November 2, 2021
How do you know when something is working? Some indicators of trouble are easy to spot. If your vehicle’s check engine light comes on, you know it needs attention. If your child isn’t feeling well, you check his or her temperature and may make a call to the pediatrician. Measuring how well a workplace functions can be less straightforward, but our people leaders, often referred to as managers and supervisors, and their teams have tools available to assist with building a culture of engagement to make their work life more enjoyable together.
November 10, 2020
Since we began with our first Gallup Q12 engagement survey nearly two years ago, Iowa DOT Engagement Champions have been meeting with teams and working to connect with each other and our workplaces. There have been challenges along the way, but some interesting solutions are starting to emerge that could benefit many others.
October 15, 2019
At both the Leadership Conference held in September, and in Mark’s August - September Director’s Report, we announced the second employee engagement survey would be launched within the next month. We now know that the survey should be delivered to your inbox on Oct 24 or soon after, almost one year from the original survey launch. Because the invitation to participate in the survey comes from Gallup, we will send you a reminder email a day or two before the survey comes out to look for it in your inbox.
July 1, 2019
When many of us took the Gallup 12 survey last fall, we weren’t totally clear, and many were even openly skeptical, about what the survey was all about. How could 12 relatively vague questions help us improve our work culture?
As Director Mark Lowe said in his Jan. 3, 2019, email to all employees, “So now to answer the big question – how did we do? Well, let’s not sugarcoat it my friends – we have room to improve.”
June 11, 2019
Over the last few months, many of us have been working through the Gallup Q12 survey and engagement process with either our supervisors or an engagement champion. The conversations have been wide-ranging, but the champions report that question 10, “I have a best friend at work” is getting a lot of attention.
We all carry with us an image of what “best friend” means. Within our team meetings, there is often a debate whether it’s even possible to have a “best friend” at work.
In all the training leading up to the survey, the Gallup folks spent a lot of time talking with us about the “best friend” question, often using it as an example of how to discuss results. What we learned is that there are two main aspects to the question: the technical and the practical.
April 25, 2019
Doing anything for the first time is a learning experience. It has been no different with our first employee engagement survey that was conducted as part of the #Engage initiative. Our engagement champions have been working with managers and teams for a few months to help them conduct initial “State of the Team” conversations with their teams. Below are a few of the more frequently asked questions that have come up.
April 23, 2019
It’s been a while since we all got an email from Mark Lowe with the results of the DOT’s first employee engagement survey. Along with announcing the results, almost all managers, supervisors, and team leads who have been trained in the next steps. The couple dozen individuals who were selected to be “champions” have started supporting these managers, supervisors and team leads as they work toward conducting team discussions, called “State of the Team” regarding results and how to start working on an action plan for areas where scores may have been lower.
With work in our individual work units ramping up in many areas, some questions have come up about where to find the department results, who the champions are, and what’s expected. To help provide information that can answer these questions, an Engagement SharePoint site has been created.
October 23, 2018
How engaged are you in your work at the Iowa DOT? Are you involved in, enthusiastic about, and committed to your work? It’s a simple question that can have a lot of impact on your wellbeing and our performance and capacity. Whether you can’t wait to get to work every morning or you struggle to find the motivation to step into the building, your chance to make a difference in our work culture is coming soon.
Later this week we’ll all be asked to complete a survey as part of #Engage. As you’ve probably already heard, the survey is just a first step on our journey to get a feel for how engaged we currently are and find ways to make our workdays more enjoyable and productive. You’ll be asked to use a rating scale to score these questions.
Director Mark Lowe said, “Participation in the survey is completely voluntary, but until we get a good grasp on how we are doing, it’s tough to move forward to get better. So, I encourage as many people as possible to participate.”
August 28, 2018
What does the word engage mean to you? If you use the dictionary definition it can mean several things – to hold something (like attention), to bind yourself to do something (like getting married), or even to go into battle (to engage the enemy). But in our workplaces, being engaged means we’re involved in, enthusiastic about, and committed to our work and workplace. It’s a powerful thought – being engaged drives results, productivity, and innovation, and most importantly makes work a better place for each one of us. But an engaged work culture’s not a given – it’s a result we must work toward together to achieve and hold ourselves responsible for.
As you may have read in Mark Lowe’s August director’s report, we’ll soon be starting an initiative we’re calling #Engage. The strategy is to measure how engaged we are, and couple that with analysis and training that gives managers and supervisors the information and resources we all need to work together to sustain a culture of engagement over time. Starting down this path is not a sign that we’re doing anything wrong or that our culture is bad, but only the recognition that in his area, better is always a good thing.