How to Make Sure Your Employees Are Not Being Under-Served

We’ve talked about the High-Performance Index™ in terms of avoiding over-surveying. The second part of the High-Performance Index™ is how we can prevent employees from being under-served. Although organizations have many different surveys, employees are often under-served since leaders do nothing with the results. 

Since it seems pointless to collect data and do nothing with it, we assume this is not intentional. Leaders usually do intend to do something, but then fall into one of three traps when it comes to taking action once the survey results are in. How will you communicate action and your commitment to serving your team? 

1. Not following-through with results

Perhaps actions were never intended, maybe they weren’t a high priority, maybe there wasn’t enough executive sponsorship, maybe you just got too busy. But think of all the time that you put into designing the survey itself in the first place, issuing it, administering it. The bottom line is, it doesn’t matter why you did nothing with it, if you did nothing with it, you have wasted people’s time, including your own. 

If you find yourself getting too busy to follow up with your survey, I invite you to remember that this is leader work. Imagine a work environment where teams can align, collaborate, and grow on their own. If the leader is not responsible for making sure people have an environment in which they can perform at their best, then what is the work of the leader?

2. Assuming that they already know the underlying actions

Perhaps actions were never intended, maybe they weren’t a high priority, maybe there wasn’t enough executive sponsorship, maybe you just got too busy. But think of all the time that you put into designing the survey itself in the first place, issuing it, administering it. The bottom line is, it doesn’t matter why you did nothing with it, if you did nothing with it, you have wasted people’s time, including your own. 

If you find yourself getting too busy to follow up with your survey, I invite you to remember that this is leader work. Imagine a work environment where teams can align, collaborate, and grow on their own. If the leader is not responsible for making sure people have an environment in which they can perform at their best, then what is the work of the leader? 

When we do take action, it is critical to avoid the trap of thinking we know exactly what’s going on. We hear leaders say things like “oh, that’s always the challenge with that team or that leader” without truly digging into the results. While there may be recurring themes, to break the patterns and make progress we need to involve the team in making sense of the survey results. Without getting the team’s input there is a serious risk that the leader creates the wrong actions and addresses the wrong problem. To understand the data at a deeper level we engage the team in the debrief process. This also helps the team take ownership of the action plan.

3. Creating too many actions

The other thing to avoid when we do take action, is taking on way too many things. You have an organization to run as well, with all of its existing initiatives, objectives and action plans. It is better to identify a smaller number of things that you will absolutely do and then create Complete Goals™ to make it happen. We have seen many cases of leaders signing up for many things and not getting any of them across the line.

If we take action on our surveys, employees will be more likely to respond in the future. We start the process of co-creating actions during our powerful team debriefs. We involve as many people as possible to get a broad set of perspectives. We ask the team questions about their High-Performance Index™ results to better-understand the individual stories behind the numbers and then break in groups of like-minded colleagues to co-create practical actions. This process usually produces straightforward actions that can be implemented right away and cost nothing. We usually create mindset shifts not big projects.

Leaders need to have the right questions, not the answers

If we involve employees to debrief results and co-create actions, we uncover simple things that we know are relevant, because the employees themselves have presented them. Leaders do not have to have the answers. Leaders need to facilitate interactions with the right people and the right questions. Leaders need to bring an open mind, ready ears and a commitment to follow-through. We hope this post inspires you to identify ways to create action using the right questions. 

To learn more about our High-Performance Index™ and Employee HPI Debrief Workshops, click here. Take the free High-Performance Index™ Leader Survey to see how your organization is performing, in terms of alignment, collaboration, and growth. We offer complimentary, 30-minute debriefs to review your results in detail and co-create actions that you can take, immediately.

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