Occasionally, I get asked about why we started Humaxa. There are two sides of this coin: (1) I was unequivocally frustrated by the process of running surveys and collecting data, and (2) After 20+ years working in science and technology, I wanted a way to communicate what the workplace was like with fear – and help the workplaces I loved working get fixed, so I didn’t have to leave.
I will break this apart into various separate posts to make it easier to digest. This week I will discuss the first part of the first issue:The survey process and the sentiment that “nothing happens.”
The war on surveys: I don’t know about you, but I’ve been participating in and later, running employee surveys for most of my career. I have yet to encounter an employee who’s looking forward to taking a survey. Have you?
So, I started talking to be people about surveys. “What do you like?” “What do you dislike?” The funny thing is: I really didn’t have much to put in the “What do you like” column. 😊 In the “What do you dislike” column, there was plenty. I’ve boiled it down to three categories:
1. I spent time pouring my heart out and nothing happens.
2. I have to stop what I’m doing and go take a survey that is not a part of my job.
3. The timing’s all wrong. The survey and resulting actions take way too long and the time to take action has past by the time we get around to it.
Let’s look at these individually.
How frustrating is it when you spent your time, energy, and passion doing something and it seems to vanish into a black hole? Have you ever had that happen? I sure have. Putting every ounce of energy I had into making things better and having it disappear into the ether felt lonely and depressing– like why even ask?
I can clearly remember answer a survey question a few years ago about how I wanted to be able to arrange job shadowing for my team. I felt it was a critical component of preparing them for the next role and for retaining the best people on my team. Where did that feedback go? A black hole,I guess.
In a different case, I wrote about how only senior-level leadership could participate in the company’s mentoring program. Someone responded to me right away and indicated I could participate in the mentoring program! Nah, I’m just kidding. Nothing happened – another black hole.
I carefully thought through how to fix this – why not have the survey respond to my thoughts and feedback – immediately? Don’t we have the technology to do that today?
This could simultaneously save workers from “paperwork agony” while empowering employees to improve their own work situation without relying on HR or their manager’s time.
WHAT IF WE REDUCED THE TIME FROM FEEDBACK TO ACTION DOWN TO ZERO?
We at Humaxa decided to ask that question. What if during the survey process, the survey chatted with you, completely anonymously, and based on how you felt, offer to help – not tomorrow, not next week or next month – NOW?
Have you experienced this? What do you think would happen?