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Errors team survey

Errors team survey

Your starting point: you have just founded your company. Your team is like you: young, motivated, open to new things, innovative and communicative. In other words: everything is just hunky-dory in your business. If there are problems, your employees are happy to come to you. After all, you proclaim an open-door policy, you always make time for your team’s concerns, you listen to them.

So far, so good. In theory – and, if it works, also in practice- you have one of the guarantors of success for your company. After all, unpleasant issues, such as bullying, burnout or anxiety and stress related problems will never spread, neither in your company, nor your team. BUT: you are mistaken because these things will come up in your company, too. Btw: this goes for ALL companies, not only new ones.

Fact: you, as the boss, can be as open, tolerant, jovial and collegial, as you like. But NONE of your employees will always come to you with all their worries, fears, and problems. Especially not, if it is something like bullying, for example. Fact is: speaking out about it also means dropping someone else in it. So, what to do?

The magic word that has been “haunting” the web and companies for months, if not years, is employee survey. This tool can become one of the most important tools for you to ensure the success of your team and, thus, your company. What is important is the absolute anonymity of the survey and the targeted implementation of the results and solution proposals.

Preparation is everything – this is how your employee survey works!

Imagine that in your company, where everything has always been full of sunshine, a few dark clouds have appeared. You can’t put your finger on it, but something seems “off”. Your team isn’t quite on top of things anymore. The mood also seems to be more subdued. The solution: a survey of your team, to get to the bottom of this “off” mood.

After you’ve decided to find this out with the help of a survey, you’ve already found out on the internet what such a survey can look like. You’ve perhaps already decided on which provider you’d like to entrust with it. Now you need to consider and implement the following preparatory steps to make your anonymous employee survey a success:

  • Define the goals to be achieved with the survey
  • Inform your staff about how to proceed with the results
  • Designate a day, when the survey will be conducted in your team
  • Inform your team in good time that they’re to take part in a survey

This is important for them to not feel as if they’re taking part in a “token survey”. It’s also advisable to announce the survey via an official communication channel, for example via email. Make sure that this email contains all the relevant information that your employees need to know about the employee survey. Also make sure that your team participates in this survey, as part of their daily work:

  • What goals are you and your team pursuing with the survey?
  • Make it clear to your team that you’re interested in the problems addressed
  • Communicate that the survey is to lead to team improvements in the long run
  • Make it clear that you’re also interested in goal-oriented solving of the addressed problems

What should I bear in mind when conducting a team survey?

I’ve already mentioned it. The top priority of a survey must be a watertight anonymity (100%!). Many employees still have the (justified?) fear that their answers given in such a survey will inevitably be recognised by the boss as their own. And this increases their concern that they’re already with one foot out of the company door – just because they’ve voiced their honest opinion.

Therefore, make sure that your employee survey meets the following criteria:

  • Have the courage to deal any unpleasant issues addressed!
  • 100% anonymous and data protection compliant, even the IP address!
  • Give the team the opportunity to disclose uncomfortable issues in your company
  • Asking the right questions that allow your employees to address problems properly

Why do I emphasise these things again? Because this is where the most common mistakes in conducting an employee survey lurk. My advice – and it’ll save you and your team time: firstly, have the survey conducted by an external service provider/consultant and secondly, have it conducted online and during working hours. This approach has already proven successful and has advantages:

  • The questions can be answered quickly on the work computer or smartphone
  • Staff understand the seriousness of the survey, as it’s part of their daily work
  • Online is much easier and safer, than a survey answered on paper
  • An external consultant can show you the results & solutions

What mistakes should I avoid when surveying my team?

Besides the danger of not making a survey 100% anonymous, there are some further potential stumbling blocks, especially, when creating the questions. Stumbling block #1: the questions have no depth, they only scratch the surface. If this is the case, you, as the boss, won’t get to the bottom of the real problems in your team. Other stumbling blocks can be:

  • They’re formulated in too complicated a way, thus, making answering them difficult
  • The questions were created without psychological input, thus, without added value
  • Biased questions are designed to push your team in a certain direction
  • They don’t address the critical topics, such as leadership skills

Ideally, the survey questions shouldn’t even be created by a member of your company. Even if he or she knows the company better, than any outsider, there are too many risks lurking. He/she actually knows the company too well, and, therefore, his/her colleagues! The danger: the questions may avoid explosive topics, unpleasant things aren’t addressed.

It makes much more sense to have the survey conducted by a neutral and external company. This way, you can be sure that the questions aren’t biased. You can also be sure that the subsequent and vitally  important evaluation isn’t carried out by an inhouse project manager. This means that an impartial view from the outside remains possible.

The advantages of an anonymous employee survey summarised once again:

  1. You will find out within a few days where there’s possible bush fires in your company
  2. Your team has the opportunity to speak openly and honestly about important issues
  3. You can find out what your employees think of you and your company
  4. You know which employees may have already thrown in the towel
  5. You can optimise your business through evaluating the results

Would you also like to be one of those bosses, who not only lead their team, but who are also led by their team? Would you like to evolve as a boss and take on a role that not only advances you, but also your company? If so, call me today for your personal initial consultation at +49 (0)40 80 9031 9016 leave a message here or secure your appointment for your personal initial consultation right here: https://calendly.com/umfragemaus/meetingonetoone?month=2021-03

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Über den Autor

Kerk Behrens

Mit über 30 Jahren Erfahrung & Expertise in der Gründung und Beratung von KMUs, ist Kerk Behrens Ihr Unternehmensberater. In seinen Blogs stellt er Ihnen Themen & Tipps rund um das Unternehmertum vor.

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