As a manager, it’s one thing to agree when asked to participate in a survey that — for all intents and purposes — places you on the hot seat in front of all your employees and for the world to see, for better or for worse. Yes, we all know that “employee feedback is an important process to bettering your company,” etc., etc. … but that doesn’t make it enjoyable to hear what your employees think you’re doing wrong.
Yet it’s an entirely different story when an executive comes forward on his/her own with confidence and asks if they can participate because they want to purposefully receive feedback from their employees in order to adapt to employee needs. Phew! Now isn’t that refreshing?
It was upon one such bold and inspirational request that Guam Business Magazine decided to expand our now 15-year tenured Best Companies to Work For survey — which previously only included those companies on Guam that opted to participate — and allow for the first time our neighbors in the Northern Mariana Islands the chance to see who loves working where and which companies come out on top in employee satisfaction. We were delighted to have eight companies participate — quite a showing for the survey’s first year, especially in consideration of the region’s recent events and current priorities. Yet what caused even more excitement was the survey completion rate from employees of each company. Six out of the eight companies were able to rally a response from their employees of more than 50%, all together gathering participation from almost 800 people employed in the NMI. Even before results are measured, we hope this response rate is something that these companies will be proud of.
Overall, the results were impressive, and each of these eight companies should be proud of the businesses that they run and the atmospheres they create for their employees. Of course, no one set of benefits or atmospheres will please all — each had its comments about salaries, benefits, resources… things that are not exclusive to the region.
But one thing this region does have that stands out is the personal relationships within companies. At least one employee from each of the companies commented on its company’s sense of family. Many commented that their company had been there for not only them, but also their family in its time of need post Super Typhoon Yutu in October. And this goes to show yet another way that companies in the NMI are putting their employees first in their strategies of both short- and long-term growth.
It’s all about taking that first step — baring it all and asking employees what it is a company is doing right and also what it’s doing wrong. You may be pleasantly surprised, as I think some of the companies in this survey will be, that employees see and appreciate the little things. It may also bring up issues that you didn’t even know were a problem until they were voiced. But that’s the beauty in taking that first step.