The Importance of Climate…
We’ve been posting articles lately about ways to boost employee retention to end the constant battle with staff turnover so many organizations face today. There are lots of different ways to make your employees feel like they are valued members of the company team, and we’ve been sharing some of those, but if you’re constantly struggling with turnover, consider digging deeper into your organization’s climate to find out what’s really going on.
Lots of organizations do some kind of annual employee survey, but in too many cases it has become just another chore to get through, an annual afterthought, so to speak. If your company does this kind of survey, when is the last time you took a good look at it? Better yet, when is the last time you used it to actually make positive changes in the workplace? All sorts of opportunities are hidden in that survey, so it’s worth getting it right.
Specifically, consider using an employee survey as a way of assessing the climate in the workplace that can identify areas you need to work on – areas that when addressed will significantly improve employee retention. But just remember to actually do something with the data, otherwise it’s just business-as-usual, which can result in cynicism, resentment, and declining retention.
This type of survey can happen on paper or online, but you have to be able to guarantee one thing to those you’re asking to fill it out – anonymity. People have to feel they can say what’s really on their minds without any fear of being identified or retaliated against. You need honest feedback to improve your workplace, so properly set the stage to solicit and receive it.
What sorts of questions should you ask on this survey? The possibilities are endless. Here are some ideas related to the area of communication:
- Employees are encouraged to regularly share and exchange ideas.
- My opinions count in the company.
- I can speak freely to my supervisor.
- My supervisor keeps me informed about important issues.
- My supervisor is willing to listen to my ideas.
- I have enough information to do my job well.
- Managers communicate frequently and honestly about issues affecting employees.
- Managers keep me informed and up-to-date.
- My Manager is available to me when I have questions or need help.
- Leadership communicates frequently with employees.
- The company does an excellent job communicating changes or decisions that affect employees.
- There are no barriers to open and efficient communication.
The above examples about communication were adapted from a very handy site called HR-Survey.com, which includes a huge list of potential questions on a wide variety of topics. Always be sure to include space for extra comments so employees can provide additional details about what’s on their minds.
Including a robust climate/engagement component to your periodic employee survey efforts takes some time and effort up-front to do it right. It also offers you one your best opportunities to identify areas in which your company can do even better by its employees. When you follow through on what you learn by taking actions to make improvements, employees will see you’re committed to making things better. And all of that will feed into better morale, productivity, and retention. Sounds like it would be well worth the effort, don’t you think?