Exposing Our Company Survey Results: The Good, the Bad and the Stormy

“Study the past if you would define the future.”  –  Confucius

Google is doing it. Facebook is doing it. This year, the Croatian household name Rimac Automobili did it as well. Not only do large companies across various industries conduct in-house annual surveys, but now they share them publicly for everyone to see. Why? As Mate Rimac, CEO of Rimac Automobili, said: “The main reason behind it is radical transparency.”

In line with one of our key values, the Culture of Trust, we practice transparency, openness, and nurture a data-driven culture to improve our work experience,  interactions, and processes. Conducting various types of internal surveys is one way to assess how successful we are in this effort.

According to Forbes and SurveyMonkey, tech companies conduct surveys for several reasons: to identify the best employee perks, determine employee satisfaction, and prevent mismanagement of teams.

During his research, Harvard researcher and Founding Director of the Center for Neuroeconomics Studies Paul J. Zak discovered that “there is a direct correlation between the amount of oxytocin a person’s brain produces and the level of trust they feel in any given situation”.

He further goes on to conclude that people working in high-trust cultures:

– enjoy their jobs 60% more
– are 70% more aligned with their company’s values
– experience 40% less burnout from their work

Essentially, a company survey provides hard numbers, which is evidence of how the business is doing; it gauges the opinion of the many rather than a few. It serves as a platform for every employee to express their opinion and actively take part in suggesting improvements, where necessary.

Actionable feedback is critical to the continuous development and the culture of Mistral. In addition to Mistral Vibe Survey that we conduct on annual basis, we also conduct Team Health surveys.

While our Team Health Survey focuses more closely on team ”health”, the Mistral Vibe company survey aims to look at Mistral holistically. More about our “team health” surveys in a separate article, but now, let’s see what our annual surveys uncovered.

Mistral Vibe: The Overview

We haven’t yet conducted a survey in 2021, so the analysis was done on the 2019 and 2020 surveys. Our employees’ responses enable the company to navigate in the right direction or attest that the current way we do things is the right way.  

After the feedback that our 2019 survey had too many questions, we got better and managed to shorten the 2020 survey to 24 questions. It took around 10 minutes to complete. 

The participation in the latest survey was 87.8% (0.8% more than the previous year).

The data is collected anonymously. Following that, our HP and Marketing teams create a report based on the feedback and distribute it to everyone in the company. The actionable items from the results are delegated to relevant teams who commit to alleviate the highlighted issues. Following that, we organize a Coffee with the Founders session to discuss it on a company level.

Our survey had three categories:

● Culture & Engagement (Refers to the feeling of well-being at Mistral)

● Growth (Refers to professional development, engagement, and feedback individuals receive)

● Management (The general sentiment of the support and feedback we receive from our Management team)

The Vibe of Our Tribe: What Did We Find Out?

We found out the following:

  • Our Employee Net Promoter Score is at 99% (as opposed to 100% the previous year). It is reassuring and very positive to know that Mistralovci would recommend Mistral to a friend, especially as we are driving the recruitment forward. Many of our new arrivals are in Mistral precisely thanks to our crew. 
  • A great majority of Mistralovci (89%) are happy to mentor a teammate, which is fantastic especially as we are all supposed to have a successor or a mentee as part of our professional career development
  • The results on being able to speak up freely and openly have improved since the previous survey. This is fantastic, and something we work hard on since it is in our core values that everyone should be able to voice their opinion without fear of being judged or condemned. 
  • The great majority agreed that the Management team leads by example and provides support when necessary. 

How Do We Address Dissatisfaction?

It is always nice to hear or read commendations. Just look at these:

Naturally, there have been a few things that the crew was less happy with. Negative feedback is a great opportunity for growth. 

Here are some of the examples from our surveys: 

  • In 2020, some employees were a little sour about the diversity of perks and benefits. the perks and benefits than in 2019. As a response to that, our HP team made it their mission to revise and tailor perks and benefits packages. They are rolling out any day now! 
  •  Although many people stated that they learned a lot from our internal learning sessions, the conclusion is that the way internal learning works needs to be upgraded. Our CTO Dino took it upon himself to see this through, and we now enjoy a fully refreshed learning concept people enjoy.
  • Work-life balance, Mistral’s prime jewel and pride, didn’t go without a scratch in the covid-reigned 2020. Many of the crew voted that working fully remote doesn’t settle well with their personal schedule.

In our open-ended questions, one of the concerns was about our Personal Development Plan (PDP) which we have recently introduced as a tool for a tailored, personalized development plan for each individual in our team:

In our report that followed up the survey, this is how we addressed it:

One of the things that is working like a charm, that we practice in cases of receiving feedback is:

  • Recognizing the issue
  • Addressing it 
  • Taking action
  • Keeping our crew in the loop by keeping our communication channels open and transparent

To Survey or Not to Survey, that is the question!

We say go for it!

We are extremely grateful for the high participation numbers in our annual survey, as we strongly encourage our team to call out when they see something wrong, to initiate a dialogue, and to suggest solutions always and immediately (regardless of the survey!).

Openness creates growth.  Creating an environment where Culture of Trust is one of the main three pillars enables a healthy setup for effective communication, quality teamwork, higher commitment, and productivity. 

According to decades of scientific research, trust is not optional for companies that want to retain the best people. For us, it certainly never was.