In a recent anonymous employee survey, our boss took issue with the negative comments that were added to the surveys. He met with all of the managers, reviewed the results, and said that the number one thing we need to do is for all the managers to meet with our employees and shape their attitudes. We'll all do that because he asked us to, but is that what we need to do?

aspiringceo's picture

In the old days attitudes didnt matter, employees were there to do a job. In these more enlightend days attitude matters a lot. That is if you define attitudes as a sense of job satisfaction, a commitment from staff to your company aims and objectives and a feeling from staff that they are involved in the company. If you really want to shape employees attitudes I would suggest that the MT TRINITY - (one on ones, feedback and coaching) would be a pretty good way to start.


drinkcoffee's picture

The problem with attitude is that it is difficult to measure, since it is a conclusion that people draw based on behavior. Different people draw different conclusions. Focus on behavior and you something you can report on. I agree with aspiringceo that one-on-ones, coaching and feedback are necessary, and I would try to gear the feedback toward changing the behaviors that you think are leading your boss to believe that attitude is an issue.

bflynn's picture

Ditto. Attitudes are irrelevant and unmeasurable. Behaviors count.

As a manager, your job is to be effective in producing sustainable results for your business unit.


MattJBeckwith's picture
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Stick to effective coaching, feedback and one-one-ones and you'll see that "attitude" never seems to come up.

US41's picture

Hearing that employee survey answers stink says to me one of the following in order of probability:

* Management stinks and the employees are calling them on their poor leadership skills

* Management really doesn't want to know the truth and therefore should stop issuing a survey

* Employees answer negatively just to make management angry and hurt their feelings.

Which of the three do you think is most likely? I have to guess the first one is probably what is going on. The 2nd is also likely. The third is unlikely, but management's directive for you to fix attitude assumes the third is the case.

If they do not believe that the answers they get back are correct, but instead only reflect on how dysfunctional their employees are, then I have to say that is evidence it is the first one after all.


A classic Dilbert comic strip!

Mark's picture
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My apologies for my delay.

It's hard to say for sure, but sounds like your boss thinks the problem is theirs. And of course it's not. "Shaping attitudes" is just an accident waiting to happen.

Don't expect your next survey to be well responded to or valuable.

Again, I regret my absence.