• Lucy Pringle, Senior Manager |
3 min read

Co-authored with Melissa Arronte, People Analytics Lead – Medallia

“Take care of your employees and they’ll take care of your business.” -Richard Branson, Founder, Virgin Group.

It is not news that taking care of your people is at the heart of creating a great place to work and fundamental for success as a business. Employee experience leaders benefit from 4.2x higher average profit (The Employee Experience Advantage; Wiley, 2017), have 40 percent less employee turnover in comparison to their competitors (The Employee Experience Advantage; Wiley, 2017), and double the loyalty from their customers (MIT, 2017).

But setting the right ambitions in the people space isn’t simple, and deciding where to focus can be tricky. You want employees who are engaged enough to go the extra mile. You want to motivate them with meaningful work and to make sure they feel valued. You want to make it easy to do a great job and deliver magic for your customers and to make unblocking issues simple when they do happen. You want to develop brand advocates who genuinely believe in your mission and purpose. You want to develop loyalty through a strong sense of belonging, inclusivity and an attractive employee deal — the list could go on. 

So where should you start? What is most important for your organisation?

The short answer is, until you look at the data, it’s impossible to know what to prioritise. Every organisation is different and will face different tests and challenges, depending on several internal and external factors. An employee’s overall satisfaction in the workplace is hugely dependant on their experiences and emotions linked to their day-to-day job and relationships at work. To understand how we can get this right, we must listen to our employees – to what they say and what they do.

Traditionally, organisations have relied on formal mechanisms such as annual engagement and pulse surveys, formal performance appraisals and ad hoc feedback workshops to understand their employee experiences (Quantum Workplace; 2021), which can be slow, costly and lacking in impact. As with all good things, the future is more dynamic, engaging and impactful, through the help of smart design and leading technology. The future is Intelligent Employee Listening - continuously keeping a finger on the pulse across your employee experience, allowing a much more dynamic and engaging response.

To better understand this evolution, let’s first look at some of the pitfalls of traditional listening strategies. 

For example, you might see that the majority of your employees feel that team collaboration has been negatively affected during the pandemic – but do you know if this has impacted productivity or customer service? What do people think about collaboration technologies? Is this problem worth you focusing on?

The solution is a single platform, linked with your relevant technology platforms, that integrates employee and customer signals with key business metrics. A glorious one-stop-shop of automated data handling and analysis allows those interpreting the findings to focus on action.

So if this sounds familiar, what should you do?

Rethinking your approach to listening doesn’t have to start big. The key is in asking yourself: what are the key decisions I need to make that listening to the opinions and actions of my people can help with? Then think through how best to capture those insights. Aim to breakdown your signal capture into regular, manageable chunks, focused on gathering insights from the right people, on relevant topics, at a relevant time, and using operational data to complement this.

Think about how you can seamlessly integrate into the way of working your people are used to, as well as providing them a way to share their thoughts when they want to, rather than waiting to be asked. And finally, most importantly, give the people on the ground access to the data to make change in real time. Don’t be afraid of sharing what you hear, because without arming your people with the right priorities, it will be almost impossible to shift the dial.

Understanding what is driving and draining your employees is becoming even more important as we emerge from the pandemic into a ‘new normal’. Don’t get left behind – get in touch to discuss modernising your listening approach today.

To learn more about how to overcome these challenges, see the next blog in this series, 'Part 2: Using behavioural science to supercharge your listening approach', or get in touch with the team to discuss your particular challenges in more detail. This series has been written in association with Medallia.