Of Engagement Surveys

My organization recently released the results of our annual survey.  Good participation rates, decent scores, though down in some areas.  Given the last year included a lot of internal shuffling, not to mention some position cutting, it shouldn’t be a surprise.  The results include a slight dip in overall morale and engagement.  Slight, but nothing drastic.

Survey results are reported out at the highest level, but then drilled down by business leader to create action plans and hold discussion on how to improve scores.  These things are planned regardless of the results.  Overall, I applaud the intent behind this work.

What the survey doesn’t reflect is the trauma that people go through in a year of this nature.  I’ve seen hushed conversations in corners when the leader met. I’ve seen teammates fighting back tears at their desk after someone else is let go.  I’ve seen rifts between employees and management that quietly fester, but are never vocalized.  How do we address something like that?  Dr. Demming would point to the respect for people that was at the center of his work, and tell us that must be the center of our work.  Easier said than done in the economic turmoil through which we’ve come.  Hopefully we’ve learned from it, and can begin working our way back.

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