“What do we know to be important but are unable to measure”Admiral Clowdisley Shovell miscalculated his position in theAtlantic and smashed into rocks near the coast of England.
The rest of thefleet was following blindly behind, and ended up a similar fate. About twothousand lives were lost that day.Disaster was due to unable to accurately measure longitudeeven though the concept had been around for centuries. The admiral lacked theability to measure something that he already knew to be extremely important. Wecan relate this to today’s world of management and keeping talent. How do wefind, and retain talent in today’s world of knowledge workers? How do youmeasure human capital? The Gallop Organization, through extensive surveyingfound the following 12 questions, if asked and answered with an astounding yes,can show there is a strong workplace, and one that people want to work and stayat.1.
Do I know what is expected of me at work?2. Do I have the materials and equipment I need todo my work right?3. At work, do I have the opportunity to do what I dobest every day?4. In the last seven days, have I receivedrecognition or praise for doing good work?5. Does my supervisor, or someone at work, seem tocare about me as a person?6. Is there someone at work who encourages mydevelopment?7. At work, do my opinions seem to count?8.
Does the mission/purpose of my company make mefeel my job is important?9. Are my co-workers committed to doing qualitywork?10. Do I have a best friend at work?11. In the last six months, has someone at worktalked to me about my progress?12. This last year, have I had the opportunities atwork to learn and grow?It is the manager’s job to make sure all employees answer allof the above 12 questions with a strong yes. If everyone answers yes, it isvery likely that the company has a strong workplace and is capable ofattracting and keeping top performers at all levels of the company.
One interesting aspect is the lack of questions based onpay, management, organizational structure, or other benefits employees receive.This is done because all employees care about pay and benefits and whether acompany has a strong workplace or not, pay will not make or break it. The booktalks about how a workplace with only low-performing employees with amazingbenefits could fare well on a survey about how great a workplace is or bestplace to work. However it is important to have benefits that reflect the marketto allow