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The questions in this checklist are designed to help companies initiate a more effective employee listening program and to use the results as a guide as they develop their novel approaches.
When to listen
You should upgrade your listening program when you notice the following signs:
Strategy and implementation in the post-pandemic phase are off course and leaders are ignoring early warning signs
Managers express a lack of clarity on what is expected in the new normal
Employees are suggesting they feel disengaged, disconnected, hopeless and/or lack confidence in leadership
Increased employee attrition rates
Employee feedback suggests a widespread shift in morale and/or productivity, with a greater number of employees reporting lower levels of engagement, productivity and/or innovation.
What to measure
If you're using a listening program to track employee experience, you'll want to make sure it allows you to measure the following:
Technology satisfaction. Are your teams equipped with the tools they need to work at their most effective in their evolving work environment?
Productivity. Are your employees working efficiently in their new environment? Are they working as productively as they were in their old environment?
Well-being. Do team members feel overwhelmed by the number of tasks they have to accomplish? Do they feel that working from home has improved or worsened their situation, relative to office work?
Sense of belonging. Do employees feel that they belong - in their environment, team, and in the company more broadly?
Employee intent to stay. Has the average length of time that your staff members intend to stay with your organization changed?
Work environment. Are your employees happy with how they work? Are they able to suggest ways of improving things, and do you seriously consider those suggestions?
How to measure
What exactly does a future-proof approach to employee experience measurement look like?
Listening and measuring continuously
Continually looking for opportunities to improve your program based on insights gained
Understanding gaps and drivers in key employee metrics
Speeding up decision-making and automating actions
Using the expertise of your customer experience and research and insights teams in your people operations
Having every employee's voice heard at crucial points in their journey – such as when changes involving the make-up of teams, policies around flexibility or new technologies are implemented
Establishing key relationships with senior leaders, particularly the CIO, is key to effective internal communication, especially in the remote setup.
The outcome to aspire to
Signs that you have a fit-for-purpose listening program in place include:
Human resources, operations, policies, and investment decisions are based on data
Employee feedback is actionable, HR teams and people managers can design experiences that better support your employees.
The people who are involved in future work policies understand the impact that these changes are having on the workforce, as well as culture and workplace experience
Insights are accessible via a team health dashboard
You are starting to detect patterns that would allow for greater predictive potential - the coming frontier in employee experience management
The company's vision, mission, values, and culture need to be communicated effectively through internal communications to create a sense of belonging among employees. Internal communications form an important part of employee engagement as it helps build a positive culture.
At the end of the day, communication is key to employee engagement. When employees feel engaged, they will perform better in their job, thereby creating value for the business.
If you want to learn more about knowledge flows and how to approach any issue through the power of data-driven methods for studying communication within your company take a look at this course.