Settle down and get comfy because I’m about to spill some tea.
Last month I was visiting a friend and we were all chatting, her husband, who works for one of the bigger employers in town, was telling me how the organisation had sent out an employee feedback survey.
The workplace has quite a low morale, pays are low compared to the rest of the industry and there are quite a number of FIFO workers. The sentiment amongst the residential workforce in general is that the big bosses are more concerned with putting profit over our community.
So the crews are assembled in the meeting room and management start discussing the terrible feedback from the employee survey and they ask if anyone would like to make a comment on the issues (let’s not lose sight of the fact that these types of surveys’ sole purpose IS for employees to make a comment – this is information they already have).
Silence………. nobody speaks a word. Then finally a voice pipes up “People are too scared to say what the issues are” discussion ensues and a couple of people, respectfully, share their input.
The meeting ends and those who spoke up are pulled aside and given a bollocking for what they said.
😳🤔 Do you think they get the irony of their actions?
Anonymous employee surveys are an excellent way to gain insight into the workplace culture, employee morale and what you are doing both right & wrong – as long as the organisation, and by that I mean management, is mature enough to accept the good with the bad and take action to make meaningful changes for the better.
All too often you see companies invest heavily in “yay team” training sessions or social activities in an effort to improve culture while failing to address the real issues.
Organisational culture is accepted behaviour, not expected behaviour
Culture flows from the top down
A strong & positive culture comes from strong & positive leadership. Words don’t change a culture. Displaying company values around the premises & in communications, or imprinting mugs, mouse pads, note pads, or key chains with the (company’s) values might be nice reinforcement, but these things do not define or change a culture.
Culture change comes from concrete and noticeable changes in leadership behaviour: what they do; who they hire; who they ask to move on; who they listen to and emulate; where they spend their time; what they talk about in meetings; what they measure; how & where they invest their $$.
When you listen to employees talk which pronoun do they elect to use when talking about the company? “We” or “They”? “They” suggests disengagement and at its worst, alienation. While “we” suggests that employees feel as though they are part of something meaningful and significant. They are engaged, productive & proud employees.
Do people want to work for your company and what do they write about you online? High turnover & finding it hard to attract quality talent (or keeping them) is a sure fire sign there is something wrong within your organisation, or within a particular department.
Going back to my story at the beginning of the post, I did a Google search to see what employees had to say about their experiences working there, here are snippets from the 5 most recent reviews;
“Your Employees Matter Too, Not Just Shareholders”
“Over worked, under paid and no real sense of being appreciated”
“Only management and share holders matter workers are nothing”
“The people working there are essentially good shame about the management”
“Upper management being very detached from daily struggles in the working environment and low pay rates”
Ouch! Now think about my reference to the FIFO workforce, the Kalgoorlie mining community is small and bad news spreads fast, the FIFO community draws from a much bigger pool. The number of FIFO onsite kinda makes sense doesn’t it?
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