15 Sep Are Leaders Chasing Their Tails?
“A bad system will beat a good person every time” – W. Edward Deming
Employee Value Proposition
Millions of dollars are spent by companies on building employee value proposition (EVP) statements, then an anonymous employee survey is sent to measure the success of what has been rolled out. If companies fall short, they put action plans in place to improve results and some companies even assign employees to the action groups, so they feel involved. Does this sound like your company?
A quote from W. Edward Deming, “A bad system will beat a good person every time” speaks to the flawed process for capturing employee feedback. The corporate intent is pure and meaningful. Companies definitely want employees to have a fulfilling experience when they come to work. Leaders what employees daily work to be motivating, engaging and they want employees to feel valued and passionate about their positions.
Shocking fact, most survey questions are biased! They are written in a way, where it is impossible for an employee to answer them in an honest way. For example, “I am always excited to come to work each day.” “I never feel my team leader is unfair.” “My leader always follows up on negative behavior.” Really? Always? Never? In the US we are conditioned from birth, statements with ‘always’ and ‘never’ = FALSE!
What rating, (on a scale of 1-10) should employees give this type of question? Would it be a 5? Because sometimes you’re excited to come to work and sometimes you’re not? Imagine the effect a rating of 5 has on a survey when 40% or 50% of the respondents feel this way about the questions. Is the leadership team chasing their tails on problems which don’t actually exist?
There may be one underlying cause for poor survey scores. Employees don’t feel valued during times of change, particularly when leaders don’t plan for change. After all, employees spend 55% of their awake time at work, they want to give their best to their company.
Research tells us, to have good employee engagement during times of change, individuals like to feel they are part of an organization which values and recognizes their individual contributions, embraces their passion and energy, and welcomes creative ideas. Organizations embody a culture of creative, fun, openness and trust, and encourages the “constructive challenging” of an idea. As a result, each employee needs to understand what the change is, why the change is happening, and have an opportunity to absorb, reflect, and ask questions. It’s a physiological need, two-thirds of our brain requires these inputs before resistance is lowered and employees can move forward with the change.
The picture represents the necessity to have clear and concise project plans for change and communication. The plans need to address the balance of creativity, recognition, sense of value, passion and connection to each individual before an organization can change. Only when employees feel trusted to make decisions and deliver results clearly outlined by the company, will an organization become nimble and change ready.
Unlock the Potential
Unlocking this specific information from each individual employee is needed in order for an organizational culture to be change ready and agile. Employees need to feel their contributions are heard, even if they disagree with the decision. The diversity within a company, allows each employee to bring their strengths and weaknesses to the table. A leader’s role is to help employees recognize their unique contributions, unlock their voices and build employee confidence within themselves as change agents.