We’ve seen a lot of engagement survey tools – here’s one that gets to the critical matter of the employee-manager relationship. A Canadian engagement survey company known as MindSuite has developed Aspire2Success to help managers develop more productive relationships with employees on a one-to-one basis. It was developed in conjunction with Momentum Group, whose President, Jacob Schneid, explained the reasoning behind the platform.
The core of our methodologies is always to look for a gap of perceptions. We realized that one of the most frequent gaps is between employees and managers. If we can understand where they are aligned and/or different in their thinking, we can provide a huge value.
Aspire2Success, Schneid says, is designed to help organizations address, at the most granular level, one of the fundamental reasons for disengagement: poor manager-employee relations. The company created an identical survey that both the employee and manager take that addresses the factors they’ve identified as key drivers of engagement, things like management practices, feedback and growth, job content and involvement.
The idea of the technology is to address the gap between manager and employee perceptions on an individual basis. “Let’s focus where engagement can grow or become weakened,” Schneid says. “Our tool creates the basis for meaningful communications between the manager and the employee.”
He further explains: “Our take on engagement is that essentially and for the most part it happens with interactions with employees and managers, and I think most managers don’t have the skills, framework, or tools to really generate engagement on the shop floor. Almost every organization is disappointed with their investments in surveys or ad hoc programs to address engagement for which millions dollars are spent without a lot of return on investment. A lot of the reason for that is companies aren’t focusing enough attention and resources on building productive relationships between individual employees and managers.
Schneid says that every employee has a unique recipe for his or her own needs, preferences and aspirations. “At the heart of engagement is the ability to explain that to the manager, and for the manager to understand this and understand how to address the needs of employees. The ability for an employee to articulate needs and goals and for a manager to respond appropriately, that’s how you can increase engagement.”
After the individual manager and employee have completed the survey, a report is generated identifying where the employee’s and manager’s views converge and diverge, highlighting the gaps so that the manager can focus on addressing the issue. The software includes a follow-up process that guides the manager on steps he or she can take.
Schneid recommends that companies test this tool with a small group or in the human resources department to understand how it works before rolling it out company-wide. He also says that Aspire2Success doesn’t replace performance reviews and is best used throughout the year between managers and employees as part of the communication and engagement process, or when needed to address a specific issue. Costs are based on the number of users and are nominal.
The company is cooperating with the University of Guelph in Ontario, which is using the platform as part of a study of the role of employee-manager relationships in employee engagement. For information on the Guelph research project, click here.