Thursday, April 18, 2013

Why Employee Engagement Surveys will not solve Organizational Level Problems

After four decades of managing teams, having direct workplace involvement and conducting observations in personal engagements with scores of companies, I have observed these Common and Chronic sources of Organizational Ineffectiveness (supported by academic research):
Silos: great for farms, but not for corporations  Organizations are often siloed.  Departments focus on their own needs to the exclusion of the success of others.  This behavior has a significant negative impact on organizational output.
Too much stuff  Managers are defocused because of excessive (and sometimes, conflicting) initiatives.
Directional Uncertainty   People are sometimes uncertain about how their work fits into organizational success exacerbating ineffectiveness.
Sound Bites Don’t Work  Leaders use sound bites to communicate, often leading to organizational confusion.
Breathing Dinosaurs  Ineffective projects and programs are left in place, draining precious organizational time and energy. 
What does organizational ineffectiveness look like in practice?

  1. Communication bottlenecks prevent the right information from getting to the right people at the right time often impairing decision making.

  1. Teaming to solve problems is hindered.

  1. Uncertainty increases and employees don’t know how to support the organization’s mission, so work is often misaligned.
  1. Incomplete or unnecessary projects absorb valuable resources.
  1. The organization demonstrates poor levels of managerial accountability.

  1. Ineffective leaders remain in positions of authority, negatively influencing others.
Why is this important?   While Employee Engagement surveys are beneficial in understanding individual and departmental concerns, an Organizational Level analysis is required to solve organizational level problems.

At ProAxios, we recommend analyzing the level of Organizational Efficacy.  Contact us for a diagnosis. 

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