A few weeks ago I wrote a blog post, Broken bones, mended thoughts, to describe how I have been using my time away from the office with a broken leg to properly reflect on me as an employee, on me as a leader, and on my team as a whole.
Our team, your thoughts
In my post, I openly asked for ideas to help me capture the thoughts of my team in an honest way.
I wanted to develop a system to capture my teams feedback, insights and thoughts in a way that I could use to improve me and to improve the team.
And, thanks to the ideas and thoughts of Carl Taylor (learn more about him at https://theknowledgebiz.wordpress.com), I came up with a short, anonymous survey based around the following questions –
- What do you miss least?
- What do you miss most?
- What has made my absence easy?
- What has made my absence challenging?
- What do you want less of when I return?
- What do you want more of when I return?
- What are you looking forward to on my return?
- Other thoughts…
- What one thing can we do as a team to make us better?
Side note: You can view the survey at https://iammichaelwatts.typeform.com/to/bX8kQF.
I also made it possible for members of my team to complete it, or part of it, more than once if they thought of something different later.
And when I reflected on their responses I was grateful and relieved to read their honesty.
I know it can be daunting when you are asked to complete one of these so I was proud that they trusted me enough to do so. Their feedback has been insightful. I have learnt new things, but also had my assumptions confirmed.
Their role, their success
But this only tackled issues from one side – their thoughts about me and the team.
What it was missing was how they felt about themselves.
So I decided that I needed to capture that too.
I also wanted to use it as an opportunity to increase the engagement of the team.
I care about how engaged my team are in their work and I want them to come into work excited about their day. I want them to feel valued, trusted and that they are making a difference. In essence, I want them to feel how I want to feel. So I wanted to capture their thoughts around this.
By combining ideas by Jessica Tillyer, a creative director of SYPartners (www.leadfully.com/blog/steal-this-email-when-you-just-started-managing-someone), and Alissa Finerman, Business Coach (www.virgin.com/entrepreneur/four-ways-engage-your-team), I came up with another short survey.
I wanted this to help me to develop our team plan for the next year or so. I also wanted to capture their individual wishes too. Therefore I created the short survey to capture their thoughts about their own role in the team. But, to enable me to focus on individuals, this time it wouldn’t be anonymous.
I based the survey around the following questions:
- Are you clear on what success looks like in your role?
- What’s standing in your way?
- What are you excited about in your role and what gives you the greatest satisfaction?
- What would you like to do more of this year?
- What one action can I take to help you be more successful?
- Any further thoughts or comments?
Side note: You can view the survey at https://iammichaelwatts.typeform.com/to/HLH2XT.
I sent the survey out to the team a couple of hours ago and will reflect on their responses as I develop my own improvement plan for when I do return to work. This will then feed into a team plan and into each individual plan too.
I’ll share what I can from my own improvement plan when I have got it to a stage that I am happy to share.
Here’s to progress.
One of the key elements of this review has been confidentiality.
Although I have shared my approach via my blog, I have made it clear throughout the process to my team that what they tell me is, and will remain, confidential. I will not share it within the team.
I believe that this has enabled the individuals within my team to give me their honest feedback – I would recommend that if you do something similar, that you take the same approach.