Annual employee satisfaction surveys give at best an indication of the employee well-being at the point of time measured. At worst, the responses are skewed to avoid having to launch a lot of initiatives or making unnecessary noise internally.
Both employees and managers well-being are so important to your organization, that it should be discussed much more frequently than just once a year. Ideally it should be part of the ongoing dialogue both between manager and employee – and within the team.
How do you make it a integrated part of the team’s everyday life, besides the easy answer: “talk to your employees”? Here are my suggestions on two relatively simple methods.
Why not just measure once or twice a year?
The recurring annual or semiannual employee satisfaction surveys with 87 questions and associated action plans are still surprisingly popular. Probably because they give the feeling that we are doing something and that we are listening to the employees. And then they can be used to make nice reports for top management.
I don’t know any middle managers who find it very enjoyable to review the survey reports at department meetings or to define and document the follow-up initiatives.
Not that the employee’s well-being doesn’t matter, far from it. It is indeed important to ask if people thrive – and more importantly – to listen to what people say, but do we really know that the satisfaction surveys, and all the work that follows in the aftermath, is what raises the well-being?
The feeling of being heard is good, but often it resembles a theater show being played in honor of… who really?
But how do we then find out how people feel? The easy answer is “talk to people”. And yes, that’s correct, but how does the leader, who may not have the mental surplus or insight into daily work a feel with his people? And most importantly, how do we share with each other, how we feel? This is in my opinion one of the most important things: that the team knows how the team is doing.
There is many good and not so good tools for this out there, but I have not yet come across one that is as simple and efficient as the team temperature we even often use. I will share two versions here: the ultra-easy and the easy method.