FIND A FOCUS
When the results come in, the numbers will paint a portrait of
how many staffers are engaged, disengaged and actively disen-gaged.
You’ll also get a sense of what areas in particular have the
best and worst engagement, and where to target your improve-ment
“WITHOUT AN ENGAGEMENT
SURVEY, IT’S LIKE THROWING
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“I think today one of the things any organization struggles
with is resources – not just money but also time – so when you
want to improve your workplace you want to target your dollars,”
said Webb. “A lot of times, we get to the management table and
decisions are based on who has the most compelling story or ar-gument
instead of what data tells us about where to apply our
resources.” Numbers can paint a clear picture of what needs to
be done. “Without an engagement survey, it’s like throwing darts
in the dark.”
In many cases, data will reveal several potential areas of fo-cus
– more than an organization can reasonably do at one time.
“The most common mistake, in my experience, has been to take
on too many action items at once,” said Norm Sabapathy, execu-tive
vice president, People, at the Cadillac Fairview Corporation
in Toronto. “Typical surveys can have as many as 100 questions.
Most companies cut the data multiple ways; they filter by de-partment,
by level, by region. Looking at all those perspectives
can really get your head spinning.”
When faced with all that information, it can be easy to imag-ine
change on a grand scale, with every single manager developing
DIRECTOR, SAULT COLLEGE
individual action items for their teams, plus divisional projects
and company-wide initiatives.
“Any time I’ve seen that happen, it doesn’t work effectively,”
said Sabapathy. “It belies the definition of focus to pick that many
things to work on.” Instead, Sabapathy recommends zeroing in
on the initiatives that need the most attention or will provide the
best rewards for the organization. “What we do now at Cadillac
Fairview is focus on a limited number of key engagement drivers
where we can improve based on the survey feedback, and make
sure those things are executed well.”
Once you’ve charted a course, you can set your plans in motion.
“In our most recent survey, two of our top issues were rec-ognition
and career opportunities,” said Sabapathy. As part of
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