We have a very social team. Everyone loves to spend time with each other inside and outside of the office; we often joke that “FOMO” must be one of our core values. When our New York City-based team was advised to work from home, the first thing we did was try to coordinate a date when we’d all be able to come in together during the following week or two. Of course, this was before we knew how quickly the COVID-19 virus would spread in the New York metro area and how seriously we should heed the “stay at home” warnings. As we’ve learned, things change quickly.
Many articles are written about organizational change. But when the business changes, so does HR. The change might be big or maybe small. But HR changes. Today, instead of talking about how companies manage change, let’s talk about how HR departments manage change (while their company is in transition). Just like individual change isn’t the same as organizational change, department change isn’t always the same as organizational change. Changes that benefit the organization can change the way a department operates. Here are two examples:
One of the reasons I’ve always loved employee surveys is the potential effect the results can have on leaders. In some cases, a survey is the first time a leader truly hears and considers the perspective of employees. It can truly change their mindset and view of the organization. Notice, I said “potential effect.” The kind of impact I describe is only possible when those leaders are committed to and care about hearing the employees’ feedback. If you’re reading this post, you’ve probably had many experiences where that simply wasn’t the case.
Studies repeatedly show that one of the greatest factors in employee disengagement is employees feeling like they aren’t being given enough opportunities for professional growth and advancement—or enough recognition.
You’ve probably heard (or used) this phrase before: survey fatigue. Before surveys became as common as they are today, if your company conducted an annual employee engagement survey, it was considered progressive. Those were different times.
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.
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.