Small Business EE Options
We already know as a small business owner, you don’t have cash for EE surveys. We also know if you have a limited number of employees, keeping the surveys anonymous can be tough because if an employee is not 100 percent sure the survey is anonymous, they probably won’t complete them.
I’d love to tell you to try and create your own EE survey based on Gallup’s Q12 example (there’s a link in the reference section to Gallup), but most of your employees won’t complete it in fear of reprisals. But wait! You do have other options.
Marcia Xenitelis, a Change Management expert, offered a great post on the Small Business Brief’s website—including her thoughts on using EE surveys. Actually she’s surprised about these new buzzwords “employee engagement surveys."
What Xenitelis offers is why not just open up to your employees? What happened to talking about issues, ideas and suggestions where everyone can be equal?
Marcia says in her post, “A general look around the office or factory and tea room discussions would make it obvious to all that wanted to see it that employees are not so much engaged as they are worried about their jobs," and I agree. A business owner has to be of the autocratic nature or blind to not see what’s going on in the workplace.
Actually, the small business owner often has an advantage over big business—they are more intimate with their employees, they know who is happy, who is having a baby, whose car just broke down and yes, they even know who the trouble makers are.
Instead of investing in something you can afford, Xenitelis suggests these steps to keep employees engaged:
Analyze Data – No matter what service or product you provide, obtain data from the previous year on what sold, what didn’t, and how many customer complaints you received. Invite all employees to a focus group and share the data with employees in a focus group format.
Feedback – Once you’ve all had a general discussion on the data from the prior year, ask each member (employee) to offer an idea on how to improve one area whether it’s a customer service improvement, a work environment modification or ideas on different products or services.
Implement – From those ideas, have the group agree on five items you could implement and do so.
Test – Once the ideas are implemented, give them 90 days and then have your focus group determine what’s working or if changes are needed.
Reorganize – The methods or processes that showed improvement should be modified or left as is if they are working.
Reward – Have the focus group come up with a fair reward and incentive program based on the new methods or processes as goals are identified and reached.