Your Workplace Needs A Mid-Year Checkup

It’s common for organizations to take stock of their employees at the start of the new year. They celebrate extraordinary performance and vow to fix the areas that are broken. But the new year is often crowded with lots of other priorities. And as a result, attention to the employee experience gets lost in the shuffle.

Your workplace checkup

Consider conducting a mid-year employee experience checkup so you can track progress, stay focused, and see the impact of your changes.

With the help of a checkup, organizations can get on track – and with impactful results.

Consider the example of a midwestern manufacturing company that was enjoying a year of record growth and profits. It introduced two new products and entered a new geographic market. Even though the sales and financial aspects of the business were going swimmingly, the CEO surveyed all employees to find out what was on their minds.

The results were sobering. Survey insights uncovered employees were confused about the new direction, burned out by long hours, and felt unappreciated for their efforts. The company was headed for a drastic fall. Out of the entire workforce, 80 percent admitted they were looking for a better job. And if that turnover had happened, the result would have been a nearly unrecoverable talent drain.

The employee checkup provided a valuable early warning signal that something was wrong, despite the outstanding financial performance. The company addressed each of the focus areas. For instance:

  • Senior leaders took time to develop a crisp direction statement and cascaded it to all levels of the organization.
  • Managers embarked on a “listening post” strategy to collect employee concerns and then act on them.
  • C-suite leaders – as well as managers – actively looked for opportunities to show genuine employee appreciation and recognize employees in meaningful ways.

Six months later, the company’s human performance matched its financial performance. To ensure they were on the right track, the company administered interim pulse surveys. Each of them showed a move in a positive direction. Only seven percent of employees said they were looking for a new job.

Workplace culture, like any well-oiled machine, cannot run continuously without occasional repairs and fine tuning. One of the best ways to be intentional about culture is to check in with your employees – not just once a year, but on a more regular cadence.

Tom Devane is principal workplace advisor at Energage, a Philadelphia-based research and consulting firm that surveyed more than 2 million employees at more than 7,000 organizations in 2019. Energage is The Washington Post’s research partner for Top Workplaces.

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