August 2014 Newsletter

Do you like to travel?

I do, too.

You may be surprised to learn, however, that the most enjoyable part of traveling for me is the anticipation and, in particular, the planning.

You see, I’m an “organizer.” I love studying travel brochures. Reading about far away places. Figuring out how best to get there, what I’ll do once I’m there and what to pack to make the trip comfortable and enjoyable. I even like booking flights, making hotel reservations and packing my bags.

But all this planning and preparation does me no good if I don’t board the plane and go.

It’s like that with employee engagement surveys, too.

If you are going to ask questions, you have to act on the results. If you don’t listen or act on what you learn, your survey will do you no good at all. In fact, because of the cynicism and skepticism inaction will cause, you’ll be worse off than if you never conducted a survey in the first place.

Unfortunately, many organizations miss the boat when it comes to employee surveys. I mean, they don’t take feedback seriously and they aren’t prepared to take action on what they learn.

For example, whereas 86 percent of more than 300 U.S. respondents in Pricewaterhouse Cooper Saratoga’s 2013/2014 US Human Capital Effectiveness Survey said their organizations measure employee engagement, just 40 percent said they require directors and managers to develop an action plan for employees who report to them.

This failure is typical. According to Doloitte Global research:

Why then do only 8 percent of large companies feel they have programs to help employees?

Whatever the reason, it’s too bad, because we know engaged employees treat customers better, innovate more and continuously improve their organizations.

As one example, the Pricewaterhouse Survey reported that at a 15,000 person professional services organization the voluntary attrition rate of the most highly engaged employees was less than half of that of the least engaged employees.

Similarly, the company’s whitepaper reported that over a 6-month period up-selling and cross-selling performance rose as engagement rose among workers at a 500-employee call center.

If engagement is that important, why do only 13 percent of employees report that they are highly engaged at work (Gallup)? And what can you do to improve engagement at your organization?

One important step is to maximize your annual employee engagement survey, by using it to show your employees you are listening and take their opinions seriously. Here are 7 suggestions that will help you do this:

Here’s the bottom line. Engaged employees are important. (I dare say, they are the most important competitive strength you have.) And so are employee engagement surveys. But if you really want to know what your employees think so you can gauge their organizational pulse, don’t take your survey solely as a feel-good exercise. And don’t take a survey simply to tell your board or investors that you did.

Rather, from the get go, plan to use it to make significant engagement improvements in your organization.

Your Solution Toolbox: Three Tools to Help You Nip Engagement Problems in the Bud

If I failed to say this, let me say it now so I don’t mislead you:

            Engagement is more than simply “happy employees.”

Engaged employees are those who give discretionary effort, which is the secret behind gains in productivity, quality, service and sales, and ultimately profits and share price.

How do you know if your employees are engaged?

To begin, you can use Profiles’ Workplace Engagement Survey™ to measure your employees’ connection to their work and commitment to your organization.  

Profiles’ Workplace Engagement Survey gives a detailed view of what influences employee engagement. It also measures "satisfaction with employment" and "satisfaction with management" across your entire organization, and gives specific recommendations for organizational improvement. 

Further, you can determine whether your employees are engaged by measuring and strengthening the three drivers of engagement:

            1) Job fit and career opportunity

            2) Employee-manager relationship

            3) Total rewards

MG Assessments can help you find the appropriate tools to help you with the actions you will take as a result of your survey…whether you need team building, job fit assessments or performance coaching. Let me tell you about three:

Profiles' Performance Indicator™ measures key behavioral tendencies, such as productivity, work quality, initiative, teamwork, problem solving and response to stress and motivation.

Knowing these things about your employee will help you understand how to manage and motivate him or her.

If you are interested in learning more about Profile International's tools for measuring and improving engagement, call me today at 952-322-3330 or send an email to

HR Consulting

Call me, too, if you are looking for professional assistance with your personnel questions. We’ll help you learn how to:

Let's Talk! We offer a no-obligation consultation to informally assess your current policies, procedures and practices. This may help determine what's missing in your current programs. Again, call 952-322-3330 or send an email to

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