Employee Feedback: Are you Listening Carefully?

February 5, 20185min

Feedback tools are part of a growing industry within the HR technology world that is enabling the possibility of real-time feedback.

Gone are the days of the annual engagement survey which often took several months to return any results or planned actions, by which time they may well be outdated.

Part of what’s driving this new approach is the change in the way companies gain feedback from their customers, usually at the point of a transaction or engagement on a website or digital tool. This allows companies to understand how their customers are thinking and feeling at a critical moment in their journey, and it is this key point that is often missing from the way employee feedback tools are implemented and used.

Real-time surveys tend to be pulse surveys either done on a daily, weekly, monthly, or quarterly basis depending on how frequently companies want to get responses.

This approach means that it can become a habitual process which loses its value and doesn’t address the issue that choosing a particular day to ask all employees certain questions can skew the data.

Another important consideration is what questions are you asking and how are the answers structured? Asking someone to score how they feel on a numerical scale has its limitations as does applying more modern capabilities such as sentiment analytics to qualitative data. Accounting for these limitations is also important.

At FDM Group, we have realised the value in mapping out our Employee Experience in order to better understand the critical points an employee will face, when they occur, and how they feel at that moment in their journey.

With around 1,800 consultants in the UK working directly with our clients to deliver IT services, we want to compare the experience as each individual approaches the same junctures. This cannot be done with a pulse survey, which measures a moment in time, as everyone is at a different point in their career.

It also means we benefit from receiving data on a daily basis due to the size of our workforce. We have learned to listen differently in order to hear a different message. This approach is more aligned to the way Customer Experience is delivered.

We have also used this as an opportunity to gain client feedback at the same moments so we can understand the relationship between our clients and employees who are working directly with each other, outside of our FDM office environment.

This has expanded the HR team’s focus on ‘people’ to mean both employees and customers. If the Employee Experience is considered in isolation, we are missing its context by not incorporating it into our business as a whole. Therefore, HR is involved in analysing the data from all our people and also interacting face-to-face with our employees and our clients within the client environment. This gives us a unique perspective that is core to our business.

Our approach to Employee Experience is also not limited to the HR function. We share the data analysis and findings around the business so all areas can benefit from the insight. Each department will have a perception of the findings and in making Employee Experience a key component in our business, we are able to increase the value of that insight by incorporating various interpretations of the data to create a more authentic output upon which recommendations can be based.

If Employee Experience is defined as the emotional connection between an individual and an organisation from the first interaction with the company, right through to post-employment, then the moments in a journey need to be more significant than a calendar day when analysing the experience.

In order to benefit from listening differently, we have had to think differently, not just in HR but across the business. Thinking differently should be the first step in embracing Employee Experience before you start doing anything differently.

Lara Plaxton

Lara Plaxton

Currently reporting directly to the Board and responsible for the overall successful delivery of strategic and operational HR for FDM, both in the UK and internationally. Highly passionate about HR and the value it offers whilst developing an effective team to meet business needs and support our workforce of over 2000 employees.

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