One thing about this global pandemic is crystal clear. People who are feeling anxiety, fear, and uncertainty will look to their leaders for answers.
If you're a leader reading this, know that your people are looking at you right now for guidance and a confident way forward. They want to know they can trust you with good decisions; they want to hear the voice of hope and see compassion in the chaos.
I've been following Gallup research for nearly three decades. Gallup's famous employee-engagement survey questions have helped leaders globally make better people decisions.
Now they've applied their research to the current crisis and, as published in a recent blog, come up with a short pulse survey to help leaders get feedback on how they're doing.
Plain and simple, these Gallup-developed pulse questions (which are really statements, except for one) are used to make sure you, the leader, fully understand how social distancing and other Covid-19-related disruptions are affecting your employees, and how you are currently meeting their needs.
Gallup's Pulse Survey
- My leadership has a clear plan of action.
- I feel well-prepared to do my job.
- My supervisor keeps me informed about what is going on.
- My organization cares about my well-being.
- Over the past 24 hours, have you been practicing social distancing?
A hold-up-the-mirror moment for leaders and direct managers now: On a 5-point Likert scale, what kind of feedback do you think you'd get from employees taking this survey?
According to Gallup, some of the numbers coming in from those pulse surveys are startling. If I turned them into questions, how do you think you would fare as a leader?
1. Do I have a clear plan of action?
According to Gallup, only 39 percent of U.S. employees "strongly agree" right now that their managers have communicated a clear plan of action in response to the crisis.
2. Am I well-prepared to do my job?
Slight over half (54 percent) "strongly agree" they feel well-prepared to do their work right now.
3. Do I keep my people informed about what is going on?
Less than half of employees (48 percent) "strongly agree" that their immediate supervisor keeps them informed about what is going on in the organization as it relates to the impact of Covid-19.
4. Does my organization care about the well-being of our employees?
Truth be told, less than half of employees (45 percent) "strongly agree" that their organization cares about their overall well-being.
5. Over the past 24 hours, have I helped reinforce the practice of social distancing?
Only 27 percent of U.S. employees, as of March 19, said they "always" practiced social distancing. Another 40 percent said they practice social distancing "very often."
On the last point, Gallup stresses that "employers play a major role in setting the expected norms" and reinforcing social distancing to flatten the curve so we can return to "normal" life soon. As leaders, we can do better. A lot better.