Valuing Winner Input

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Mar 28, 2022

Valuing Winner Input

Michael Nutter

Written by Michael Nutter

Category: Culture

As a Happyologist, I have the great privilege of many responsibilities dedicated to ensuring our employees feel well-supported by our uniquely special culture at Impact Advisors (IA). Of these, two of my absolute favorites are what we affectionately refer to as our “Happy Checks” and our “VIP – Value Interview Process Calls.”

Both of these processes are focused on connecting with each associate to gather their valuable input on what we as a firm are doing right and should keep the same, as well as (and most importantly) where we have room to enhance processes and/or grow based on their experiences as a “Winner” – a term we use to refer to our talented professionals within Impact Advisors.

Interestingly, it recently occurred to me that I’ve been conducting Happy Check and VIP Calls at IA for just over 10 years now – and seeing as how they are one of my favorite things to do – that’s a LOT of happiness! In the first quarter of 2022, I’ve already completed 22 Happy Checks and 37 VIP Calls for a grand total of 59 Winner interviews since January 1st.

Our Happy Check interviews are targeted toward new associates who have recently joined us – after they have been here long enough to have an opinion on how they’re feeling about Impact as a workplace. Shortly after a Winner’s 90-day anniversary, I personally reach out to schedule a few minutes for the purpose of reviewing five specific questions for their direct feedback:

  1. On a scale of 1-10 with 10 being the happiest, how happy are you that you joined Impact Advisors?
  2. How happy are you with the project(s) you’ve been working on thus far?
  3. How happy are you with your coach and are you getting the support and guidance you need?
  4. Have you had an opportunity to create your professional development plan for the coming year?
  5. Reflecting back from your first day with Impact Advisors through today, what has been one of your happiest or most rewarding moments?

During the call, each employee’s input is transcribed and then combined with other Happy Check results for a collective quarterly summary that is shared with our senior leadership, ensuring the team is aware of how our newest Winners are feeling about being a part of our Impact family.

The VIP – Value Interview Process Call is what I refer to as a “Happy Check on steroids,” covering a total of eleven questions with every employee, once a year. VIP Calls are typically scheduled 3-6 months in advance of the Winner’s employment anniversary date, which is when their formal annual performance review is conducted.

In addition to the Happy Check interview questions, the VIP Call includes others that specifically address how our associates are feeling about work-life balance, their professional growth opportunities at Impact, anything we could do to better support them in their daily work, as well as asking if there is anything we could do to make Impact a better firm in general.

The results of each VIP Call are then combined into a genericized report that includes dashboard indicators for the following five areas:

  • Impact Advisors Happiness
  • Client Project Happiness
  • Coach Happiness
  • Professional Development Plan Happiness
  • Work-Life Balance Happiness

After reviewing the dashboard and any particular trends within each measured category, our senior leaders also hear about what our Winners are most happy about for the current quarter, as well as any trends in enhancement ideas for consideration.

These valuable employee feedback interviews have proven to be a most powerful way to keep a pulse on how our employees are feeling in any given quarter, including what would make them potentially HAPPIER as an employee of Impact Advisors.

If your organization has not yet discovered the power of “stay interviews,” I encourage you to give it a whirl. You will be glad you did – and so will your employees!