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What happens when you ask employees for feedback, - and they tell the truth?


What do autocratic companies do when their employees have an opinion? In Russia, should you wish to protest the Olympics, they have a small park, under a freeway and a bridge, about 40 miles out of Sochi, reserved for you. The world's media will never find you, but it is very considerate. Protestors are not allowed to demonstrate anywhere else. Dictatorships like Putin’s government, tremble at the idea of grassroots conversations. The same holds true in many companies. Employees speaking out freely? Not allowed. If you have something to say, we’ve got a suggestion box for that. I’ve had situations where a group manager meeting, asking managers what employees need and think, have put me on the executive’s watch list as a possible trouble maker. It’s a bit outside my comprehension that in 2014, there are still companies willing to suppress any employee participation. Closed and controlled employee cultures are where low emotional engagement slowly drifts towards an organized workforces. Quoting one of my clients, “you wake up one morning and find out you’ve got a new partner in your business - the union.” Consider an employee opinion survey. They do a couple of things very well. If you respond to the results you will stabilize a workforce, find ideas to increase productivity, and be able to deal with pending issues before they become problems. Underneath the survey feedback you will identify management effectiveness. You’ll connect survey results to department managers. Be able to show managers how to develop their skills and become more effective for your company. Since immediate supervisory management controls emotional engagement, you can address issue of morale, absenteeism, lates, and initiative. Beyond that, retention issues, work flow and process design and destructive interpersonal relationships can be identified and managed. Much work has been put into determining survey effectiveness. Gallup tells us that a simple one page, twelve question form will get you more accurate information than those cumbersome fifty page interrogations. All you need to know to manage a profitable and productive company can be learned through a simple twelve question process. Some idea about opening up closed cultures . . .

  • Employee opinion forms with comment section. Anonymous.

  • Performance reviews Feedback.

  • Managers use face to face and less email.

  • Managers walk around, get out of their office.

  • Employee meetings, weekly by department, supervisor lead. Monthly meetings for the whole company

  • Fire people who don’t perform. Autocratic companies tend to keep poor performance secret. Participative companies make changes when managers don’t treat people well.

  • We hire for skills. We fire for behaviors.

Two things are required for a company to succeed. First, hire "A" talent. Second, expect all managers to become leaders. If we can help you build a better company, let's talk. Thank you Wolf Partner p.s If you’re employee opinion survey is longer than one page, you may need a different survey tool.

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