By Jasmine Agyemang
The series of events that have characterized 2020 are causing substantial change within the workplace, which is why it’s more important than ever for employers to check in with their teams. Giving employees a voice by seeking feedback, evaluating responses and taking action accordingly fosters a stronger community that is ultimately better for business. We know it works from personal experience, so we’re sharing some tips about how to ask the right questions, analyze the data appropriately, make changes in a timely manner and check back in frequently.
Asking the right questions
What’s the best way to know what your employees are thinking? It’s simple: ask. Internal surveys are a productive way to gain insight into the employee mindset, and when done regularly, they can demonstrate changing sentiment and reveal potential challenges. However, in order to get helpful information, you have to ask the right questions. Here are some of the questions we asked when surveying KWI employees recently:
- How do our weekly State of the Business meetings make you feel?
- How do you feel about voluntary office re-entry at KWI?
- Once offices are open and COVID-19 is no longer top-of-mind, how many days per week do you think you’ll want to work from home?
- Select the top three things that are most negatively impacting your work during the pandemic (i.e. kids at home, isolation, overall worry about COVID-19, financial struggle, etc.).
Analyzing the data
Once you’ve gathered responses, it’s important to understand how to analyze the data points. By evaluating data holistically rather than considering each answer in a vacuum, leaders can gain a greater depth of understanding to inform decisions moving forward. Not sure how to do it? Partner with an unbiased data and insights analyst to help guide your efforts.
Don’t just listen – ACT
Surveying employees can ensure employees feel heard, provide more open lines of communication and reinforce your values. However, gathering feedback only to let it sit on the shelf and collect dust can have the opposite effect and can be detrimental to your business. When asking for feedback, leaders must be prepared to respond.
Our survey found that 100% of employees believe KWI is being transparent, many citing weekly State of the Business meetings with leadership as an effective tactic. However, survey responses also showed that the volatility of the COVID-19 situation was weighing heavily on employees across the board. As a result of findings gathered through our surveys, we implemented the following to help employees combat stress:
- Continued transparency through weekly State of the Business updates from leadership.
- Three extra days of PTO for all employees.
- Gifted virtual lunches through DoorDash.
- Equipped all employees with information about support available through the Employee Assistance Program.
A single set of data points can be helpful, but insights become truly informative when you are able to show movement or change. How your team felt in the first few weeks of COVID-19 is likely to have changed by now, presenting an entirely new set of mindsets and sentiments through which people approach their work and lives. At KWI, we followed our initial survey with another one a month later to explore potential changes in sentiment. Understanding the fluidity of the situation gave us valuable insight to inform our plans.
Our second survey demonstrated the effectiveness of the actions we took in response to the first survey. For example, 88% of employees agreed that additional COVID-19 PTO helped them feel less stressed. Additionally, employees agreed that continued transparency from leadership helps the team to feel connected to their work community.
Giving employees a voice creates a work environment where all can feel valued, which is critical to putting people at the center of your business. Need assistance with digital insights? Contact us – we would be happy to help!