products. By involving your employees as much as is possible, you will see engagement increase dramatically through employees desire to be a part of the large family that is their organisation.

We started by talking about doom and gloom. However, even if cuts have to be made, we can still continue to work with an engaged workforce. This will invariably help to pull the organisation through the recession and into the upturn.

One of the leading ways of understanding how engaged your employees are is by conducting an employee survey.  Personnel Surveys are able to tailor a survey to meet your requirements, providing you with clear results and actions to implement.  Contact us for more information.

 

September 30th 2009

Are You Ready For The Upturn?

Personnel Surveys are, like many organisations, preparing for the future.  Just like the main political parties, we know we need to be ready for what is ahead.  Although we don't know who will be running our government in the future, we do know that the future will bring the upturn and a welcomed recovery for the nation's economy.

With winter nearly upon us, Personnel Surveys know that investing in your employees and in your organisation is as important as developing an organisation that is capable of competing with other market leaders. 

Preparation now will be rewarded in the forseeable future, as Personnel Surveys believe that the upturn is only a spring away. 

 Contact the team on 0845 671 0300.

 

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