Team Member Engagement Continually Rising

Analyzing the results of the Team Member Surveys

By Kristian Partington

In the past three years more than 6,200 team members within Schlegel Villages have responded to the team member engagement survey offering close to 300,000 responses to individual questions and more than 20,000 verbatim quotes about their connection to village life.

The surveys, which in 2015 were completed by nearly 77 per cent of all team members, offer an extremely valuable pool of data that illustrates overall engagement from the perspective of the entire organization right down to individual neighbourhoods in each village. 

Not surprisingly, the results show a strong correlation between team member engagement and resident satisfaction – the more highly engaged the team is the more likely residents are to say they are living a life of high quality. 

For Miranda Discanno, Schlegel Villages director of human resources, the data is definitely important in terms of defining strength and challenges from neighbourhood to neighbourhood. The really critical piece, however, now that the results are finalized, is the conversations that happen when the results are presented to each village.

“It’s the leadership teams sitting down and saying ‘Okay, what are we doing with this information, where do we go next and what can you, as team members do to move forward with it?’ ” Miranda says.

Overall, Miranda is proud to say that organization-wide the numbers show an upward, positive trend in all categories, indicating that many of the team members the residents count on every day are feeling more and more connected to their villages.

“Engagement reflects your relationships, plain and simple,” says Humber Heights general manager Pauline Dell’Oso. “From a leader’s point of view, if the team got to vote on whether they could come back to work the next day, what would they say? Do we treat our team members as well as we treat our best friend or our family? It’s all about relationships and trust and connectedness.”

That important trust is built through the philosophy of servant leadership, which is central to the culture of the organization. Miranda says the entrenchment of that philosophy within the culture of the organization is a contributing factor to the increasingly positive team member engagement results she’s seen in the past three years. The strong investment the organization has made in the Neighbourhood Team Development (NTD) program in the past two years may also have had a “significant impact to these numbers year after year,” she adds.  

Pauline agrees entirely, pointing out that NTD has empowered team members and made them accountable to each other in a way that wasn’t possible a few years ago. “They have more ownership (of their role in the villages) and they revel in the results of what they see,” Pauline says.  “When there is a huge success, it’s not my success, it’s their success.”

And while those successes are celebrated and honoured, it’s also important to note that NTD has given team members more confidence in addressing challenges and difficulties. Every day that sense of shared purpose is easier to see; it’s in the faces of team members and residents when they interact, it’s in the buzz of a village during an organized event when team members go the extra mile and, now, it’s in the numbers.