Corporate disconnect

Two years ago, EADS launched an engagement survey based on the proven approach offered by Gallup. In its website, Gallup offers a downloadable brochure [PDF, 0.7MB] about the survey, its questions, results and best practices.

Some of the standard questions asked to employees can be found in that brochure:

  • At work, I have the opportunity to do what I do best every day.
  • In the last seven days, I have received recognition or praise for doing good work.
  • At work, my opinions seem to count.
  • In the last six months, someone at work has talked to me about my progress…

The results of the first two surveys were widely covered by the press (2009 and 2010) due to the low engagement results showed by the survey. Moral was apparently rock-bottoming. Surely, many initiatives would be launched to overcome the situation. In the end, the same brochure by Gallup offered the clue to what the best companies were doing best:

  • Strategy
  • Accountability and Performance
  • Communication
  • Development

In the last issue of the The Economist I found an entertaining article showing the disconnect between opinions at the top and the bottom of the companies. It reminded me of the big differences in the responses shown by the Gallup survey between groups of low ranking employees and top management.

I loved the following paragraph in the article that summarizes well the corporate disconnect:

Tragicomically, the study found that bosses often believe their own guff, even if their underlings do not. Bosses are eight times more likely than the average to believe that their organisation is self-governing. (The cheery folk in human resources are also much more optimistic than other employees.) Some 27% of bosses believe their employees are inspired by their firm. Alas, only 4% of employees agree. Likewise, 41% of bosses say their firm rewards performance based on values rather than merely on financial results. Only 14% of employees swallow this.

Let’s see if the formula of Gallup it’s indeed proven return on investment.

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