By Barb Paszyn

An organization is similar to a beating heart. It can slow down when people aren’t engaged or collaborating and it can speed up when too many things are being done at once and stress-levels are high. It’s vital to keep the heart of any company beating, and beating actively. But, there needs to be a balance.

Every year since 2008, SW&A has tried to ensure we have the right balance of both hard work and enjoying ourselves through an internal engagement survey. It’s our annual “pulse” check. It also ensures we as an organization are doing the best that we can – personally and professionally.

Personal and professional development at SW&A is taken very seriously. They are symbiotic. If one is fulfilled then the other will be as well. This annual survey tells us how healthy we are as an organization in mind, body and spirit.  It’s short, sweet and everyone has a chance to fill it out. Once the results are captured online, we analyze the data (think of it as our heart monitor).

So, what makes this different than other companies’ “pulse” checks?

We act upon it.

Partners take the data results and open-end feedback seriously. They address every closed-ended and open-ended answer in an actionable way through collaboration and facilitation. Last year, we learned feedback was an integral part of what needed improvement, so we implemented techniques and continued “check-ins” with managers.

The survey also helps keep our internal activities relevant and motivating so that we stay healthy as an organization. When we wanted more collaborative activities, we built Sharing into our weekly meetings. When we requested less paperwork, we streamlined the Performance Review process – no more mandatory forms!  All these improvements are thanks to input from the survey. 

As this is a collaborative effort, we share the survey results with everyone at SW&A and figure out how we can be better because we can always be better. We want to ensure the heart of the organization, our SWANs – are satisfied and happy.

Going through these results as a team ensures everyone is heard. It’s important they know their opinions matter. In the end, our company’s heart can beat stronger than ever before because we take the effort and time to action upon the issues.  Why? Because we’re better together