Episode 67.5 – Green Apple Slice


Seven Ways To Listen To Your Team (Without Taking A Survey)


The Green Apple Podcast is doing weekly “Green Apple Slices”, where John Garrett and Rachel Fisch discuss a recent business article related to the Green Apple Message. These shorter segments are released each Monday, so don’t miss an episode by subscribing on iTunes or Stitcher.

This week, John and Rachel discuss a Forbes article, “Seven Ways To Listen To Your Team (Without Taking A Survey)” by Liz Ryan.


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    John: All right, we’re back this week. It was a psych last week. We’re actually going to do it again. Another try here for Rachel Fisch on the Green Apple Slices, another Monday. How are you doing today?

    Rachel: I’m doing good. I think we’re just going to keep doing this every week until I can get one right.

    John: That sounds like an excellent plan because I think we’ll do this for years then and it’ll be perfect. Here come the hate tweets, here they come at Recovering CPA. We got this great article here that was on forbes.com. Liz Ryan wrote this article “Seven Ways To Listen To Your Team Without Taking A Survey” and I think it’s really great.

    Rachel: What? Wait a minute. Stop.

    Did you just say that you can get feedback from your team without making them fill in the survey? Is that possible?

    John: That’s what this lady says. She’s trying to say this in this article.

    Rachel: I don’t believe it.

    John: I read it and it was like, “All right, if you think so.” I mean, it sounds dangerous but you actually like talk to your people. It’s kind of weird but she calls it out saying basically, “Do you do a confidential survey with your family?” No. Well, maybe if it’s really dysfunctional, you would have to. But training your team the same way, I mean if you can go talk to your kids, then clearly sending them a survey is not going to help the situation.

    Rachel: I’m kind of picturing how dysfunctional that family would have to be, “Can you just fill out this survey?” I love Liz Ryan’s articles actually, she’s a fabulous writer anyway and I find that they’re a lot less fluff and a lot more meat and I kind of like those more meaty things, which is awesome.

    One thing that I really like about this is that it talks about basically if you say, “Don’t worry, staff, this survey is confidential” she’s like, “You’ve already failed” She’s like, “We don’t want these surveys to be confidential, we want to be communicating with our staff. We want our staff to feel safe communicating with us.” And going back to another conversation that we had, we were talking about the flexible workplace, the flexible hours and how they actually created this plan, Friedman’s, I think LLP.

    John: Yeah.

    Rachel: Created this plan with the contribution of their staff. Well, isn’t that the best way to do this is when you are actually involving the staff that are doing that. Now, I don’t know if Friedman actually used surveys in that, so that might be interesting because maybe I’m just proving my own point, but these things don’t get accomplished unless there’s actually a level of communication.

    John: Yeah. Maybe a survey could have been involved but at some point, they had to actually have human interaction and conversations. In her article, the person that wrote in the question that she answers says that everyone says that we have 81% employee engagement based on our survey and yet no one is talking. So when you do a survey, even if it’s confidential or not or whatever, first of all, no one’s going to believe that it’s confidential; second of all, yeah, I mean everyone is going to answer not truthfully and there you go. That being said, I am doing research for my book at greenapplepodcast.com and it is anonymous.

    Rachel: An anonymous survey, John. Is it?

    John: Yes, but it’s helpful and it’s actually pretty interesting reading through and it’s not going anywhere to your employer.

    Rachel: Yeah, it is good actually. It only takes a couple of minutes, I’ve done it already. But it’s going to give you some great information for your book which is fantastic but you’re not trying to run a team with these people, right? That’s kind of the biggest difference too.

    John: Exactly. And I think it’s mutual. Most people don’t want to talk to me either, so it’s all good.

    Rachel: I only talk to you for five minutes every Monday, dude.

    John: I know, and sometimes it goes seven and you send me a bill, and I’m like, “This is crazy.”

    Rachel: My time is valuable, gosh, darn it.

    John: I know, I get it, I get it. So that’s it. Everybody, check it out. You can go to greenapplepodcast.com if you want to see a link to the article, but that’s it. Thank you so much, Rachel, for being with me today.

    Rachel: Of course, my pleasure.

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