In my last post, I kicked off the analysis of my recent survey. Without further adieu, here’s the conclusion of our survey findings.
The Best and Worst
We asked our respondents to list the best and worst elements of their current organization and the results gave us a great peek at how things can pan out in the real world. Here are a few glimpses from our respondents:
- We have respect within our industry
- I like and trust in the capabilities of the people I work with
- I enjoy the potential for growth that exists here
- They present me with interesting new challenges all the time
- Company beer parties!
- They’re flexible and they allow me to solve problems the way I choose to
- My boss thinks things through instead of jumping to conclusions
Reading through this list, it’s easy to see that it’s not just the paycheck that keeps people coming into work every day! With that said, we’ve got to look at the other side of the coin as well.
- There’s a level of nepotism and favoritism that we can’t seem to shake
- Unfortunately, there’s a systemic culture of fear
- When changes are introduced, I’m expected to follow them but my leaders aren’t held to the same standard
- The balance between seniority and meritocracy is off
- Consistency is a struggle
- Structure is a problem, but I think we will fix it in time
- New hires are sometimes treated as outsiders
I see a few items on this list that are pretty serious but the good news is that there’s a solution for all of them. The most important thing to remember is that these issues (as with most company culture issues) are a result of some disconnect between leadership and the rest of the company. If you’re in a leadership position, making a true commitment to change and transparency can go a long way to achieving your company’s culture goals.
Companies in the Silicon Valley are renowned for having created some of the more inventive employee perks we have today. Nap pods, massages, on-site daycare, and company sports leagues have all seen a rise in popularity over the past several years. With that said, I wanted to see how things ranked for my audience so I asked respondents to rate the importance of some common perks and here’s what we found:
- Nearly half of our audience wants a flexible work schedule
- Production based incentive programs still matter to people
- Allowing family at corporate events is a good idea
- Ping pong and foosball tables aren’t enough to build a true corporate culture
The findings in my survey line up with a lot of what I’ve been reading lately. In fact, I found this article that highlights how important a flexible work schedule is for the modern employee.
Employees need to feel heard and understood if they’re going to remain productive on the job. To establish a proper “feedback loop” with the people you manage, you need to hear about problems and address them before they have a chance to fester. In our final question, we asked respondents to rate their comfort level in terms of voicing their concerns and here’s what came through:
- More than 80% of our audience is comfortable about voicing their concerns to their manager
So if you’re a manager, chances are good that you’re getting the type of actionable feedback you need. The question is, how do you incorporate that feedback into your process for improving?
I’ve always found that the most common concerns arise when there’s a lack of visibility or credit given on projects. So with that said, here are a couple of pointers to keep you in the good graces of your team.
- When handing out a new project, clearly define roles and responsibilities during team meetings so that everyone knows what to expect.
- If you delegate a task to someone, allow them to get the job done their way and provide them with the tools and human resources they need to reach the finish line. If they turn it into a success, make sure to publicly and privately recognize them for their contributions.
- Lead by example when it comes to self improvement. Attend management conferences and spend some time on your own skill sharpening. Your commitment should never be a concern to the rest of your team.
The most common sense approach is usually the best approach so feel free to comment with your thoughts on this topic too!
I’ll be taking part in a live panel discussion on October 22nd that should be really eye opening for our audience. In my next blog post I’ll give a summary of my own personal takeaways from the session so keep your eyes peeled!