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Q12 Engagement FAQ

Q12 FAQ's

Q12 stands for the 12 Questions defined by Gallup that determines

Measurement That Means Something:

  • Employees answer 12 simple questions, available in multiple languages, that tie directly to performance outcomes.
  • Scores are on a 1 to 5 scale, which clearly highlights strengths and opportunities.
  • Improvement efforts should focus on the essential elements of engagement, those measured by the Q12survey.

Q12 survey is the most effective measure of employee engagement and its impact on the outcomes that matter most to your company.

What Is Employee Engagement?

William Kahn, a professor of organizational behavior, was the first to define employee engagement formally. In a paper published in 1990, Kahn defined employee engagement as “the harnessing of organization members’ selves to their work roles; in engagement, people employ and express themselves physically, cognitively, and emotionally during role performances.”

What we can learn from this definition is that employee engagement is a commitment an employee has to their employer and their organization’s success.

This emotional commitment means engaged employees actually care about their work and their company. They don’t work for a paycheck or promotion, but on behalf of the organization and in service of its goals. They believe in what they are doing and feel their job will make a difference.

However, employee engagement is not the same as “employee satisfaction.” Employee satisfaction measures only a fraction of the emotional aspects of employment, whereby it determines whether a given individual is happy or sad with their job. Factors such as motivation, interest, level of involvement, and commitment are not taken into account. On the other hand, employee engagement addresses all these aspects of an employee’s relationship with their job.

RopeA simple raise in pay can lead to employee satisfaction, but does that really imply that an employee is engaged? Top performers want to be challenged and to challenge the status quo. They embrace change, seek out ways to improve themselves and their organizations, and want all employees to be held accountable for delivering results. By contrast, low-performing employees often cling to the status quo, resist change, and avoid accountability whenever possible. An employee can be satisfied with their job and still slot into the low-performing category. A satisfied employee, therefore, cannot necessarily be categorized as an engaged employee.

We want employees to be satisfied with their job, but the high purpose is to get them ENGAGED so they, and the company, make a difference!

We do not use the Q12 as a basis for discipline. It is used simply as a means for employees’ voices to be heard as we prepare to meet and coach their managers. This is about improving the workplace, the manager’s abilities to support their team, and allowing the employees a place to be heard.

We are interested in allowing the results, good or bad, to shine a light into the corners of the organization where the upper Management often has no visibility. That said, the Q12 has been infrequently been used as a way to “Raise a Red Flag of Distress” and we are ready and willing to receive these messages also.

Your company has had us conduct the Q12 outside your organization to help insure anonymity.

We work hard to keep the Q12 answers anonymous, especially the comments. We ask that when you make your comments – please do not reference topics that would allow your manager to identify you. We separate the comments and the numerical scores from each other and mix them up, so the manager won’t see a pattern from any one individual.

We do not use the Q12 as a basis for discipline. It is used simply as a means for employees’ voices to be heard as we prepare to meet and coach their managers. This is about improving the workplace, the manager’s abilities to support their team, and allowing the employees a place to be heard.

We are interested in allowing the results, good or bad, to shine a light into the corners of the organization where the upper Management often has no visibility.

That depends on your company, we recommend doing the Q12 at least once a year. This allows the company to see trends, to watch for improvement. If we have a team that is in distress, we may want to do the Q12 every quarter, so we can see if improvements have been accomplished and fine tune any coaching for the manager.

There are three possible categories that have been identified to describe employee engagement level; Engaged, Not Engaged, and Actively Disengaged. The natural process in your career would be to move between Engaged and Not Engaged. This happens as you outgrow your position and usually indicates that it is time to move on to the next phase of your career. Being “Not Engaged” is seen as more of a warning signal, that tells us you maybe at risk if you aren’t challenged more, or if you don’t get the materials you needed, if you are not acknowledged for your work, etc. We will work with you manager to address your situation individually.

Actively Disengaged is when you find yourself not caring about your work or, often, your co-workers. If you find yourself without a good thing to say about your company, you are not just Not Engaged, you are Actively Disengaged and can create a toxic environment for yourself and those around you. This often happens when an employee is allowed, or forced, to stay in the “Not Engaged” place for too long.

Our job is to help both you and your managers to understand that Not Engaged isn’t necessarily bad, but it is no where to live and work. You can do it for a while, but the chances of moving to Actively Disengaged increases as you are forced to stay where you are no longer developing, no longer learning and are perhaps not appreciated for what you contribute.

Actively Disengaged is a stage where you live in your stress behavior. Stress Behavior is not your true self, it is the self that emerges when you have been pushed past your endurance. It is not pretty and you may have become someone you don’t like very much, and chances are, others won’t like you either. A key aspect of Stress Behavior is that it is usually the exact behavior that is guaranteed not to get you what you want.

If you find yourself in this place, whether you company offers to help or not, contact us and we will help you understand what you need to move to your next step. It is not free, but it is a very needed investment.

If you have responses which are very high or very low, this is perfectly all right and honest. However, to help understanding, please some explanation in the comments. This is valuable feedback. If you are the person giving the feedback and you feel this strongly, take a moment and give the most honest feedback – remember this is about improving your workplace and part of that is giving us the information we need to support and grow your manager. A number by itself is good for company wide numbers etc. – but without your input, you might not get the changes you want to see. Remember to not include personal or identifying information in your feedback.

For a manager the results indicate which key basics of a fully engaged workplace may need some work and which are doing well. When the manager gets their team together to discuss, the team can collaborate on solutions for the low scores and celebrate the high scores. It takes everyone to create an environment where the whole team can be engaged. Remember, it is normal to cycle from fully engaged to disengaged as we grow and outgrow our current responsibilities. Identifying when you become lightly disengaged and how to reengage is part of your responsibility.

For the individual employee, the results show that honest feedback has been given. In some cases this might indicate something that the particular employee needs to work to remedy or discuss with their manager. In other cases, it may inform of a more general team problem that they can be aware of and helpful with solutions. These results are available to upper management and may signal a company wide need that can only be seen from a higher perspective. Meaning, don’t hold back, as what you are experiencing maybe mirrored in other teams and departments and may need immediate remedies.

The Q12 is an upward feedback loop in the organization that allows a deep perception into the health of the organization by managers and executives. This kind of feedback is extremely valuable. Just a number can be valuable in terms of highlighting an area. But often the comments provide immediate very valuable information that can more quickly be understood and allow us to take action immediately.

They will go over their results first with us as Exec Coaches to understand them and indicated areas to work on. Then they will pull their group together to share the results and get the group to brainstorm possible solutions for lower score areas. This should result in an action plan which would be done over time.

Only Primrose Consulting as third party executive coaches. Your results are anonymous. The names of the survey participants are removed from all results that are returned to the company. We then present the scores in two separate reports – one with the numeric scores and one with the comments. We mix the comments into a random list so that all the answers in one column maybe for Q1 – they will not be in the original order.

You can break your anonymity by putting in personal identifying information, describing an event that will identify you, or repeating a comment or complaint that you have voiced in the past. If you wish to remain anonymous, be thoughtful about your responses.

It is expected that each employee will take some responsibility for the engagement level in their group or team and for themselves. We expect them to work with their manager and group members to improve areas in need of it.

The company is looking to first establish a base line and a starting point. Then it is looking for improvements to those areas most in need of it over time. Some things require more time than others to improve and managers should be encouraged to take the long view. It is recommended that the Q12 be done at least once per year.