Ever wonder what your company culture is? I don’t mean what you have listed on your website. What is the real, day-to-day culture of your company? What do your people think? If you don’t know, is it time to find out? Why is culture important?
If we agree with Stephen Covey when he said, “always treat your employees exactly as you want them to treat your best customers,” shouldn’t we consider how we ourselves are treating our employees? A recent Gallup Poll revealed that 72% of the U.S. workforce is either not engaged or actively disengaged in their work. Why is this important? Because engaged employees go the extra mile, are highly motivated to work hard, and build strong relationships within the company and with customers and clients. It is a work environment we all want to foster, but getting there can be tricky. That’s why we recommend that our clients start at the source—their employees.
An employee survey is a great way to get real feedback. One note of caution—employees will answer. Be prepared for the answers, and be ready to share the consensus with the whole team and be ready to act.
To get an employee survey started, we recommend asking your employees the following questions:
- Why do you work here?
- How long do you plan on continuing to work here?
- What would be the hardest part of this organization to leave?
- Would you recommend your friends work here? Why or why not?
- What is one thing you would change about this work environment?
- How would you describe your work environment and team?
- Do you see a future here?
- Do you believe in the company’s mission?
- Are you proud to work here?
- What benefit most excites you?
We would suggest sending your survey in such a way that a third party is collecting the data. There are multiple options for web-based survey systems customizable to fit your specific needs. Allow your employees 1-2 weeks to complete the survey. Encourage participation, and assure employees that the data provided will be anonymously collected and distributed.
Once the employee’s feedback is gathered, do something with it. First, report back to the employees with an overall summary of the feedback. The good, the bad and the ugly should be shared. Without vulnerability, there is no trust, and this could negatively affect your culture even further.
Second, address any concerns. Take a few deep breaths, and get to work. Rome wasn’t built in a day, and neither is a great work environment. We can assure you that taking action to improve culture is worth the time and effort. Human capital is nearly always a company’s greatest asset—treat it as such.
Commitment to who you want to be as an organization isn’t for the faint of heart. Remembering why you got into business can inspire these efforts for you, your employees and your company as a whole.
Emily Possidento is a Senior Manager on MCM’s HR Consulting Services Team. She has more than 19 years of experience in human resources within the health insurance, executive head hunter, IT advisory, accounting & financial staffing, and business consulting industries. She has expertise in employee selection, talent development, organizational training, employee assessments, managerial coaching, performance management and engagement.
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