Understanding Employee Culture and Satisfaction
Although I am a blogger, I also have a full time career as a business administrator. In that role I am responsible for operations of an urban public school district – anything from financials to human resources. In 22 years my responsibilities have changed significantly. The title is still the same but my day to day responsibilities are more tied up with strategic initiatives and planning now rather than being task oriented.
Human resources used to be simply meeting with new employees, completing all the necessary new hire paperwork, potential discipline situations and exit interviews. The world has changed. Much of what I used to do is now automated. This is good and bad – you would think automation would allow for reduction in force etc… but instead it allows us to focus on the greater vision type work and NominakHR.com are experts in this area and have solutions to meet your needs.
Now I spend my days on employee relations trying to build our work through improved employee culture and satisfaction. But how do we do that? Sure I work in schools but the trends are similar whether you work in schools, hospitals, manufacturing, housing, etc…
Top of the list of my priorities is an employee feedback platform. How can I solicit information from my employees? It isn’t really about whether they like working here as much as listening to them and involving them in our vision and future. For us the work is with children PreK through grade 8. How can our employees help us achieve success? Do we all have the same definition of success? Maybe someone has a revolutionary idea to help us increase student achievement and if so, what are the financial requirements to implement and measure?
In manufacturing the feedback may be very different such as how to increase efficiencies without compromising safety. Employees always have something to offer but the struggle is having a corporate culture platform that allows them to freely provide the feedback we seek.
In education we actually have state and federal mandates for training to improve the culture in our work with students such as diversity training, transgender training etc… But we also have requirements to conduct employee culture surveys in each school at least once a year and a requirement for central office to respond to the surveys that come back in a way that could be construed as overall negative. These surveys create a great deal of stress for everyone but if used properly they can be help create a culture of mutual respect and understanding.
Other ways to improve employee culture:
Often employees will respond to surveys but will not respond in person. Sometimes it isn’t even about the anonymity but rather it is easier to give feedback when you are not looking eye to eye.
Walkthroughs and observations
Make it a habit of walking through and see how people interact with one another. Do they look like they enjoy their job? Ask them what stops them from doing a better job? Empower them in their responses.
Ask the tough questions and don’t be afraid of the answers
Think about the show – Undercover Boss. Ask questions and don’t add your bias to the answers. Take a step back and consider what to do with the information provided.
Pay attention to nonverbal cues
Sometimes it isn’t about what they say or even how they say it. It could be what is more important is what they aren’t saying!
Learn how to give feedback in return
People want to know that they are “heard” so make sure to give them appropriate and fair feedback in return.