Throughout my years as an organisational development specialist, I've noticed leaders are sometimes less-than-enthusiastic about 'HR' initiatives such as engagement surveys.
I think that's understandable. Often, they're difficult to use, and don't seem to tie back to business objectives. They can be seen as an annual box-ticking exercise, rather than something that will deliver actionable solutions. There's been a real need out there for a next-generation organisational performance system that's designed specifically for leaders.
I’ve had the opportunity this year to work with a number of businesses to help them graduate from a traditional annual engagement survey to an always-on organisational performance approach, using AskYourTeam. I was blown away by how easy it is to use, and by the results we’re seeing. But the biggest ‘wow’ factor for me? Leaders love it!
Talking to leaders about AskYourTeam
When I introduce leaders to AskYourTeam I make six important points - though usually I only have to work my way through a couple of them before they're chomping at the bit to get started. If you’re looking to champion AskYourTeam in your organisation, feel free to borrow them:
1. Engagement surveys were a good start, but this is a next-generation system for next-generation leaders. Why wouldn’t you adopt a better practice if it was available?
2. AskYourTeam gives you a very simple road map for success. Improve your scores in the organisational success factors that it measures, and you’re well on your way to leading a high-performing team.
3. This is a system for leaders, not HR. In fact, you know what? Your people are your asset and your responsibility. Here’s something you can drive yourself to get the most out of them.
4. You don’t need to trudge through piles of data to decipher what to work on. You need only look at two screens on a simple dashboard - one that shows your blind spots (areas where leaders rate performance higher than their teams do) and one that shows which organisational success factors are in the red or orange.
5. Work on blind spots and low-scoring success factors first, and then quickly re-test. If you’ve made good gains, move on to the next one. If not, course-correct until you get it right. Do this year-round and it'll become second nature. You don’t need to overthink it: it’s action-taking, not action-planning, that counts.
6. Refer to your dashboard all year, especially when you want to make a change. Rolling out a new process? Check in on the relevant questions, see what your people have to say about it, and factor their insights into your implementation. Then re-test: is the change working as you hoped? If not, use the feedback to tweak and then retest. This is a truly agile approach.
AskYourTeam helps leaders fly their plane more skillfully
When I talk about engagement surveys versus AskYourTeam, I like to make an aeronautical analogy. Engagement scores are one way for you to see broadly how your business is doing: your plane is aloft, or it’s about to crash (engagement scores tend to be high when a business is doing well, and low when it's not). AskYourTeam is like a pilot's dashboard, in that it provides a much more nuanced understanding of how your business is doing, with multiple gauges of performance. What’s more, it helps you decide what adjustments to make. Why would you attempt to change your altitude, direction or speed without a dashboard?
A final note for leaders and HR professionals alike. If you’re wondering what the personal WIIFM is, I can’t think of a better way to prove your level of performance when you go for your next promotion or prepare for a review than using AskYourTeam data to show that you made a measurable improvement to your team or organisation’s performance.
There you have it. Not only does AskYourTeam deliver great results, it's a system that your leaders will love and actually want to use. How often can you say that?