A student in HR recently asked me about the best ways to assess office motivation besides the usual questionnaires that go around to employees. I told her that such surveys are still worthwhile doing as long as they are kept confidential since employees may hold back their real opinions if they think that there will be any chances of negative effects on them if they do become too negative on the survey.
Indeed, I’ve worked in some companies where they ask for employee feedback but people were afraid to give honest opinions because of a management that firmly established themselves as one that comes across as wanting to hear only positive stuff. Needless to say, the real office motivation was pretty low.
Other Ways To Help Assess Office Motivation
I think the surveys serve their part but in conjunction with these, focus groups can also be done, much like what they do for market research groups. Focus groups rather than individual interviews, will allow for more group discussion rather than single out individuals who might be too scared to talk. People will feel more at ease when in a group.
However, even focus groups might hide true feelings if certain management are around that are known to be the ones who only want positive comments. So I would suggest that focus groups be done in environments where such management are not around and the groups maybe even be conducted by trusted leaders selected by employees themselves. With trusted people heading up focus groups, people will feel safer.
Perhaps external people could come in to run such group discussions to asssess office motivation. But again, they have to come across as people who guarantee confidentiality and ensure that all feedback, positive and negative, are welcome.
Of course, once management has a good handle on overall office motivation and if it is determined that steps be taken to boost employee morale, an outside motivational speaker brought in for a special event will always be of high value for the company staff.