To build a healthy work culture, it’s important to know what your employees need in order to do their best work, and then empower them to get it. Some employees need to work in silence, others need noise. Some employees want to be managed closely while others need space and freedom. An employer’s knowledge of these nuanced preferences goes a long way in building psychological safety and a sense of belonging.
How do we figure out what each employee’s needs are? One way to support this process is through something I call an Emotional Fitness Survey. The Emotional Fitness Survey can be incorporated into the onboarding process for any new employee, or rolled out right now. It is an opportunity for employees to answer questions about themselves and how they work best.
The emotional fitness survey serves a couple purposes:
- It’s easier for people to ask for what they need before they need it. By gathering information in advance, you’ll have a sense of how to support your employees in doing their best work and can reference the info they give you when you need it the most.
- It demonstrates care and support. By sending this survey to your employees, you are communicating to them that you care about their well-being and want them to feel supported.
Of course we can’t tailor every moment at work to each person’s preferences, but you would be surprised how many issues can be prevented simply by knowing what your reports need from you.
What kind of questions are on an Emotional Fitness Survey?
Each company and organization should tailor their questions to their culture; give some thought to what you would want to know about your employees. Here are some examples of the kinds of questions you might include on your Emotional Fitness Survey:
👍 Do you like to be praised in public or in private?
🎙️ Do you prefer feedback that is direct and blunt or gentle and kind?
💜 How do you like to be cared for or cheered up during a tough time?
👥 Do you prefer to be supported closely or given space & freedom?
🗣️ What else would you like your manager to know about you?
A few tips to remember when rolling out an Emotional Fitness Survey:
- Transparency is the name of the game here. Make sure people know, before they fill out the survey, exactly who will have access to the answers (only management? everyone at the company?)
- All questions should be optional. People might not feel comfortable answering certain questions, and it is their choice what they share. You should give everyone ongoing edit access, so that they can add, remove, or change answers over time.
- Leadership should fill out the survey as well. Make answers available to anyone working with you.
We’ve helped dozens of companies roll out emotional fitness surveys with measurable, positive results. Would you like to ignite emotional fitness at your organization? Sign up for our newsletter at joincoa.com for more emotional fitness tips and tricks, and to stay updated on our upcoming launch.
Questions? Let’s connect on twitter!
Written by Dr. Emily Anhalt, Co Founder & CCO, Coa