The Employee Experience (EX) is not a new topic and something that most, if not all companies already understand. Yet, the “great resignation” arrived in 2021 and still continues. Perhaps EX improvements are only at a surface level and fail to make a positive difference. Kickstarting the initiative is to understand how employees feel about the company and their jobs. Many companies deploy EX Surveys to collect employee insights.
I previously covered how Pulse Surveys can assist in this regard. The goal is to collect meaningful data. If the feedback data is well organized, lurking negatives are easier to uncover with some analytics. To frame this, it’s easiest for me to reference JamAngle as a tool for sentiment collection and analysis. With JamAngle, EX data collected via pulse surveys is mapped to 6 Key Experience Areas:
The employee’s Work-Life outlook
Their Work Orientation and growth
Their view of the Workplace Culture
The impact and role of Digital at Work
Their Physical Workplace
and a Business Process experience
The data is segmented into department/groups as well as individuals, which supports comparisons and trending over time. Not every Key Experience Area needs to be measured, but the feedback collected now has deeper intelligence. This means HR professionals can uncover impactful EX concerns with less effort. As a web accessible (online) system, the results can be evaluated and reviewed by a group of people from anywhere, at any time.
So, assuming that your EX data collected is well organized and easy to analyze, what comes next?
Communicate the results with Leaders and Managers
HR should encourage department heads and other leadership to review the survey results from their own teams and employees. They can meet with each manager to discuss the results and what these mean for their team. This leads to assembling a course of action for change.
Communicate with the workforce
Once leadership and management have identified areas for improvement with possible courses of action, the next step is to discuss results with the workforce. Ideally, a single person can lead the communication. They can highlight sentiment analysis and satisfaction scores to give employees a broad overview. Key Experience Areas, by example, provide a powerful structure for a narrative. Employees are far more likely to understand the bigger picture.
Encourage Department meetings
Managers should be encouraged to advance the conversation and explain what the data means for individuals and teams. Smaller team meetings and individual check-ins give managers the opportunity to focus on how the data impacts their team’s day-to-day routine. This is more beneficial than speaking in generalities about the entire workforce.
Create Action Plans
The results may reveal several areas for improvement. Make sure the Executive leadership team is on the same page and supportive of the overall plan effort. From there, it’s usually best for HR and managers to start small and build for the future with purpose. This means giving attention, time, and resources on getting some quick wins. Those wins can be instrumental in creating a sense of momentum. Every action plan agreed requires a designated lead with milestones and a timeline. Any action plan is a living document that should be updated once action items are put into place and improvements have been made, or at least attempted. There are various ways to structure action plans. One option is to make sure that all of the actions adhere to S.M.A.R.T criteria.
Some flexibility may be needed, but HR should supervise the process and make any necessary refinements. Ultimately, transforming survey results into positive change is an acquired skill that a company improves with repetition over time.
Review and Communicate
Ongoing communications drives accountability. When employees are reminded of promises that were made and goals that were set, the people responsible for delivering on those promises are more likely to follow through. With visibility from Executive leaders to department managers, it can create a groundswell that HR can build from. After completing the initial set of Action Plans, there’s an excellent opportunity to present their impact. This can be achieved by comparing the pre-survey metrics with the post-action plan results. It also highlights why surveys are important and that employee participation can lead to positive change.
Importantly, don’t rush to share results before you are ready, but be timely as well. Keep the process moving forward while it is still fresh in everyone’s minds.
As a company grows, so does the complexity of its operations and workforce. After sharing, action planning, and discussing the results of the first survey, use the data as a guide for subsequent surveys. Continue to follow-up on the action plans. This ensures that the positive change goals are entrenched and continue to hold managers accountable for progress.
In a world where money is no longer the primary motivating factor for employees, focusing on the employee experience is the most promising competitive advantage that organisations can create. Jacob Morgan, author of The Employee Experience Advantage
The impact of digital, market disruption, and other economic forces are causing companies to shrink and expand at a more rapid pace. As a result, there’s a regular need to fully understand the impact that EX is having on people. Once per year is insufficient.
In closing, whenever an action plan goal is achieved, make sure other internals know. It’s time to celebrate this cultural win across the company.