These days, we're hard-pressed to find an employer in disagreement with what is now common wisdom: employee engagement is essential to organizational success. Whether it's customer service, profitability, or employee retention, the canon of data supporting the positive effect of employee engagement has become impossible to ignore.
That said, what engages or disengages an employee is her level of satisfaction with the things that are most important to her. While the drivers of engagement are different for every unique organization, it's important to understand each area of employee satisfaction. So, what does satisfaction with leadership and planning look like?
Our Employee Engagement and Satisfaction Survey is comprised of 78 questions, rated on a 5-point Likert scale, that measure attitudes in eight core focus areas. Additionally, there are two open-ended questions at the end of the survey in which respondents can share what they love about working for their employer as well as what they’d like to see improve.
We surveyed nearly one million employees in the last 12 months and we asked them each a standard set of seven questions to measure satisfaction with leadership and planning at their roughly 6,000 respective organizations. Over the past 15 years or so, we've learned that when employees agree with the statements below, they're satisfied with leadership and planning.
1. I understand the long-term strategy of this organization
The long-term strategy of an organization is the road map we use to move the collective to the next peak. That strategy includes vision, alignment of goals across department, and a sense of the tactical choices that will need to be made along the way.
Sharing long-term strategy with employees empowers them to act on behalf of that vision. If your employees don’t know where you’re headed, how will they get you there?
2. I have confidence in leadership of this organization
Great leaders remove obstacles and inspire. When team members have confidence in their leadership, they’re able to follow that lead, contributing to the growth of an organization.
3. The leaders of this organization care about their employees' well being
When employees feel that leadership cares about them, it builds trust and rapport. Furthermore, mutual respect and admiration is a big part of the recipe for the success of any team.
4. Senior leaders live the core values of the organization
It's not enough to proudly display a bronze plaque in the lobby, declaring corporate values. When senior leaders live out those values in their own choices, business decisions and otherwise, team members know what really matters to the organization.
5. There is adequate planning of departmental objectives
Thorough planning is what separates great ideas from results. Adequate planning of departmental objectives creates the kind of environment where employees can participate in achievement of those goals and do their best work.
6. There is adequate follow-through of departmental objectives
Have you ever worked for an employer with a "black hole?" It's when amazing ideas are tossed around, diligence is done, and then nothing happens. Just as it feels amazing to achieve goals, it's deflating when said goals get sucked into the black hole. Commit to goals only when they are achievable.
7. The leaders of this organization are open to input from employees
In addition to having a plan and following through, when leaders are open to input from employees it does more than make team members feel good. It nurtures an environment of collaboration and professional development.