In reading the Gallup book First, Break All the Rules: What the World's Greatest Managers Do Differently, I encountered their list of questions that, when answered by close to 200,000 employees across almost 8,000 business units in different companies, turned out to be a good measure of organizational dynamics that led to lower employee turnover, higher productivity, and higher customer satisfaction.
At their core, the questions are asking an employee whether they feel their strengths are being used every day at their organization. The questions are simple and applicable across a lot of different kinds of organizations; I've listed them out below.
Using the free open source software LimeSurvey, I set up the questions in an open ended online survey on Summersault's Intranet. Around twice per month, a randomly selected subset of the staff get an automated email invitation to answer the survey, anonymously by default but with the option to provide our names if we want.
Over time this has resulted in a growing set of data that help measure what about the experience of working at Summersault is going well, and what could be improved. It's not completely scientific and this survey is hardly the only entry point for having this kind of conversation - in fact, it's even a very good one since it's not meant to be a direct line of communication between staff members and their managers/supervisors or other company leadership. But it's a quick and easy way to get information about organizational health, and when we make changes to our structure or processes, we can look for any corresponding changes in how well our team sees their strengths being used at Summersault.
How does your organization measure whether your team's strengths are being used well every day?
Here's the list of the questions developed by the Gallup team that we're using at Summersault:
- Do I know what is expected of me at work?
- Do I have the materials and equipment I need to do my work right?
- At work, do I have the opportunity to do what I do best every day?
- In the last seven days, have I received recognition or praise for doing good work?
- Does my supervisor, or someone at work, seem to care about me as a person?
- Is there someone at work who encourages my development?
- At work, do my opinions seem to count?
- Does the mission/purpose of my company make me feel my job is important?
- Are my co-workers committed to doing quality work?
- Do I have a best friend at work?
- In the last six months, has someone at work talked to me about my progress?
- This last year, have I had opportunities at work to learn and grow?