At WorkBuzz, we see employee listening is a pivotal part of business strategy with a far-reaching impact on both culture, customers and, ultimately, business performance. But it’s important that the outcome of your employee listening is then used to influence the employee experience.
Giving your employees a voice and listening is now more important than ever. Today’s employees expect to engage with their employer like they do with their mobile provider or when leaving a Tripadvisor review. They demand simplicity when sharing feedback and a feeling that their voice is important.
The past 18 months have helped further re-invent employee expectations around their work environment. It’s no longer enough now to simply gather static-point-in-time transactional feedback — it’s about interactions, the conversations, the moments that matter throughout the employee journey that creates that great employee experience we all now seek as employees and employers alike.
The opportunity comes when taking that employee voice and aligning it to business impact, to improve retention in periods of high growth. To look at the linkages between engagement and customer satisfaction. To turn your employee listening programme into a strategic tool to help you be more effective as an organisation, improve your culture, and become an even better place to work.
Technology can play a significant part in activating and enabling this modern employee experience. For organisations early on in the journey towards regular employee listening, providing a mechanism for all employees to be heard can be a fairly straight forward initiative. Listening to those traditionally hard to reach employees, who are perhaps field based or offline from corporate email is now a standard offering across many employee listening platforms.
Once you have a regular listening strategy in place, turning that data into actionable insight is where technology can really bring the programme to life. By democratising the data across the organisation though dashboards, you enable and empower those best placed to impact change – managers.
Having the annual engagement survey land on the CEO’s desk where it is reviewed with the HRD should be a thing of the past with all companies now (I hope!). Employee feedback should be real time, relevant, and actionable. Activating managers inside the organisation to play a key part in the employee experience is often a new muscle companies need to develop. But one many organisations have seen demonstrable benefit in deploying.
Finally, employee listening technology can support broader HR initiatives by acting as a measurable layer across critical programmes such as diversity and inclusion, employee wellbeing or activities to reduce employee turnover and drive-up retention. Through on-demand polls or focused pulse feedback, companies can quickly check the ‘temperature’ around important issues or business challenges. Measuring the holistic end-to-end employee experience has now become a possibility through listening to employees at key moments of their journey with you.
But, like other solutions inside HR’s toolbox and the wider business too. The answer is rarely just technology. Technology is the enabler to bring these projects and programmes to life but a robust understanding of the problems and challenges being faced, along with a clear programme of action. Underpin that programme with an agile, flexible, listening platform and you are set up for success.
Written by Richard Millington – former Chief Revenue Officer at WorkBuzz with 20 plus years in software (SaaS), HR, and technology.