There are tons of places and ways to capture data. There are survey tools, focus groups, online research – the list is never ending.
But (and ask any operations manager or data analyst about this pet peeve) – what do leaders do with this data?
Too often, data gets collected, sometimes looked at, and oftentimes put on a shelf. And from there it collects dust.
Are you satisfied with mediocrity or do you really want to create a workplace where employees give 100%, your organization is aligned towards common goals, and everyone knows how their contribution is making a difference? Did you know that an employee who feels truly inspired is nearly 125% more productive than simply a ‘satisfied employee’?
If you’re going to make the effort to collect data, and more specifically ask your employees what they love or don’t love about your workplace, then we kindly encourage you to do something with the data.
And we would challenge you, if you aren’t going to do something with the data – don’t collect it. When employees are asked for their feedback or input and then see nothing change as a result of that will further demoralize your employees.
The Most Loved Workplace® (MLW) index looks at the 5 areas of the peer-validated SPARK model. It’s these 5 areas from which you can identify your competencies and areas of strength or room for improvement:
- ‣ Systemic collaboration
- ‣ Positive vision of the future
- ‣ Alignment of values
- ‣ Respect
- ‣ Killer Achievement
But where and how do you begin to make change? Here are five steps to consider:
Let’s dive into each.
1. Start with who and where the change needs to begin
The results from your MLW survey do not mean that an executive or HR leadership needs to take direct accountability for all of the actions to be taken. A company culture may be defined by the leadership team – but the execution is by the employees. Driving cultural change doesn’t mean telling your employees what to do or how to do it. If we want to drive change – we need to create mutual accountability for that change. And how do we create that mutual accountability? We let the employees contribute to what that desired action and change looks like.
2. Define your process
Driving change as a result of your MLW survey isn’t about exactly what to do after. It’s about the how, and more specifically the process by which you decide what will change and what those changes will be. Sure, you could turn to the executive team to propose a new process, policy, or solution. But you are missing a huge opportunity to engage your employees in the process. So decide who in the organization across seniority levels and departments are the best people to design a change, and reach out to them. A great way to do this is by creating a focus group of employees who have a vested interest in the proposed change.
3. Co-create a solution that stakeholders are bought into
If you want people bought into a change, include them directly in the discussion and design of that change. Think about it. If you’re just given a change in process, policy, or other, you may or may not buy into that change. But if you are part of the team that is creating that change, you are more likely to buy into it.
For example, some of the common negative sentiments we see in our data analysis from employees include:
- ‣ Lack of accountability
- ‣ Holding people to higher standards
- ‣ Providing more flexibility
- ‣ Too many meetings
- ‣ Too much office politics
If you hear any of these negative sentiments from your employees and you want to make a change, bring a focus group of employees into the discussion to help design and then implement that change.
4. Roll out the changes in a timely manner
Taking the proposed changes from your focus group and getting the appropriate stamps of approval on them, implement those changes. To show employees that you are intently listening to their feedback and taking it seriously, don’t let this take too long. And if it is major changes, consider how you can make those changes in phases so that you can get some lower effort (aka low hanging fruit) changes out quickly.
5. Pulse survey for immediate feedback
Shortly after you’ve implemented changes (but long enough to give them some time to work), go back to your focus group or key stakeholders with just a quick pulse survey (aka, just 2-3 questions) to hear their thoughts on how the changes are working.
If you’ve taken the time to complete a MLW survey with your employees, then you’re off to a good start. But don’t stop there. Remember, data without action is just noise. Use your MLW emotion and sentiment insights to prioritize what changes need to be made to make your organization a most loved workplace. And if you need any help in defining and executing these steps, just let us know, our coaches are here to help!
And stay tuned for next week where we’ll share insights on how to make changes to increase ↗️ your scores.
Louis Carter is the founder and CEO of Best Practice Institute, Most Loved Workplace, and Results-Based Culture. Author of In Great Company, Change Champions Field Guide, and Best Practices in Talent Management, as well as a series of Leadership Development books. He is a trusted strategic advisor and coach to CEOs, CHROs, and leaders of mid-sized to F500 companies – enabling change and steering employer brand development together with highly effective teams, leaders, and organizations as a whole.