by Marie Gervais PhD., CEO Shift Management Inc., ERIEC Supporter and Guest Blogger

Does employee engagement have to be tricky? Developing a collaborative workspace with commitment to purpose and goals can be helped along with one, simple, consistent check in. The side benefits? Increased engagement and stronger sense of belonging. Find out how FKA did this with a weekly google docs survey and the huge impact it has had on inclusion and collaboration.

The other day I was talking with Kerry Bezzano, Co-founder of The Business Code Podcast about a presentation she was doing on the subject of employee wellness and inclusion. She mentioned that the company she works for does a fantastic job of employee engagement using a simple tool. Google Forms, part of their G Suite service offering. Surprised? Intrigued I asked more questions and ended up with an interview with her boss, Rob Jennings, to get more details.

The impetus for change was an influx of new employees, all young millennials who expect respect, are used to providing input and are insistent about being heard. It occurred to Rob that this might be a perfect opportunity to start thinking about how to bring longer-term employees together with the new crowd through gathering feedback. He got together with his decision making team and they came up with the idea of using feedback forms. Using Google Forms seemed like the perfect way to do this for free, so they got started with three questions and an anonymous survey form:

  • How was your week? Great? OK? Or Rough?
  • Anything you want to tell us about your week
  • What could leadership do to help make your week better?

This produced a lot of great feedback and showed areas of tension, small things that needed to be fixed and good ideas employees had been sitting on for a while but not sharing. One idea was to add a boot rack and mat by the door to stop the carpet from getting dirty. Another was for a way to structure weekly meetings more effectively. One other comment was “I’m sad we didn’t have a cultural/social event this week.” You get the gist.

After a while the survey tallies started to be either scant on detail or lists of tiny complaints, so a couple more questions about weekly successes were added to round out the process. Now the feedback was very rich and insightful! Employees contributed details, and started focusing on ways to increase successes instead of only looking for things to ask management to fix. Since the last two questions were added, the survey has remained the same. It is not obligatory to fill it out and not everyone chooses to participate each time. The survey is sent out every Friday and the results are collected on Monday, then reviewed by the management team and reported back to the company on Tuesday. A register of all comments is kept and one comment is chosen each week to move to action. The feedback message to employees is generally in this format:

“Thank you for your ideas and feedback.

As a result, this week we learned…and will do.”

The results were really impactful, and showed Rob and his leadership team that you don’t need to have a fancy strategy and plan with tons of technology to have an engaged workforce. You just need one simple, repeatable strategy that has consistent follow up.

Want to know more about how this initiative improved employee inclusion and engagement? Read more here: