Companies ebb and flow. New products and services come and go, new initiatives take root while others are left behind, and new employees come in as others say goodbye. With a regularly cycling environment, it’s likely that your company culture and employee morale is also going through phases.
Do you know how your employees are handling these evolutions? Are they comfortable, or do they want to run for the hills? And, are these trends in sentiment standard, or are you an outlier?
Personal and industry benchmarks as the strongest way to measure how you’re doing, and how you stack up against others.
Your personal trend
It’s great to get a snapshot in time about how you’re doing. It’s another thing to know if you’re slipping or improving. A commitment to tracking employee happiness over time lets you do just that.
A graph from one of our clients helps illustrate just this point. They’d been regularly tracking employee happiness, and started to see dips in April and May.
This wasn’t a huge surprise to managers since the company was undergoing restructuring, a process they knew would require an adjustment period. Luckily, they continued asking employees about their happiness, and with time this metric improved. As changes became institutionalized, employees were actually happier with the new environment.
Only by tracking sentiment over time were managers able to keep an eye on this, and could stay ahead of any larger issues that might have arisen.
Your trend against others
When an employee jumps ship, it’s likely for a competitor. But if you knew how you stacked up against competitors you’d be inclined to make changes that encouraged employees to stay put. After all, if you have a better place to work, it’s unlikely employees will leave.
One of the strongest metrics an online survey tool can offer is a benchmark of how you’re doing relative to competitors. For instance, receiving an overall employee happiness of score of “8” on a scale of 1-10 isn’t very helpful, unless you have something to compare it to. A competitive benchmark offers just that.
Consider this snapshot that compares a company’s average employee happiness to the benchmark:
At a glance it’s easy to see that this company is trending a bit below the benchmark.
As a manager, it’s ultimately up to you to decide how to interpret this gap. Perhaps there are organizational changes happening in the background creating uncertainty and unhappiness. Or maybe it’s business as usual and you’re seeing this gap widen.
Regardless of the situation, the onus is on you, the manager, to keep on eye on this. And, be ready to take action so that your organization doesn’t become the place that everyone is fleeing.