Org & Culture - Org & Culture

Too many times organizations go to great lengths to conduct an employee survey, but respondents never see the results or worse yet they create ill-will by jumping to conclusions too soon. Then, the next time a survey request comes out, the participants are reluctant to participate or don't give honest answers because of their experience the last time.

As part of the Work Effects Trust & CapacityTM survey process, it is not only important to share the results it is also important to include them as part of the change efforts.  Many organizations jump straight to action planning before completing the feedback process.  Real and sustainable change efforts occur at the team level and thus it is important to include both manager’s and individuals in the process of identifying root causes and which solutions they can implement themselves.  The feedback process by itself creates greater trust by demonstrating to the teams that the organization deems them capable of acting upon information.  Another cross-functional action planning committee which creates a new program or improves a process represents but a fraction of the efforts that can be used to build great cultures.

Before a feedback session begins, it is important to have established confidentiality guidelines. It is also important to make sure that constructive conflict management behaviors are established for a workgroup because these meetings tend to be more emotionally charged than focus groups.

At the completion of each Trust & Capacity survey, there is a five-step feedback process that Work Effects follows:

  1. Introduction – This is about setting ground rules and the beginnings of establishing trust within the workgroup. There should be a strict process to sharing data, what information from the survey is made available, and who has access to it. At this point be prepared to deal with any conflicts that may arise because these workgroups will be addressing sensitive issues.

  2. Results Presentation – Done either in the workgroup feedback session and/or at focus groups.  Explanation of the scoring system, the survey factors considered, and the specific issues that were covered by each factor. Show patterns in the data and create simple graphics rather than a lot of text.  Suggest focus areas to discuss, but don’t be surprised if the workgroup has additional issues they’d like to consider.

  3. Clarification – Once there is agreement on what focus areas should be discussed, the workgroup should confirm that the particular issue exists, the scope of the issue, and determine the root cause of the issues.  Based on the length of time between the survey and the feedback session, things may have changed, altering issue’s importance. Getting to the root cause of the issue is very important.  The goal is to identify the reasons behind the score, not to solve the problem.

  4. Priorities – After the issues have been clarified and analyzed, the workgroup should set priorities for action. While setting these priorities, the workgroup should ask itself these questions: Can the group address the issue?  Are they the appropriate group to address the issue? How impactful will this issue affect the organization’s engagement, trust, productivity or customer service? How easy will it be to solve this issue? Starting with “quick-start” issues that are relatively simple to solve will increase trust in the process, engage the workgroup participants, and keep them motivated to continue.

  5. Closing – The completion of the feedback process should be done properly without an abrupt ending because the allotted time has run out or the data hasn’t been fully explained. Make sure that participants are in agreement with the root causes of any issues that have been discussed. Tell participants what is going to be done with the feedback and what next steps can be expected.  As the facilitator, take good notes because they will be used for action planning sessions later.

Read our article on "Discover the Missing Link in Action Planning - Feedback".

About Work Effects
Work Effects, located in downtown Minneapolis, is a consulting firm with over twenty years of experience.  We help our clients deliver strategic results by developing more trusted leaders and organizations through training, coaching, and assessment programs.  With innovative solutions in the areas of leadership development, culture management, and performance management we have become an industry leader in building trust from the inside out.  We construct programs that are as unique as the client’s organization.  Our modular solutions use scientific tools such as our Revolution 360TM which assesses a leader's transformational capabilities, our Trust & CapacityTM survey, which identifies the root culture drivers of an organization,  our Performance Sum TM, which measures and tracks individual and organizational performance, and our Conflict Lens TM, which identifies constructive outcomes to conflict in the work-place.  We work with clients ranging from mid-cap to Fortune 100 companies.  Our highly experienced team of employees and consultants is very passionate about our work and the impact we have on others.

For more information on Trust & Capacity, please click HERE.

Contact Work Effects at 612-333-4272 or This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it for more information.

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