An open letter from Glenn Stearns, CEO of Kind Lending
We’ve all filled out those anonymous employee questionnaires or surveys. Maybe some of you have even experienced the accute terror that comes with finding out that said questionnaire wasn’t actually anonymous after all.
But why do we fill them out? If you’re around my age, you might remember a time where you couldn’t go five minutes without having to fill out a survey to satisfy the powers that be, but nowadays, it seems like they’re coming up less and less.
In an age where employers are relying more and more on automated methods to track engagement and efficacy, I’m here to tell you that the humble survey still has some legs.
So, without further ado… Here’s my top three reasons why surveying regularly (and really LISTENING to the results) is your ticket to being the best leader you can be.
1. Show ‘em you care
Regularly sending out employee questionnaires not only shows you care enough to ask, but that you’re going to take their feedback seriously. This can go a big way in boosting company morale.
Of course, if you don’t follow through and work to FIX the issues said surveys bring to your attention, that boost in morale won’t last very long.
Here’s the formula: Listen. Acknowledge. Make a change.
It’s as simple as that.
2. It’s a tried and true method
Do you want to know why surveys have been around since dinosaurs roamed the earth? Since the first Ice Age? Since the dawn of time? It’s because they work!
Why go through the painstaking effort of digging through abstract values — like how long it takes for team members to respond to their emails, or how many work functions they skip — when you can just ASK?
Privacy issues and Big Brother accusations aside, why waste the money on big data? As long as the survey’s anonymous they’ve got no reason to lie.
3. Surveys actually INFLUENCE employee behavior
Now here’s where it gets weird.
Psychologists actually found that asking people questions influences their behavior. Asking people if they wanted to volunteer three hours of their time with the American Cancer Society caused the rates of helping to jump 25%!
And folks who were asked if they were planning on buying a new computer in the next six months were 18% more likely to do it!
We tried this in the Kind Lending office, but my survey, “If you’re name is Bryan in accounting, how likely are you to stop eating other people’s lunches from the breakroom fridge?” didn’t yield the results we were looking for.
Maybe subtlty is the trick here, but I encourage each of you to experiment with this on your own.
So, hopefully you’ve come away with one more tool in your Underdog arsenal to keep your workplace running smoothly. And let me tell you… That survey is long overdue!
Till next time, underdogs.