A business is only as powerful as its team. If you want to build a successful business, invest your time, energy and resources in building a strong team. Take it from Zig Ziglar, “You don’t build a business - you build people - and then people build your business.” Your team can provide insight into business ideas and operations that you may never view from a management level.
If there is one thing business owners shy away from it's collaborating with their people to gain ideas, feedback and solutions. Without receiving and understanding team feedback, your business is missing out on opportunities to grow and improve. Showing your team that you value their feedback will get them emotionally invested and committed to your vision. One tool that is essential to this pursuit is a team survey. This is an invaluable opportunity for teams to respond to management style, business operations, the effectiveness of recent changes and areas for improvement.
For a team survey to offer the highest value to you and your business, you must guarantee anonymity. Allowing teams to express themselves anonymously greatly increases their willingness to answer honestly. When it comes to responding to feedback, demonstrate that you listened and use the feedback to start a dialogue. There’s nothing more discouraging than being asked to complete a survey, only to have your responses ignored. As you work to implement changes and strengthen what’s working, demonstrate that you hold yourself to the same standards you place on your team.
With a team survey, you can discuss topics ranging from team benefits, management processes, business goals, career development, communication, culture and work environment. You can even use the survey to acquire input on potential products or services. By doing so you can test your ideas and gauge how the market will respond.
A successful survey will gather as much information about the different areas of your business in the shortest amount of time. Increased team participation and buy-in will come from surveys that are quick and easy to complete. A effective survey combines multiple choice, ranking and short answer questions to gain a variety of data that’s easy to analyze. Incorporate this survey into your annual planning, exit interview process and even your quarterly evaluations.
After conducting each survey, it’s your responsibility to objectively and mindfully review the responses. Begin with recognizing the positive feedback. It’s important to acknowledge the people and processes working at a high level. A strong survey will not only accurately identify challenges, but provide potential solutions. Remember, criticism is not a personal attack but rather suggestions made by the individuals who are closest to the issues. Consider the feedback and create programs to address what’s necessary and appropriate. Knowing that all suggestions won’t be feasible or agreeable, focus on improvements that make the most sense for you, your business and your team. Clearly define the expectations moving forward allowing for further collaboration.
Team surveys have the power to demonstrate your business strengths by uncovering and addressing your business weaknesses. Conducting this survey shows you’re strong enough to accept constructive feedback and confident enough to create an effective plan. There is nothing more powerful than emphasizing the role your team plays in building a great business.
About the Author
Colin DunnDirector & Co-founder at PANALITIX
Colin is a Chartered Accountant who, having spent almost 10 years with one of the fastest growing and most innovative firms in the UK, has since invested over 20 years helping business owners to improve their businesses with a focus on attracting new clients, better managing existing clients, developing new products, building an engaged team and strengthening internal business processes.
Colin's primary focus at PANALITIX is on product development and business improvement content. He is the author of the bestselling book “Accountants: The Natural Trusted Advisors".