RIP – Annual Staff Survey

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The world of work is radically transforming as the digital age continues its domino effect through society. Data is everywhere we look. Technology is improving at warp speed and digitally empowered customer service is becoming the norm. There is more of focus is on personal engagement than ever before.

Technology Surprises Us!

But it is not just about the power of technology.  It is more than that – it is about connecting people. Customers with other customers on Tripadvisor.  Customers with employees through Web Chats.  Employees with leaders on Slack or Yammer.  Recruiters with candidates on Linkedin and so on.

The power of networking is embedded further through the likes of Facebook and Google Search. While on Glassdoor, the MD even gets a thumbs up or down from employees.

Most of us have already axed the annual appraisal.  The annual this, that and the other doesn’t work any longer. Businesses are running 24/7, customer loyalty is being tested daily and hourly, and sensible businesses are replacing out-dated performance management systems with innovative, real time solutions.

Next one to go.  The Annual Staff Survey

Glassdoor, has opened a window into the culture, strengths and weaknesses of an organisation like never before. Data from social networks and external job sites provides crucial information about retention, engagement, and employee development needs. In some cases, we have found that external people data found on the likes of Linkedin and Glassdoor is more accurate and useful than data held within the company. Besides, how many lethargic plans devised after the annual survey sit dormant on the monthly leadership agenda??

Information is being produced “in the moment. Technology is causing organisations to continually evolve, so why would a business wait for the results of an annual survey to take action on issues that are clearly affecting their people. Your employees want the personal touch!

Smart workforces

In a digital economy, businesses are very likely to be employing many more flexible and remote workers. They will also employee more specialist, gig workers who are entrepreneurial, more focused on the outside world and only stay a few months. How do we engage and receive feedback from them – the annual survey doesn’t work.

Just as today’s customers want to be treated as individuals, so do employees and we can use some of the innovation techniques that we use with customers to understand what makes individual employees tick, how they would like to be connected with and what will retain their motivation and service.

What inspires your employees?

A new approach to gaining feedback that provides more regular data to help us determine when something is affecting job quality, motivation or enrichment is required.  Find out what they experience when serving customers and involve them in adapting the business to meet changing employee needs.

Tie the engagement process to life stages. Imagine the power of a feedback system for groups of employees such as new Fathers, new Mums, new Carers, Mum and Dad’s who’s offspring have flown the nest to Uni, new Grannies and Granddads. Have any new issues arisen because of a life change? The organisation can target action, such as Smart Working practices that helps to retain and motivate while ensuring privacy is respected.

CEO, Doug Conant of Campbells say: “To win in the marketplace you must first win in the workplace.”

It’s time for the internal communications experts in your business to get their thinking hats on…….and redesign how we listen to employees.

Ruth Gawthorpe is the owner of The Change Directors.  If you want to connect with your employees in an up to date way that fits your changing business approach then give Ruth a call now of 07976509551.

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