Employee listening might sound a little covert. But it’s not. Managed with strategic insight, it’s a smart way to pulse check and engage talent across your business.
Employee listening involves carefully navigating and performing various engagement methods, for a multitude of reasons. These might include:
- Increasing or maintaining awareness of the happiness and engagement levels of your workers
- Better understanding where the business may be failing its people
- Comparing the engagement and output of different departments or groups of workers
- Identifying whether differences in engagement and productivity exists between permanent and contingent labour
- Changing your workforce strategy and management approach to better fit the needs of your workforce
- …and many more
By taking a methodical approach to listening to your workforce, you can establish a consistent and valuable pipeline of information. Over time, you can map changes in attitudes and viewpoints, and deliver a better workforce strategy.
Here are the key methods for executing a successful employee listening strategy:
1 Employee Listening: The Ultimate Employee Microphone
Even if your business is operating at high engagement levels against industry benchmarks, it’s important for your workers to feel they have a microphone. That they’re being heard.
Listening to your workers anxieties and concerns, demonstrates you’re a caring organisation. Taking steps to rectify these, is a critical step in closing the feedback loop.
Giving workers a microphone is the first step. Committing to change, where feasible, is next.
2 Engagement Surveys: The Key Employee Listening Tool
Engagement surveys look at how connected employees are to their workplace. These valuable surveys look at factors such as:
- Worker motivation levels
- Their support (or otherwise) for the business leadership
- How aligned (or otherwise) they feel to the business’ values
- How true they believe the business values to be (walk vs talk)
- eNPS scores (on a scale of 0-10, how likely are you to recommend this organisation to your family and friends?) Here’s a great article from Bain & Co with more insight on eNPS.
- The needs of the workforce
- The goals of the workers both permanent and contingent
These surveys ideally will form the backbone of your employee listening strategy and are ideally run bi-annually, or even quarterly. Also keep employee engagement surveys in mind if your business is about to go through any change or disruption.
Employee engagement is the emotional commitment the employee has to the organisation and its goals.
This emotional commitment means engaged employees actually care about their work and their company.
3 Introduce Regular Pulse Surveys
Shorter ‘pulse’ surveys can be undertaken more frequently. As time moves on, you’ll be able to glean consistencies in the survey response data.
Ideally these surveys are short, both in number of questions, and in the timeframe they’re open. Repeat them every few weeks, for a particular topic or issue, to track changes and (hopefully) improvements.
4 Consistently Share Survey Results
Being open about the temperature of workforce engagement is critical for successful employee listening. And there are a few ways to convey the results, so the workforce takes notice. These include:
- Create a video: especially if your workforce is based across multiple time-zones, a video is a great means for relaying survey results. Even if you’re a single site business, a video that includes the business leadership, will demonstrate your care for and commitment to your worker’s voice. Upload the video on your project management platform, intranet or Teams ideally where employees can provide feedback or commentary.
- Host a business-wide Zoom meeting: presenting the results in this format, gives everyone in the business to be involved. Share the results prior to the meeting, then have business leadership answer worker questions live. You can also record the session and share it later via employee communications platforms
- Send a company-wide email with the results: a personalised email from the CEO explaining the survey’s intention and the learnings achieved, is very powerful. Use a pulse survey to gauge response to the survey results. Also, you can track employee engagement with the email via open rates, click rates and dwell times.
Using more than one – or all – of these communications ideas for sharing survey results will be incredibly powerful. Don’t skimp on closing the feedback loop.
Employee listening has the power to transform your business into a highly engaged, highly productive engine. Importantly though, it’s not just the listening that counts. It’s how you respond to and act on that data, that really counts.
If you would like to discuss employee listening for your organisation, you can reach me here. I look forward to connecting with you.