Blog Barista: Kim Spagnuolo | November 21, 2019 | Workplace | Brew time: 4 min

When prepping for last week’s press release, I spoke with some of the leadership team to discuss KL&A making the Top Workplace list for the second year in a row. With last year’s recognition being a monumental moment for KL&A, I was excited to hear what they had to say about making the list yet again. They stated they are extremely grateful to receive the recognition but value the survey results from the Top Workplace program more than the actual awards themselves.

For those of you who are unfamiliar with the program, the Top Workplace list is based solely on employee feedback obtained from an anonymous survey administered by a third-party company. The survey measures a variety of workplace factors that provide insight into a company’s organizational health. There’s no cost for companies to participate, resulting in an organically derived list without cost discouraging participation or influencing results. Companies that partake in the program are provided with a high-level summary of their survey results with the option to purchase detailed results to perform more in depth analyses.

So since KL&A sees the value of employee feedback, the leadership team jumped at the opportunity to invest in the comprehensive results. They stated that it has been an efficient and effective way to identify areas that needed to be addressed. That, they are always trying to make changes as they see patterns and needs emerging so that KL&A can continue to improve as both an employer and a company. 

It was disclosed that last year’s survey specifically revealed a couple of key focus areas that the leadership team knew they had to address. And after taking a closer look at the survey results, they were able to connect the dots and conclude that it mainly stemmed from a shortage of transparency and communication within the organization. So although KL&A believed they were already sharing enough information, communication was actually an area they realized could be easily improved.

Ultimately, KL&A employees expressed that they wanted more information than what the company was providing at the time. It was made clear that they want to know what is happening within the company and where the company is headed. They want to have a better understanding of the decisions, practices and policies that are put into place. And they want to be made aware of staffing changes and how that might impact their project or team. So as a result, KL&A took action and implemented several changes throughout the year in an effort to bridge this gap in transparent communication. 

These changes included implementing a more transparent approach to staffing to help alleviate the uncertainty that some of the project teams were experiencing. KL&A also began to strongly encourage different groups within the company to come together to share their insights and lessons learned, in hopes to promote inter-departmental communication and reduce redundancies. 

Furthermore, KL&A started to include more of the staff in the creation and evaluation of different company practices and policies, leading to a higher sense of achievement and more effective operations. The company has also implemented strategies to help improve the rate of information that flows upward to the leadership team. 

Finally, several changes were made to our monthly all-staff lunches where leadership reports out on current and future company activities. We now utilize Easy-Bake Oven (KL&A’s rec room) during the report out which, as simple as it may sound, has actually coaxed the staff to be more present and engaged. It provides a better forum that encourages employee feedback. The change in location has also allowed the leadership team to now visually share any information as well. The simple addition of powerpoint slides has resulted in a better delivery of information that is more structured and consistent while keeping it relatively informal.

Overall, the changes that KL&A has implemented since the 2018 survey appear to have been quite effective based on the results of the 2019 survey. Several of the individual focus areas identified from the first survey, saw significant improvements this time around. More specifically, statements like “I feel well-informed about important decisions at KL&A” and “Seniors managers understand what is really happening at KL&A” scored exceptionally better. 

In the end, KL&A stated that they will remain heavily focused on communication as an area for continuous improvement. Leadership understands that while this year’s survey results showed positive changes from last year, participating in the Top Workplace program will provide them with more meaningful, year-over-year data. With that measurable data, KL&A will continually reevaluate and refine how information is shared among employees to ensure consistency and transparency. All of which, will be extremely important as the company continues to experience growth.

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