Employee voice: An effective way to gather employee pulse
An increasing number of organizations are deploying technologies which capture employee voice through different means and allow two-way conversations between leaders and staff
It’s not surprising to hear anecdotes from HR leaders about how their engagement survey results were terribly misleading. There is resounding evidence suggesting that an annual survey effort is not enough to build decisive engagement plans. Organizations are, thus, looking for solutions which are much agiler and real-time to capture employee pulse.
In Bersin by Deloitte’s latest research on engagement, employee voice has come to the fore as a central ingredient of diagnosing engagement. Our research indicates that making employees feel that they are valued and that their opinion matters, goes a long way into building an engaged culture. In the present-day environment, an organization can accomplish a lot more by involving staff in decision-making and making them feel empowered to shape the future direction of the enterprise.
A sales leader learned more about why his team lost a deal by hearing by inquiring from the customer than he could have possibly hoped to achieve by quizzing his sales team. The situation is comparable within the enterprise while diagnosing engagement. Rather than rely on engagement survey results and hearing inferences from the HR team, treating employees as customers and creating a direct channel could go a long way towards driving an engaged workforce.
While we continue to see newer and better technologies, three channels are becoming increasingly popular in capturing employee voice.
Real-time surveys: Modern survey platforms enable organizations to build and deploy surveys within minutes. This allows the HR team to capture employee voice whenever needed—whether it is after a strategic announcement, a management change, or even an external event. The annual engagement survey is no longer the only channel by which an organization reaches out to employees to capture their voice. Most of these survey platforms come with advanced reporting and analytics functions that help the organization decide actions within a quick span of time. While choosing a survey tech, the enterprise’s unique needs have to be kept in mind.
Employee voice apps: “Always on” apps are rapidly gaining popularity in the community as ways to capture employee voice. A few months ago, I attended an HR conference in Florida, USA, where I was blown away by the number of Silicon Valley startups who are building apps for capturing real-time employee voice. A central feature common with many of these apps was the ability for users to directly connect with the leadership of the company. I also watched several demos where these apps allowed dashboards and analytics customized according to the needs and requirements of HR and business leaders at various levels. For example, there was a CEO dashboard, a business leader dashboard, and an HR dashboard. Accordingly, I would not be wrong to infer that apps are fast making their way into an organization’s employee engagement investments.
Data mining technologies: There are numerous ways in which engagement data is pouring in. Companies are finding smarter ways to mine and analyze employee voice from these data sources. Social media activity analysis, word cloud and sentiment analysis algorithms, and analytics from HR systems are some of the common methods. There are platforms which troll the public domain and different enterprise systems and offer some very interesting engagement results in the form of word clouds, leadership popularity, and general mood about company-level issues including policies.
I look forward to seeing many wonderful innovations at Tech HR ’17. I strongly suspect many of them would be tools for capturing employee voice. I hope I am right.