“Communicate, listen, then act”

The HR head at Canada’s largest health club company explains the critical factors behind employee engagement.

“Communicate, listen, then act”
It’s not a surprise to those of us in HR that employee feedback is essential to inform an organization’s programs and policies. Regular employee feedback can foster organizational improvement and contribute to ongoing success. But how you invite employee feedback and what you do with it makes a huge difference.

Employees have an in-depth understanding of job tasks, processes and tools because they use them (and improve them) daily. They know your customers inside and out – the common queries, issues and complaints.

This makes employees your best asset when it comes to business – offering the working knowledge that can help you uncover solutions, improve processes and capitalize on opportunities.

That’s why it’s critical to build in mechanisms to allow consistent two-way communication with employees. Not only can you invite suggestions and feedback on what’s working and what isn’t, you can build an environment where staff feel appreciated and are comfortable approaching management with ideas, critical challenges and insights to boost success.

With more than 13,300 associates at 375+ clubs in the GoodLife Fitness family, it’s more important than ever that GoodLife leaders find ways to hear each-and-every staff member, and act on their suggestions wherever and whenever we can. Here are some of the channels GoodLife Fitness uses to foster open communication in both directions.

Town hall meetings – GoodLife organizes regular town hall gatherings open to employees in all roles. These meetings are a chance for associates to meet with senior leaders and provide feedback in a positive environment.

Online feedback tool – An online system called Speak Out! invites employees to provide anonymous feedback/suggestions.

Engagement surveys – Twice a year GoodLife conducts an online, short engagement survey for everyone in the company.

Feedback on learning opportunities – GoodLife associates regularly attend courses, receive training and take part in online learning. After each session, there are evaluation forms to invite feedback on areas for improvement.

360 management reviews – As part of our performance management program, we organize annual 360 reviews on all leaders and managers so associates can provide direct feedback.

With multiple channels to connect with associates in all regions and roles, GoodLife Fitness is seeing positive results, including business improvements and a positive atmosphere in the clubs. Through regular contact with associates in the field, and employees at our home office, we’re able to check the pulse of the organization and pinpoint where we can make things better.

By encouraging two-way communication, employees feel like they’re making a difference in the business. They need to know their ideas will be considered and their suggestions will be implemented whereever possible. Although it’s not always possible to act on every suggestion, the leadership team always follows up to explain why and manage expectations around what CAN be done.

With clear communication from leaders and an open-door policy that invites input and suggestions from staff at all levels, employee engagement increases, business productivity improves and teams work more effectively together.

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