Talent – this can be absolutely anyone – is an individual and wants to be met as such. If we do not understand what this person sees as significant, we cannot create a meaningful workplace for them.

The development process of an organization is too often based on the results of a personnel survey. However, most of the time, whether these are good or not-so-good surveys, they don’t reveal anything about what the employees deem as the most significant factors in work. The fact is that if a company doesn’t learn how to excel in the factors that are most significant to its employees, the talents will seek work elsewhere, where they hope things will be different.

As we thought about this problem we understood that a basic personnel survey will only give you understanding on the issues that the management or HR has deemed as important and worth measuring. This makes the results skewed right from the beginning when seen from the point of view of employee commitment and motivation. There is also the risk of underlining the issues that have received the worst feedback without really thinking about the effectiveness of the development work. In this kind of a situation, the most important development issues for the employees will receive less attention as there has been no prioritization. The road from results to action will often be very long, as the development work is not deemed as significant by the employee. For the same reason, the goal that has been set based on the results tends to be forgotten as the year progresses.

If the results of the personnel survey are stuck, it’s beneficial to consider whether we are measuring the correct issues and whether we are measuring them correctly.

What if the organization’s development work was based on the factors that the employees deem as most significant? Would the survey then result in employee insight instead of understanding the employee experience? The interest of management and HR would lie in understanding the reasons for employee experience instead of its “symptoms”. I claim that development work based on employee insight will affect your business better than surveys based on employee experience. The fact is, it doesn’t matter whether you are mediocre, good, or excellent in the issues that the employees don’t care about. By measuring and improving these things you are merely creating an illusion of success.

In September, we will publish a different kind of personnel survey, Siqni, that we also call employee insight survey. Siqni will go straight to the heart of the employee by figuring out which factors are the most significant to each employee. Exactly – a survey that communicates “we care about the things you care about, and we don’t claim to know them beforehand”. Reports from the survey will direct the result discussion toward things that the employees find as most significant.

Siqni’s results are also directly linkable to the infamous performance evaluations (for example HS 30.5.2016) by changing their focus and making them more meaningful for both the manager and the employee. The new point of view will be included in developing managerial work in the workplace. This happens by focusing on the essential instead of traditional training packages. Through Siqni, managers will receive understanding of what their team most cares about and how well these factors are realized in their day-to-day work.

Instead of materializing the human behind the talent into mere work output, we should build an environment where the talents want to give their best. Right now and in the future this kind of environment will be built through a humane corporate culture that recognizes the individual. It will not be possible to define the talents’ commitment through generalizations in the future. We cannot expect each talent to have the same value as the next one.

Development develops, and so should our basic assumptions about management. Caring about the individual requires a Finnish engineer manager to have the courage to start building a meaningful relationship with the employees. An individual must be seen as a complete person. Only by understanding the talent can we build them a meaningful corporate culture and it is only through a meaningful corporate culture that we can acquire a competitive edge to add new talents to our team.