Org Survey Part 1: Questions

Danbo_vs_Domo_vs_Minato_Mirai_(8839397350).jpg
Credit: Wikimedia

I remember when I managed a 6 person team, and I always felt like I had a handle on what was going on (perhaps I’m being overly nostalgic here). Now I manage a ~26 person organisation, and on a good day I feel like I have a general idea of what’s happening, and certain specific things that I’m focusing on in more depth.

For all the effort I make to be accessible and to build a relationship with individuals on the team, the reality is that a bi-monthly 1:1 and the odd slack conversation can only go so far. This is managing at a level of indirection.

A couple of months ago, with some input from existing practises, HR, and my colleague John, I put together an organizational health check. This took the form of two two-part surveys (using Google forms), that I’ve since refined and helped my peers use for their orgs.

Survey 1: The Org Survey

This survey goes out to all ICs on the team. The first set of questions focus on their overall impression of the org and org leadership.

  1. My org lead communicates division strategy and direction to me in a way that’s clear and enables me to act on it.
  2. My org lead regularly shares relevant info from the company, org, and other relevant parties.
  3. My org lead has articulated to me a clear vision for the future of the org.
  4. I agree with the vision that my lead has articulated for the future of the org.
  5. The org is aligned with the the mission of the company.
  6. The mission of the company is the right one for the future.
  7. The org is high performing.
  8. The wider organisation recognises the performance of the org.
  9. My org lead provides a space for me to use my voice, and really listens when I do.
  10. My org lead has helped me develop as an individual or leader on the team.
  11. My org lead has actively supported me with technical or people issues.
  12. Any other comments about the org?

The second set of questions focuses on their direct manager.

  1. Which team are you on?
  2. My direct manager gives me actionable feedback that helps me improve my performance.
  3. My direct manager does not “micromanage” (i.e. get involved in details that should be handled at other levels).
  4. My direct manager shows consideration for me as a person.
  5. My direct manager provides a space for me to use my voice, and really listens when I do.
  6. My direct manager keeps the team focused on our priority results.
  7. My direct manager has had a meaningful discussion with me about my contributions to this project in the past six months.
  8. My direct manager communicates clear goals for our team.
  9. My direct manager has the relevant expertise to effectively lead me.
  10. I would recommend my direct manager to others.
  11. Any comments?

Survey 2: The Manager Survey

This survey goes out to all managers. The first set of questions are the same as for the first survey. The second set are slightly different but substantially similar to the first survey – except that because it’s just people who report directly to me, I can use my name rather than “direct manager”.

  1. Cate gives me actionable feedback that helps me improve my performance.
  2. Cate supports me in developing my own leadership skills.
  3. Cate shares interesting and helpful resources with me to make me a better manager.
  4. Cate has the relevant expertise to effectively lead me.
  5. Cate does not “micromanage” (i.e. get involved in details that should be handled at other levels).
  6. Cate keeps the team focused on our priority results.
  7. Cate communicates clear goals for our team.
  8. Cate shows consideration for me as a person.
  9. Cate has had a meaningful discussion with me about my contributions to this division in the past six months.
  10. Cate has had a meaningful discussion with me about my career development in the past six months.
  11. I would recommend this org to others.

These fall under the general categories of  Development (1-4)  / Priorities (5-7) / Appreciation (8-10) / Recommend (11).

My hope is that these topics come up in our 1:1s, but there’s something to be said for stepping back and looking at the overall picture as a series of graphs. It’s hard to get feedback as a manager, and it’s hard to trust the feedback you do get – so this can be a helpful checkpoint.

Now What?

Well… wait.

Next week, I’ll share how I analyse the data and make it actionable.

For now, if you want to use these, I’ve made a shared folder available. Feel free to make a copy and customise them!

One thought on “Org Survey Part 1: Questions

Leave a Reply