Employee ChallengesDiagnostic assessment and implementation for human resources change management.
The employees of a business didn’t seem to care. The owner asked for feedback from team members but hears nothing.
The overall morale of the team was lackluster, employee turnover was high and the owner couldn’t understand why this was happening.
The business owners sincerely wanted to improve the morale and productivity of their workplace. They tried a few different methods to engage the employees and nothing seemed to work. There were some unhappy people on the team and customer service and productivity were suffering as a result.
We implemented a two-part process for gathering feedback with our customized Team Advisory Board (TAB).
The first phase is a written feedback survey given to all employees with a request for them to complete it and return to us in confidence.
In this survey, we ask about customer service levels, management styles and what they like and don’t like about their particular job. We collect this data independently and anonymously; it allows the employees an opportunity to be open and honest.
The second part of the TAB is an in-person session with all employees to engage the team at a deeper level about the issues uncovered by the survey. We facilitate this meeting and the owners are absent. (We do ask that the owners bring food and drink post meeting to share in the positive energy with their team.)
By investing in the effort to schedule the meeting and create a professional, positive and non-judgmental space to discuss the important issues without the owners present, the team understands that the owners are serious about making change happen.
While every business is different, we uncovered the following from this particular session:
- The team wanted more investment in training and improved productivity tools.
- They wanted to bring back the regular meetings – not the long ones from years past, but rather short, focused, efficient meetings.
- They wanted more accountability for middle management and for themselves. Team members wanted to know how well or how poorly they were performing.
- They wanted more respect in the workplace — giving and receiving.
We compiled and analyzed the data from both the surveys and in-person employee feedback. We created a list of actionable items to benefit the entire business and team. We then worked with the business owners to implement change and measure progress.
The business owners are often surprised to learn how passionate their employees are, and that they share many of the same goals. The owners also realized when they asked for feedback previously it was ad hoc and the employees weren’t given the time to really think about their answer.
These sessions are always productive and enlightening. In this particular business, one of the actions was to bring back the regular meetings that had been missing.
We first set up a weekly meeting for the key managers in each department. Each manager then had a department meeting immediately after the manager meeting. This evolved to meeting 3 times a week and they are currently trying a 15-minute daily meeting.
The team loves the improved communication because they are now aware of, and share responsibility for, what’s happening across the business. Problems are now easily anticipated and employees are more efficient and productive. The workplace is more enjoyable and employee turnover is much lower.
The owners are happy and the profits are up too!
Dedicating time to listen and learn from employees helps them understand that the business owners are prepared for change. Analyzing feedback and stimulating deep discussions helps improve engagement. Productivity improves with concrete recommendations to move the business forward.