Q12 – Training Through Engagement (page 2)

8.Does the mission/purpose of your company make you feel your job is important? Mission statements are often derided as just jargon and even when they are articulated many managers only pay lip service to them. Take the time to put down what you want your business to achieve and what you expect your staff to do to make that a reality; then let them know. If your staff don’t think their contribution is of value then they will rapidly become de-motivated and there is nothing worse for a business, especially one in the service industry, than disengaged staff who don’t care about the success of your pub.

9.Are your associates (fellow employees) committed to doing quality work? They say a chain is only as strong as its weakest link, your team is no different, it is only as effective as its weakest member. If the majority of your staff feel that their colleagues are committed to doing quality work then you have a motivated and, in all probability, productive team. If individuals are perceived as being less committed to their workthan others in the team then you may have a problem. The results of a Q12 survey may prompt you into overdue action on a member or members of staff who aren’t pulling their weight.

10.Do you have a best friend at work? Working in close proximity and under pressure, which happens a lot when working in pubs, often leads to firm friendships. A harmonious and close knit team will always be more effective than a disparate, disconnected one. I, for one, would be worried if my staff didn’t reckon that they have a “besty” on the team.

11.In the last six months, has someone at work talked to you about your progress? Staff appraisals are very important and the question sets out the maximum time that you should allow between these all important employee reviews. People like to know on a formal basis that they are working well or succeeding in their training so take the time to carry out appraisals. They don’t have to be ultra-formal and could take the form of an extended chat over a coffee, with the results of the conversation recorded as a note of understanding between you and your employee(s). Cover their progress since their last appraisal, listen to their concerns about their job/career/personal development, let them know about any areas of concern you have regarding them and finally agree some goals for them to strive towards until their next appraisal and actions you undertake to do to help them achieve their goals.

12.In the last year, have you had opportunities at work to learn and grow? Any member of staff who feels that they haven’t learned something new or experienced some personal or career development over the period of a year may present a problem for you. A member of staff who feels that they are stuck in a dead end job or who has given up on furthering their career is clearly disengaged.

In some instances it may be beneficial for your business to give them a nudge towards their next career level, either within your business or elsewhere. For instance, my first manager (who was also the owner of the pub/restaurant I worked in) realised that I couldn’t progress further within the limitations of a rural pub/restaurant. After returning from an extended holiday to find that despite his absence the business functioned perfectly well under my supervision whilst he was away, he decided, quite rightly, it was time for me to move on. So, with references and letters of introduction to several companies he had previously worked for in London, I embarked on my management career.

But does it work?

By just taking the first question as an example, Gallup claim that organisations who ensure people understand not only what they are meant to be doing but also how what that person does fits into the overall goal of the business should expect to see up to a 30% improvement in profitability.

Even if your pub’s profitability or efficiency savings were only half that amount it must be worth trying isn’t it?

Gallup’s website has lots on information about how to use the Q12 in an organisation but, in a nutshell, it comes down to this:

Be open to the feedback from the survey 

Just as you want staff to bring customer complaints to you without fear of your adverse reactions, so you will you want staff to be honest about their responses to the survey. You have to think of this as an opportunity to improve your business and you must on no account take any criticisms personally.

Remember to use it as a starting point to develop your understanding of your staff 

The Q12 survey, if you use it, isn’t the be all and end all of your effort to create a cohesive and effective team. You have to be prepared to follow up on the survey’s findings or if you’re not doing the survey then act on what you do learn from talking with your staff.

Be open in discussing the results of the survey 

In close knit teams, i.e. those that operate most pubs, one has to be prepared to openly discuss what the survey reveals about your business. If all you are going to do is read the responses and then keep your thoughts to yourself you might as well not bother in the first place.

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