Current Issue
This Month's Print Issue

Follow Fast Company

We’ll come to you.

Not All Employees Are Created Equal

Many companies invest a lot of resources in employee engagement surveys. It makes sense because leaders in a company do want to understand how engaged their employees are with their business. What more efficient way is there to gather this kind of information than an all employee survey?

Voila! The employee engagement survey is the answer. The concept is pretty simple - conduct the survey, analyze the data for ways to better engage employees, then make necessary changes. The problem is we survey everybody when we know we really don't care about everyone's opinion. And for good reason. Some employees exhibit signs of entitlement, find excuses and blame others when things don’t go as planned, and their primary focus is on being comfortable not on being productive.

Contrast that with the employee who is highly accountable, emotionally inexpensive, highly committed to results, and seeks continuous improvement. This employee is highly credible. So why not give this employee's opinion greater weight instead of going with the loudest or the largest group gets heard?

To bring true power to the data within your engagement survey, you need to not only survey for engagement and opinion, you also need to assess the personal accountability level of each employee completing the survey. This allows you to turn the volume way up on your most accountable employees who are driving your business results and to turn the volume down (or off) on those choosing to be parking brakes. Then, and only then, can you look at your survey results and know that when you invest in making changes based on this data, that you are providing fuel to the right employees in your organization.

Cy Wakeman’s latest book, Reality-Based Rules of the Workplace, is available on Amazon.
Want to know more about engagement surveys that consider accountability? Download a white paper on the topic.