If you’re like most, you may be thinking it’s prime time for an employee engagement survey.
According to Gallup, employee engagement dipped by two percentage points to 66%. I don’t know about you, but I’m surprised it didn’t dip even lower.
The reasons for the drop are obvious.
Forcing people to work from home and collaborate by Zoom was bad enough – especially for those who had to share cramped quarters with their spouse and children. I’ve heard many people talk about being on Zoom calls for upwards of five hours each day.
Now add employees’ worries that they might be furloughed or laid off.
For those employees with elementary to middle school-aged children, they had to learn common core mathematics so they could homeschool their children who were also expected to be fully engaged during Zoom classes.
And then there were those who contracted COVID or had to care for a family member with COVID.
Enough. Something had to give. And it did.
In your attempts to go back to business as usual, you’ll need to identify the What, How and Why of employee disengagement. (You may think it’s negligible, but it exists.) A well-designed employee engagement survey will provide you with the
information and insights you need to prioritize and remedy the sources and reasons for disengagement while putting together a transition strategy.
But before you head to SurveyMonkey.com to create your survey and send to your employees, you must ask yourself the following question:
“Am I prepared to take immediate action to fix issues causing employee disengagement?”
If the answer is No, don’t send it.
Let me explain why by asking you two more questions:
1. How would you feel if your boss asked for your thoughts on an important issue and you were ignored?
2. How would you feel if the issue was never fixed and only got worse over time?
Multiply those feelings by the number of employees at your company.
Think about how that impacts your employees and how they feel about you – as a leader and as a person. How will that impact morale at your company?
Employers are backed into a corner right now. They need to assess the health of their culture and identify ways to deepen engagement. But not all employers are prepared, or even able to make needed changes. If this is the boat you’re sailing in, hold off until you are prepared.
Based on hundreds of interviews and reviewing thousands of comments from employees on surveys, a lot of resentment and, at times, disdain is felt for leaders who ask the tough questions but do not follow through. Unfortunately, this is more common than you may think and is very damaging to the employer/employee relationship. It’s a one-way dead-end street to losing respect and trust.
I can also say that, on the flip side, leaders who ask the tough questions and mobilize change – even in small amounts spread over time – are highly respected.
These are the leaders that great people want to work for. These are the leaders who earn noteworthy reputations. These are the leaders who lead business because they understand how important it is to meet and exceed the needs of each and every one of their employees. These are the leaders who “get it.”
Don’t wait long. The longer you have any sort of disengagement, well, you know…