Are you really engaging your workforce effectively? Many leaders believe so, but in reality, they are simply ticking boxes and, to no fault of their own, are annoying their employees more each passing year. For most companies, the longer the tenure of the employee the lower their engagement survey scores tend to be. Also, employee satisfaction and employee engagement scores are often reduced as you go lower on the organizational hierarchy; those most engaged are often the furthest away from the front line and the customer.
Every year companies reach out to their employees with engagement and satisfaction surveys. Often the outcome is to obtain stats that confirm their long-held beliefs about their firms’ culture, management and business practices. Unfortunately, each year provides lots of promises and little tangible and measurable actions.
From a transformational perspective, many companies don’t really want to know the hidden cultural truths, as this would lead them to face the undeniable reality that would leave them having to address some stark cultural realities. For those leaders that do face culture head-on, the transformational journey can be extremely rewarding, but it takes real leadership to face the realities and decide to really address cultural issues and not just pay lip service. Culture change is difficult but doable, and you really need to understand how your workforce thinks and feels, and to not make any assumptions.
Are you really engaging your people effectively if you only ask ‘Yes’, ‘No’, or ‘Don’t know’ survey questions? Or asking employees to choose the best response from 1 to 5? Is that a real way to engage your workforce and measure satisfaction? Does it enable real transformational change? Well of course it doesn’t. It does, however, annoy a segment of employees that ask why do leaders and our HR Team not act upon our feedback to increase our engagement.
What does it really mean that 83.3% of our people strongly believe … or 67.4% of our employees say we have a culture that …? Does it mean that you are able to attract and retain the best and brightest, your corporate values are lived, your people are proud to work for your company, they are living the company’s values, and they are not actively planning to leave for greener pastures? It’s important for leaders to know the answers to these questions.
In our personal lives and our family relationships, we don’t just tick boxes if we want to hear and understand the thoughts and feelings of our loved ones. You would never say to your partner at the end of the day to rate on a scale of 1 to 5, how satisfied they are with our relationship, or tuck your kid into bed at night and ask them to answer if they had a good day with just three possible responses (yes, no, or don’t’ know). If this isn’t effective communication, why do we think it would be effective within the workplace. It’s not and never will be an effective way to gauge sentiment.
Previously technology wasn’t in a place to efficiently, effectively and without bias, ask a large number of people within our workforce their thoughts, feelings, opinions and ideas and then action them for results. People Artificial Intelligence enabled solutions driven by Natural Language Processing (NLP) enabled by machine learning is changing all that and revolutionizing workforce engagement techniques and providing enlightening insights. We can now truly understand how our employees feel, in order to better understand what employees really want, need, and care most about to increase engagement and productivity.
The challenge now is what are we going to do with these insights? It’s better not to ask and not to know the answers if you as a leader are not going to address the uncovered issues head-on.
People analytics is a flashlight to uncover cultural and people insights. It can help create a culture that is inspired and enlightened and provides a rewarding source of meaningful working. Leaders that action and drive change through acting upon deep engagement insights will create sustainable, forward-thinking enterprises with improved top and bottom line results.
Is your company ready to move forward and utilize advanced AI-Enabled People Analytics to change the corporate culture?