Employees Lie and Why
Broadcasting Questions Does Not Work
Time is limited never mind the appetite and wherewithal to get down to the nuts and bolts so it’s no surprise your employee Norma is nonplussed when she is prompted to read, watch and respond passively to the latest online survey. Fair enough this solution scales and a box is ticked.
Norma is ok with getting away with the same answers as she thought passed off as ‘acceptable’ last time around. She thinks run-of-the-mill, low risk and unlikely to cause a stir. In the past her more ambitious self would have been up for spotting the questions that gave her the chance to who she was ready to progress. Not now- she can’t be bothered and the opportunity slips by.
She’s been given a free hit with little chance of it anything changing.
Nothing has been invested here to encourage the employee to really think and what their true story is. Norma didn’t mean to lie but as the passive recipient they are not holding the pen and so that’s what has happened. She will provide you with she thinks will show her in a good light to her boss and peers.
The TRUTH is HARD to achieve without a change of tack.
Helping Employees Tell Their Own Story Does Work
Turning the tables provide Norma with the tools to be able to start making sense of all of the things that are going on. Provide a safe environment in which they can express themselves and be drawn in. Given the right tools in the form a language and a the chance to make connections between key elements they will find it’s easier to get the message across when they throw themselves into it. With fewer direct questions to passively respond to Norma and her colleagues will grasp the pen to tell their own true stories. Differences of opinion are resolved quickly and collaboratively. It’s good use of time- the team are doing the work with light-touch prompting.
Does it Matter What Employees Really Think?!
We think EACH and EVERY individual should understand how they FIT into the Organisation so they can help turn Challenges into OPPORTUNITIES. Work is WORTHWHILE, they have CONTROL over how they do it and can tell THEIR own STORY. As a result they GROW and PERFORM at the TOP of THEIR GAME! To achieve this we think we and you need to know what they REALLY think.
Rather than love, than money, than fame, give me TRUTH —Thoreau
This is backed up by CIPD’s research into the ‘Employee Voice‘. Making a distinction between whistle-blowing type of voice vs. a more positive working environment:
Research has shown that effective worker voice can lead to positive outcomes for both individuals and organisations. Participating in decisions is important for individual well-being and motivation, since it provides a means for improving the experience of work. Having a voice also gives individuals a level of agency in their work; helping them to better use and develop their expertise, in turn increasing job satisfaction. Employers can benefit from higher productivity and innovation, and reduced workplace conflict and absenteeism.
Psychological safety, or individuals’ feelings about taking risks and sharing thoughts with others in the workplace, provides a bedrock for voice. Employees are unlikely to speak up if they believe the costs of doing so outweigh the benefits – for example, if they feel that their position in the organisation would be threatened. Power dynamics influence people’s willingness to speak up, particularly on information which challenges the status quo or could be judged negatively by a more senior colleague. It’s therefore important that all people managers in the organisation understand the value of employee voice, and are trained to facilitate open conversations and demonstrate emphatic listening.
If further evidence was required in 2009 BIS published Engaging for Success (more commonly known as the MacLeod Report), a study by David MacLeod and Nita Clarke of over organisations across the UK demonstrating high employee engagement and high performance. They concluded that the common factors in all these organisations were the Four Enablers of engagement- one being Employee Voice.
The principle is appears clear what it is less so is how to achieve it in the limited resources you have and so a TENSION is created. Should we just expect our ‘Normas’ to get on with their jobs and be happy with their lots? What we do see is the truth being aired over the desks and around the coffee machine so we think like this- it’s coming out anyway so why not in a positive and supportive environment.
Remember when I say it it’s not TRUE- when you say (your STORY) it’s TRUE.
Are you a People-first Values-based organisation? .. what do you think?
1st Law of Engagement
We’ve distilled all of our experience and insights into our 1st Law of Engagement.
Why the Bother?
When Norma has a chance to share what she really thinks then:
– She’s likely to be productive in her time with the company- link to ‘Engaged? Show me the MONEY’
– The business will enjoy a ready supply of new Opportunities each and every time you get to the TRUTH- the challenge is working out what to do with them all! Her boss Bill gets the most of her team and is able to TRANSLATE that up to the board; and
– She’s likely to stay with the company for longer and that means avoiding the costs of rehiring- worse case 6-9 months of an the employee’s salary to locate and train a REPLACEMENT and 2 years to become fully productive. Not to mention the toll on existing employee productivity and morale.
What We Can Help You With ..
Big Picture naturally generates extremely high Engagement levels as you provide your People with the tools they require to share useful truths about the business. With light-touch Delivery it means you can involve a large group sizes, upto 20, with no drop off in engagement levels. This results in the highest Engagement levels we have ever seen for People and Business Development.
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The stuff WE care about is described in our FIVE Big Picture Frames on our YouTube channel @YourBigPic. You can have a go yourself by printing and writing on the one-pager here for a business YOU care about. I would love to take you through a taster of Big Picture in a Discovery Webinar you can sign-up for here.
And thanks for reading!