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What Your Employees Want You to Know (But You Might be Too Afraid to Ask)

This is a challenge for every company owner and manager.
You have tremendous plans for growth and expect a lot of
your employees. But do you know if the company is meeting
your best employees' expectations? Are you providing the
type of environment that supports high productivity and high
quality? Do you really want to know?

If you do, consider creating a Company Performance Review to
find out what your company culture really is. Find out how
employees feel about their environment and morale at your
company. The Company Performance Review asks employees if
they see certain behaviors occurring at your company -
behaviors that could kill a company over time if left
unchecked. It will help you determine if there are ethical
issues you need to be concerned about in your company.

This review must be completed anonymously, or employees
won't be comfortable answering honestly. The object is to
make all employees suddenly more aware that actions that are
sometimes common in companies can do real and lasting
damage. It takes effort to increase the recognition of
ethical issues to make it easier to begin setting

For instance, here are some questions you might consider
asking employees - but only if you are ready to deal with
the answers in the whole culture (don't kill the

Do employees...?
Give a full days work for a full days pay
Accept gifts or favors from suppliers
Falsify time sheets or other reports
Gossip about other employees
Do other work on company time or with company equipment

Do managers or supervisors...?
Discriminate by gender or race
Allow unsafe or unhealthy work conditions
Discourage criticism
Forget or fail to give promised performance reviews or
salary increases
Have unfair work performance expectations

Does top management...?
Ignore long-term problems
Live up to our mission statement
Provide rewards such as promotions on a basis other than
Mismanage company funds
Really care about employees

When you get the answers tabulated consider these thoughts:

Are there ethical issues you uncovered with this survey that
surprised and concerned you?
Are you setting the right example for employees?
Are you satisfied that the standards of behavior you have
set are high enough?
Are there items that should be added to this list that are
unique to your company or industry?
Do you have a policy and procedures manual or employee
handbook that sets standards on these issues?
Should some of these behaviors be cause for termination of

Honest feedback can be hard to hear. I suggest you work
with an industrial psychologist or other professional to
help you hear the positive message in the survey results and
formulate a plan of action. The real reward will come later
when you administer the survey a second time and the results
have changed for the better.

Jan B. King is the former President & CEO of Merritt
Publishing, a top 50 woman-owned and run business in Los
Angeles and the author of Business Plans to Game Plans: A
Practical System for Turning Strategies into Action (John
Wiley & Sons, 2004). She has helped hundreds of businesses
with her book and her ebooks, The Do-It-Yourself Business
Plan Workbook, and The Do-It-Yourself Game Plan Workbook.
See for more information.

This article was submitted by - Jan B. King Please Rate/Review this Article - Recommend it to friends

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