Today, several organizations have shifted their resources or technology investments to make a positive impact on the employee experience. For most companies, this usually means new perks and programs such as free lunch, new hire buddies, flexible time off, and training resources. While all these efforts are valuable, not every employee will be impacted by them in the same way. This is especially true for managers. They have a unique set of needs, but the manager experience is often overlooked when thinking about employee experience.
Conventional wisdom is that employee surveys must be anonymous to be effective. If employees don’t believe that their responses are anonymous, they might not complete the survey. And even if they do, they won’t be honest because it’s too risky to tell the truth. Therefore, to get more candid and accurate feedback, the perception of anonymity is required. That’s what we’ve been told for decades and we’ve come to accept it as fact. But there’s a problem. All of this conventional wisdom might be wrong.
For a long time, the only people familiar with Agile with an uppercase “A” were software developers. But over the past few years, the Agile methodology has made quite the splash, redefining project management and HR processes across a wide variety of industries. At a time when change happens fast and HR needs to be more nimble than ever before, Agile can provide a wealth of benefits to any company—but its design does require significant restructuring across teams. Before determining whether Agile is right for your HR team, it’s vital to first understand what it is, what the key concepts behind it are, and how it will impact the daily lives of your employees.
One of the common worries about employee surveys is that people won’t tell the truth. When you spend the money and go through the trouble of doing a survey, you want to believe that you’re getting the truth about what’s going on. Here’s some bad news. People lie on surveys. Sometimes they tell small lies and sometimes they tell big ones. Sometimes they don’t even know they’re lying. In fact, even on customer surveys, some experts suggest that as many as 50% of people are less than truthful in their answers. So, even when people have little to nothing at stake, they aren’t totally honest.
Employee engagement is top of mind for many organizations today. Realizing that their biggest assets are their employees, countless companies have scrambled to implement initiatives aimed at boosting workplace engagement in the hopes of improving retention. But despite these efforts, the average U.S. company is only running at 33% efficiency, according to Gallup research. On a global scale, the outlook is even bleaker. That same study found that just 15% of the world's workers are engaged and reaching their full potential in the workplace. This points to a major flaw in the system. Companies are pouring time and money into engagement programs, yet employees are still disengaged. So, what’s going wrong—and what can companies do to align their initiatives with what employees truly need to be successful?
By now, you’d be hard pressed to find an HR leader who dismisses the urgency around transformation. According to research by KPMG, 70% of HR executives recognize the need for workforce transformation—but the same study also showed that only 37% of executives feel “very confident” about HR’s actual ability to transform. It's understandable. Completely upheaving processes, tools and job responsibilities is a complicated, precarious project (but it can be done). To gain some perspective on the thorny aspects of HR transformation, I sat down with Rémi Malenfant, HR4HR Enablement Partner at PeopleDoc. He works with HR leaders on their transformation strategies by drawing on more than a decade of experience as both a practitioner and change consultant. Read what he had to say about some common HR transformation challenges (or scroll down to watch the video):
My job requires that I fly pretty frequently. Over the past few years, the airline I use most often has adopted the practice of sending me a survey following every flight. The email with the survey invite usually says something about how much they value my opinion. When these first started showing up in my inbox, I would occasionally respond. Typically, it was after a less-than-optimal flight experience when I was a little disgruntled. These were the moments when it seemed my feedback would be most valuable. Or at least, it was the time I most wanted them to hear me so future flights might be better. I took them at their word that my opinion mattered to them (although I’ll admit to being skeptical). Each time, after clicking send on the survey, I’d wait for some kind of response. I’m still waiting.