TSI Blog

Leaders At The Coal Face

June 16th, 2016 by Alison McKinney

coal faceWe at The Survey Initiative create tailored employee surveys designed to meet the specific needs and outcomes for our clients.

One aspect of our design, is to include free text questions to allow employees to further communicate on key areas important to them and to add any further questions or comments in their own words.

We are then able to read the responses and categorise them into key themes for ease of analysis.

Quite often, one particular theme comes through, that of not being listened to or recognised. Employees, through using their own words, try and explain that their leaders and managers do not always listen or take their opinions in account. They feel that their ideas and concerns are not heard, especially when important business decisions are made and that those higher up in the organisation lose sight of what is going on at the ‘coal face’.

A great employee engagement activity to help tackle this problem is to plan an exercise where leaders and managers get properly involved on the front line. Get senior members answering telephones, filing documents, working the production line or even digging holes. This not only goes a long way to getting to know each other, let’s face it, there are plenty of people who have never clapped eyes on their CEO, but ideas and suggestions from those that normally work the ‘coal face’ are given more openly and spontaneously. Leaders and managers can then present their experiences back to the people whose roles they took over for a while. Any ideas and practical improvements they believe should be made as a result of this experience can be communicated and rapidly put into place.

This activity, if carefully executed, can be very potent. It gets managers and staff engaged in finding out and delivering improvements in a face to face environment. As it is practically bias, it can demonstrate real support from the top and helps to create a more collaborative and cohesive way to come up with solutions and results. It creates a platform from which employees will then feel that they are being listened to, recognised and valued: the very stuff that that will inspire great employee engagement levels.

If you would like more information on how to increase employee engagement levels and get your employees ‘on-board’ when it comes to decision making and presenting business solutions, then why not give us a call on +44 (0)1255 850051 or contact us via our website, we’d love to hear from you.

 

Written by Alison McKinney
Alison McKinney is the Project and Quality Assurance Manager at The Survey Initiative, a dedicated employee research organisation devoted to helping its clients gain insight and understanding into what drives employee engagement in their business. Alison has extensive experience in project management and quality assurance and has recently worked on projects for clients as diverse as: WSP Middle East. Natural History Museum, Peverel, Marine Stewardship Council, Accor UK &Ireland and Thompsons Solicitors. Visit http://www.surveyinitiative.co.uk for more information.

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