Engagement Surveys: A little less data, a little more insight please

You are finished with your employee engagement survey.  All of the data is collected and reports are run.  Now what?

You are going to want to work on what will have the most impact over the next year? There are is only one way to achieve this goal. Connect your engagement factors to performance indicators such as revenue, profitability, productivity, and turnover. Some organizations turn to consulting firms like ours that have already facilitated this process in a generic manner across many data points, and others want to create a more targeted correlation based on their business. Obviously, the second and more pinpointed way to determine impact, a validation study, is more expensive. Either way, this is a very different avenue from choosing items based on whether they were rated low versus rated high. We break down engagement indicators into four key categories.

Top Targets (Low Rating, High Impact)

The items in this category represent what an organization will want to focus on during the next period; usually a year. These are items that receive low ratings from employees in a survey and also have the greatest impact on issues such as productivity, retention, and organizational results. Working on these particular issues will not only have the greatest impact on an organization’s employee engagement results, but it will also have the maximum impact on the organization’s success.

High Priorities (High Rating, High Impact)

These items are important to leverage or maintain and should be an organization’s next focus. These items received high ratings and also have significant impact on the organization’s success. Consider these items strengths that are working to the organization’s advantage. If these items fall backward in ratings, performance of the organization will suffer.

Average Priorities (Low Rating, Low Impact)

These items reflect low ratings and low impact. Essentially, they are organizational weaknesses that have little impact on the performance of an organization. These items typically will not influence productivity or retention a great deal. However, any item(s) rated low should be reviewed to determine if there is a pattern in the ratings that tells a story, or there is a need to shore up a real weakness because it is getting in the way.

Low Priorities (High Rating, Low Impact)

The items reflect strengths of an organization, because they are rated highly by employees on a survey, but they typically have little impact on issues like productivity, retention, and organizational results. While we try not to fall backward on these types of items, the impact of falling backward would most likely be negligible. We would not recommend an organization spend its time focusing in this area.

When we work with clients, there are times we need to steer them away from some of the items rated low because we know from our research that working on those items will not produce the results that addressing another item will.

Are you working on the right stuff?

Is your hiring process valid?

A productive selection process is a valid process. Let me define the term “valid” clearly. In the case of a selection, evidence of validity means the selection process demonstrates that it:

  • Makes sense to all parties including the candidate;
  • Is reflective of the job and the tasks associated with the job;
  • Measures content that is reflective of the job;
  • Is predictive of success; and
  • Measures what it intends to measure.

A strong selection process contributes to decisions, positive or negative, that reflect a candidate’s ability to do a job and be productive in the organizational culture.

How have you ensured your selection process meets the above criteria?

Dear Social Media Peeps

Dear Social Media Peeps,

If you put yourself out there expect people to respond. Otherwise don’t put yourself out there. Social media is social by nature. People share, discuss, learn etc. We cannot exist in a vacuum.

It is okay if you want to be on Facebook, LinkedIn, etc. and not engage in controversial topics. Plenty of people do that. I have seen many a picture of someone’s oatmeal they made that morning.

AlI I am saying is don’t post stuff that is provocative and expect everyone to agree. I only say this because I know someone who is doing that. He even asks people to only respond when they agree. In essence, he wants to influence others without being influenced himself. He wants to promote ideas and limit other people’s ability to express themselves.

Obviously we should all be respectful, but social media is one of the most democratic or representative of platforms. So if you have got something to say expect that others do as well.

Sincerely,

Brad Federman

Piss Poor Performance Revews

Performance AppraisalAccording to SHRM and NCMM most organizations give themselves a poor grade for managing performance reviews.  They cite a number of obstacles including:

  • Time
  • Lack of training
  • More important priorities
  • Varying appraisal standards

What grade would you give your organization?  And why?

If You Can See It, You Can Be It!

What Are You Visualizing, and What Does It Say About You?

It has been said that everything important, including every great company, begins with a single idea in someone’s mind. A simple vision of what is possible is affirmed, nurtured and supported until it becomes reality.

For individuals seeking to set a new or improved course for their life, visualization can be used as a way to embrace this new “picture” of the future. Affirmation of this new vision is a way in which we can move out of our comfort zone to adopt the new vision and establish behaviors that will support it. Engagement depends upon our ability to envision what is possible and commit to achieve it.

As we move through life, we gather thoughts and perceptions based on past experience. We may not realize they are there, until our beliefs are challenged or we find they are limiting to us in some way. At this point, we have the opportunity to visualize what is most important, and reconsider our beliefs and experiences.

This can be difficult, because without a special effort on our part, these perceptions can shape the way we look at the past, live in the present, and plan for the future. They can become like a “movie” we replay in our mind over and over again, and which seems comfortable and familiar.

Those of you who have children know we start enjoying movies, and playing them over and over, at an early age! Children can watch movies tirelessly, memorizing their favorite stories, dialog, and songs, enjoying them no matter how many times they have seen them. Often, these movies are hopeful and inspiring!

When we create our own “life movie” it is important to think about the theme we want to create, and what is most important to us. We want to focus on the happy ending we seek. Like the child, if unchecked, we will memorize that movie and use it as a filter in our own world. If you don’t believe it, consider the conversations around you! How often do people tell stories again and again about something that happened in the past, allow them to influence behavior and relationships in the present, and cling to them in considering the future..

As you become conscious of what you will allow in your movie, the same process that may have restricted you, will now work in your favor. As you become more engaged with this new vision, you will watch it again and again! It will provide a positive way to consider what is possible, and to learn from what happens along the way. It will become natural to you to look for those things that will support this vision. You will, as the saying goes, “become the change you seek in the world.”

Napoleon Hill described the importance of being purposeful about your vision by saying,

“… imagination is the most marvelous, miraculous, inconceivably powerful force the world has ever known.”

How will you inspire yourself and others with imagination? Here are some thoughts as you begin:

  • Create a plan for your life that will help you identify your vision, goals and purpose, and to pursue them.
  • Consider the people and events most important to your vision.
  • Find comfort in the memories, relationships and resources that inspire you.
  • Value the physical, spiritual, emotional, and financial assets that will be important to your vision.
  • Create structure, allow for the unexpected, and remember that Rome was not built in a day!
  • Congratulate yourself for success.
  • Remember that failure is part of success.
  • Revise your plan when needed – this is a process of discovery!

 

 

 

The Importance of Proper Preparation

Just as a good chef carefully prepares all aspects of a meal before plating each dish, successful HR professionals carefully map out every aspect of a task before executing it. In fact, HR professionals are probably some of the most well-prepared individuals in an organization—or at least they should be.

While thorough preparation is undoubtedly stressed in most professions, HR veterans have learned the value of being able to “expect the unexpected.” HR professionals know that all tasks require preparation. That’s true regardless of whether you are implementing an unfamiliar system, conducting a routine meeting with an employee, or pitching a new idea to senior management.

Although every situation requires specific preparation, here are some universal tips to keep in mind when approaching a task:

(1) Know the background. Being the most knowledgeable person in the room never hurts, but that is not always possible. Get as much background information as possible so you will understand the story behind the situation. Walking into a meeting without understanding why the meeting is necessary in the first place is not just uncomfortable, it is also irresponsible. Always take the time to research events leading up to a meeting, especially if you are a latecomer to the situation. Do not hesitate to reach out to other employees for a rundown of the situation. Keep in mind, however, that everyone has a different perspective, so it is a good idea to check several sources.

(2) Organize the evidence. Organization and preparation go hand in hand. When doing your prep work, make sure you stay organized so you can use those hours of preparation effectively. For example, if you spend hours investigating and preparing a response to a grievance, sitting down and writing the response will be much easier if you take the time to organize your notes into meaningful categories.

(3) Anticipate possible counterarguments and reactions. It is absolutely critical to anticipate push back from others. Sometimes laser focus on a matter prevents us from taking a step back and evaluating other perspectives. A lack of preparation will be noticed immediately when you are unable to effectively manage adverse reactions or counterarguments. For example, during a termination meeting with an employee, don’t take any chances. Hope for an amicable conversation, but prepare for the worst.

(4) Develop a Plan B. Being fully prepared means that you have already thought through a Plan B. Most of us have experienced situations in which our original concepts either didn’t pan out or were not accepted by senior management. Ideally, you should come prepared with several alternatives, but you certainly should have a solid Plan B. If you end up needing a Plan B, you will be very thankful you prepared one in advance.

The better prepared you are to tackle a challenge, the more successful the outcome will be. Your preparation (and resulting success) will not go unnoticed. Developing preparation skills will enhance your reputation as a reliable “go-to” person in your department and organization. Being a “go-to” person will allow you to know that you are valued by others and that you bring value to your organization. As an HR professional, it is your job to be an expert. Make sure you are prepared.

Originally Published in Words on Wise

Guest Columnist: Cassandra Lewis