February 18th, 2015 / Insight posted in

How can you find out how engaged your employees are? Grow a beard and get a spray tan!

By Dinah Regan

If like me you saw the recent episode of the Channel 4 documentary ‘Undercover Boss’ in which Moss Bros CEO, Brian Brick went ‘back to the shopfloor’ as a ‘fake’ entry level employee in various roles, you may have been thinking that donning a spray tan and growing lots of facial hair was a rather drastic measure just to find out what your employees really think about your business. However, employers would do well to take on board the principles behind this reality show.  During the course of the show, Brian Brick discovered many reasons why the employees he was working with (who had no idea who he was) were becoming disengaged and demotivated.
Employers should make it their business to know what goes on at the front line; what causes frustrations for their employees, listen to their ideas about what they would change to improve systems and processes and how they could become more engaged with their jobs and the business they are working for.  We all know by now that an engaged workforce equals a higher performing workforce. According to a Gallup survey (October 2013), only 13% of employees were engaged with their employer during 2011/12, do your employees fall into this category? The best way to find out how happy and engaged your employees are is to ask them!  Employee surveys are a good starting point, but once you have the data from the survey, you need to be committed to doing something about the responses that are received and then to communicate a timely ‘you said, we did’ type message to the employees so that they know they have been listened to. I’m not suggesting bosses need to start dishing out holidays to Florida as a reward for employees saying what they think (which is what happened in Undercover Boss), however, simple gestures and changes made in response to a survey can often make all the difference to how an employee feels about their job and employer. If you’re thinking about conducting an employee survey but would like some more advice, please call or email HR Insight on 01708 758958 or enquiries@hrinsight.co.uk.