Five Ways to ‘Raze’ Your Employee Engagement Scores

#2: Make sure and only give your team feedback once per year in huge batches!!!

Nothing says “We value you as an employee” more than the cattle call that is Performance Evaluation season.  With greater and greater cutbacks in middle management staffing, the adage of “do more with less” has turned into “do more with nothing”.  A manager that has 10, 20, 50 or even up to 100 or more performance evaluations to crank out in a few-week period – it can look like a line out of the manager’s office like waiting for the Black Friday “doorbusters”.

Feedback: All at Once vs. Over time

Author David Burkus in his book “Under New Management” gives a great viewpoint and argument for more deliberate and periodic feedback.  In addition, he advocates for the eventual elimination of the traditional performance evaluation system.  Although in most large organizations they cannot be totally eliminated, the idea of giving your employees quarterly or monthly feedback so that the annual evaluation makes much more of a formality than a surprise.  Leaving the traditional performance evaluation process in place leaves your employees waiting in line thinking “I don’t care, I just want to know if I got a high enough score to get my 3% cost of living raise this year”.

Avoid the “Unwritten Contract”

This lack of transparency and consistent feedback coupled with the “just enough to get my 3% this year” mentality leads us down the road of the dreaded “Unwritten Contract”.  Far too many members of management are OK to accept this unholy contractual obligation on behalf of their organization. The unwritten contract states implicitly that the company will pay you (the employee) JUST ENOUGH not to quit, and they will work just hard enough not to get fired.  With a nod and a wink, the agreement stands and the status-quo is now king and all fall under his reign to the long-term detriment of both parties.

Engagement Scores and Employee Feedback.

It is the same with employee engagement scores.  Having one sanitized staff meeting per year to go over the scores in the best possible light for the employees and staff (regardless of how bloody the battle scene was in the boardroom beforehand) is at best a nice gesture and the staff are appreciative to hear anything.  At the worst, this is viewed as a whitewashing of the real issues that must be addressed with the staff.  This is particularly visible when many of them gave strong responses and spoke among themselves and the only picture expressed by management is rainbows and unicorns.

Yet another way to keep your scores at anemic levels – just keep the annual evaluation and the employee engagement results as the sacred cow without any other useful feedback to your staff during the rest of the year.

Challenge: What can you do to give your employees and staff more frequent feedback in the next few weeks?

About the Author:

David A. Miles, Ph.D. is an organizational leadership and development expert and the Founder & Principal of Dr. Dave Leadership Corp. – A Professional Consulting Firm.  Dave helps leaders move from success to significance, helping them build and develop strong leaders, teams, and organizations to improve bottom-line results and profits. Dr. Miles can be found at www.DrDaveMiles.com.


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