How to Steer Clear of Toxic Environments

toxicToxicity can happen anywhere at any given workplace no matter how small or large, or what industry. Where there is human interaction, there is potential for disappointment that can add up to unhappy employees. Unhappy employees tend to want to spread their misery to others, even if unknowingly doing so. The disengagement of such employees is off the charts. What becomes toxic is the spread of that unhappiness and others’ reaction to it.

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Employee Engagement Survey Used as Best Communication Tool

86089312_4When you think about conducting an employee survey, consider the benefits of it being one of the best and most significant communication tools you can use at your company.

Employee engagement surveys are not used strictly for collecting feedback. Pre-survey communications; advertising that the survey is coming, should relay survey goals, anonymity and post-survey findings. These communications should come from the organizations top leadership.

  • The first message should be that the organization’s leadership is genuinely interested in what employees have to say.
  • Each question on a survey should be examined thoughtfully to ensure they are consistent with the company goals.
  • Show where there are areas of strengths and weaknesses and communicate to employees how the company intends to change them.
  • On the survey, remember to ask about employee benefits. This may be the only time you can elicit feedback about them.
  • Employees should be able to share their thoughts without retribution when they voice their opinions – whether on an employee survey or in person. Does your company have a culture of trust? If employees do not trust the organization, they may not answer survey questions honestly if they fear retribution.
    Some employees think that online surveys are much less anonymous than paper, because they think their IP addresses will link survey responses to individuals. They must be assured by management that the data and feedback collected will never be singled out or individuals identified. TNS ensures that privacy and anonymity is lock-tight when using our online survey technology.

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Squirrels Strike at Squirrely Co in Squirrelville

A nutty case study

Squirrelville

Letter-O-60pt-Castellarnce upon a time, there was a little village known as Squirrelville, USA. The inhabitants were real squirrels and they were quite efficient as hunters, but mostly gatherers in their community.

For years, the squirrels worked in harmony with each other because they were very well-organized and everyone had a role to play. Each role was described in great detail so that there would be no mistake as to what each squirrel had to do. Life was good.

There was a company called Squirrely Co, which was quite popular and only the brightest and smartest of the squirrel community could work there. At Squirrely Co, the squirrels produced nut jam, nut butter, nut soup, and nut meg. These were specialty items that only the hoidiest of toidiest of squirrels could afford. Squirrel Co operated efficiently and as a result, was very prosperous.

Squirrely Co was successful because the work environment was well-structured. There was a CEO, managers, administrators, and various departments of workers. The CEO told the administrators what to do, the administrators told the managers what to do, and the managers told the workers what to do.

Squirrel Co had great benefits too, which included medical, dental and accidental road kill. Not all squirrel companies could afford accidental road kill as they considered it too risky of a health hazard. The company also allowed their associates to buy stock in nuts. The only risk here would be a rise and fall in market value on a daily basis and it was also a seasonal risk.

Everyone at Squirrel Co was very happy… or so it seemed.

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Finding the Truth from Resident and Associate Surveys in Senior Living Communities

Bonding timesIn my blog on Monday, I touched on the essence of employee engagement in the Senior Living Community. Here, I want to write about the value of examining data from both resident and associate survey answers.  Though much more complicated than I can explain in a blog, and without the expertise of our data analysts at my immediate disposal, simply put, we have the capability to examine items from both resident and associate surveys via our sophisticated adhoc tools.

For example, here are some survey items posed to both resident and associate. Naturally, they are completely separate surveys, but the survey questions are designed to obtain opinions from both:

Resident Survey Item:   I feel valued as a resident of my community.

Associate Survey Item:   In my community, we are focused on enriching the lives of those we serve.

When we examine the answers from both, we are able to understand if the community is meeting its objectives to serve seniors.  If associates answer that the community is failing to enrich the lives of those they serve, it probably will reflect in the resident’s answer; not feeling valued as a resident in one’s community.

Extrapolating the data en masse, filtering it through adhoc, then examining by DIVING deeper into survey results will bring you to the TRUTH about what is occurring at your community/facility. What could be better than the truth?

We guide our clients every step of the way. Come see us at booth number 2013 at LeadingAge Annual Meeting and Expo 2014 October 19-22.

Employee Survey Scores and How They Differ Among the Genders

female-malesHere’s an interesting stat for you. If you are reviewing the results of your employee surveys and notice scores that vary between female and males, maybe you should dig deeper into the possibility there may be issues affecting either one.

I just received this from our Norms and Advanced Statistics Director:

Here are the items with at least a 5-point gap between males and females. I used only US-based employees for this data.

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Tip 8 – Act On Employee Feedback

Intro: This blog is written to further elaborate with my own views on the “8 Tips to Engage Your Employees” booklet written by our experts. construction-blueprintConducting a survey without acting on the results is like making blueprints for a house, but not building it. Employee engagement surveys are only worth the actions built around them. When posing survey item, “Management at my organization takes action based on employee survey results,” our global research shows a score of 70% favorable for highly engaged employees versus only 2% for the disengaged. It’s really up to the managers and directors to ensure that the results are communicated to the employees and find solutions to problems and congratulate teams on the high marks. If you can’t find the time to conduct meetings on the results, you’re never going to get that house built!

FREE 8 Tips Booklet Going Fast!

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This little booklet speaks to managers and is chock-full of great tips and stats that we at TNS Employee Insights have compiled to illustrate the depth and importance of engaging employees.

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888.726.8686

Or visit our website – www.tips.tnsei.com

Blanket Solutions Don’t Solve Engagement Issues

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Often, organizations fall victim to “blanket solutions” geared toward fixing the problems of one type of performer or work group, and it’s usually the lowest performer.  Often, management views low engagement scores, and their initial instinct is to address the causes of these low scores.  As a result, solutions or action plans are created that apply to the whole organization.  However, these sometimes only address a small part of the employee population or a few work teams.

Instead, what managers must do is focus on the larger picture while addressing the trouble spots.  Action planning and process improvement may need to be different for the top performers versus the bottom performers.  Segmenting your work groups into levels of engagement can highlight key differences and help set the framework for development of targeted action plans focused on key work teams.  Managers need to recognize that different interventions may be necessary to bring about change in bottom performers versus top performers