The Boiling Frog Syndrome w.r.t Employee Feedback

The Boiling Frog Syndrome w.r.t Employee Feedback

 

Boiling Frog Syndrome

 

A frog, if is put in a pot of boiling water, will immediately jump out. But if you place him in room temperature water, and don’t scare him, he’ll continue to stay put. If the pot sits on a heat source, and if you gradually increase the temperature, the frog will do nothing. As the heat gradually increases, he will continue to swim in the pot. Eventually, he will boil to his death.

So, surprisingly, the frog refused to jump out and escape. This is because his internal apparatus for sensing threats to survival is geared to sudden changes in his environment, not to slow, gradual ones.

Is this story true? Well, no it isn’t. It is a myth.

The boiling frog syndrome is one of those myths that helps us draw important lessons in psychology. That’s because the human equivalent of the boiling frog is there in all of us. Like that mythical frog, we are not wired to recognize slow, gradual changes. We wake up only when the impact is big bang in nature.

Elephant in the room

So, it’s like a team that working on a software development project where you suddenly encounter a massive bug, that now reverse weeks of hard work. And then, one team member exclaims “I knew it. I knew it before. I had this very bad feeling about exactly that thing…” And it’s not uncommon that he/she will be joined by others also nodding in agreement, because they also had a bad feeling about it, too. Most of the team felt the elephant in the room long before the mess occurred. But no one raised the red flags because of the boiling frog syndrome at work

The irony of Employee Engagement Surveys

 

Quite similar to this is the analogy with the employee engagement surveys that organizations conduct.

In each organization, you will find this ritual to have an annual survey to capture the employee vibes, their levels of engagement. Employee Engagement Surveys are presented by vendors as your best bet to gauge the pulse of your employees.

Ironically, while somewhere between 65-80% of working people would quit their jobs if they could; nearly every Employee Engagement Survey taken in any given year reports that the majority of employees are “engaged,” whatever that means? It’s because your employees are not telling you the truth.

So, ideally, there should be a constant chatter. Information should zings around the building and across continents. People should talk about the real things going on. Feedback is instantaneous, not willing to wait till the survey link is shared.

Case Study: NikoNiko calendar

Here’s a classic example: the Japanese NikoNiko calendar, pioneered at Toyota. The Japanese word “Niko” means “smile”; this little daily tool, also known as smiley calendar or happiness index, gives managers a daily look at how happy people are.

Ironically, while somewhere between 65-80% of working people would quit their jobs if they could; nearly every Employee Engagement Survey taken in any given year reports that the majority of employees are “engaged,” whatever that means? It’s because your employees are not telling you the truth.

So, ideally, there should be a constant chatter. Information should zings around the building and across continents. People should talk about the real things going on. Feedback is instantaneous, not willing to wait till the survey link is shared.

Case Study: NikoNiko calendar

Here’s a classic example: the Japanese NikoNiko calendar, pioneered at Toyota. The Japanese word “Niko” means “smile”; this little daily tool, also known as smiley calendar or happiness index, gives managers a daily look at how happy people are.

Thanks & Regards

Sonia Singal: cajobportal.com

9088026253