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Employee Surveys Now Uncovering Horrible Bosses at the FBI...

Some of you that are seasoned HR Pros know the cautionary tale when it comes to employee surveys.  Rely on them too much or send the wrong signals to your workforce related to how they can be used, and they can become witch hunts toward capable managers with difficult workgroups.  
 
Ordinarily, you'd think that old school industries that value authority and chain of command would shy away from using employee survey results to decide which leaders need to be "reassigned", right?
 
Sure you would.  So, you'd like be surprised to find that the FBI is using rollup results by city to figure out where they have leadership issues.  Look at the data provided through the picture below (email subscribers enable pictures or click through for graphic), secured through a freedom of information act request by the Washington Post:
 
Screen Shot 2015-03-30 at 3.37.23 PM
 
Green means good.  Yellow means get it together.  Red means you've been reassigned to the mall detail.
 
But seriously, more from The Post:
 

"As FBI Director James B. Comey focuses the country’s premier law enforcement agency on terrorism and cyberthreats, he is leaning heavily on a little-known corporate tool to deal with a critical part of getting the job done: climate surveys.

Comey is using the surveys to help determine who should be running the most important jobs at the bureau. And in the process, he says, he wants to create a leadership factory.

In an e-mail last year, Comey let all of the bureau’s nearly 35,000 employees know just how seriously he takes the results. “For those leaders whose surveys are covered in red, we need to quickly find a path to improvement, or we need to get them out of the role,” he wrote.

Comey calls the surveys “smoke detectors.”  “Red is dead,” as current and former FBI officials like to say."

 
The message is clear.  If your survey results are in the toilet, you have to get it fixed.  How much time so you get?  What about factors that show you have a generally cranky workforce of g-men?  The answer at the FBI is the same as it is in your company.  It depends...
 
Trending upward on employee sentiment scores is important. Even for FBI lifers...

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