Your people are your most important asset

In my last article, I looked at the value employees add to your CX programme- how customer feedback often centres around the contribution which employees make and how engaged employees can help to overcome what might otherwise be ‘lumpy’ customer experiences.

Traditional contact centre metrics are great at telling you about important aspects of service - call wait times, abandonment rates, average handling times etc. - but critically don’t tell you how your people are feeling or thinking. It’s a vital piece of the jigsaw that needs to be better understood.

Most organisations will ask how employees are doing in an annual staff survey - perhaps even seeking their feedback on a more regular basis through ‘pulse’ surveys which dip into a specific element of their experience on an ad hoc basis (for example working from home through Covid).

These annual employee surveys help HR teams understand how your staff feel about broad aspects of their role, such as their pay, conditions, job prospects and working environment. But, this type of surveying won’t give you the full picture and can be easily swayed by how the employee might be feeling on the day. A lot can change over the course of a year that you’d miss with a single annual survey.

The last year has been an exceptionally trying one for many employees, as demonstrated by Google search statistics:

  • Google searches for ‘stress symptoms’ peaked throughout 2020 with COVID, isolation, job security, and home-schooling among other concerns putting workers under the microscope.
  • ‘Symptoms of stress’ was a ‘breakout’ search term of 2020, meaning the search term grew more than 5000% compared to the previous year
  • Searches of ‘signs of burnout’ were up 150% in 2020
  • Closely followed by ‘burnout syndrome’ which were up 110% in 2020

Tracking of employees should always be a major concern for employers- particularly with large numbers working remotely and likely to continue to do so once the pandemic is having less of an impact.

Now, most businesses will have mechanisms for additional employee engagement, perhaps through regular one-to-ones with their leaders or support delivered through HR-led services such as Headspace. All of which are great, but I’d advocate the need for the equivalent of a CX transactional survey, to give you a more holistic understanding of the employee experience.

Though a VOC program you understand on a day by day- or even minute by minute- basis the CX, so why not do the same for EX? Understanding whether employees might be having a great day, or a terrible one- and the reasons for that- allows your leaders to support, praise and guide as necessary. This ensures that your people are delivering at the top of their game and, feel that they have a voice that is both heard and responded to by your business.

A mechanism for doing this would ideally allow employees to ‘check-in’ easily and quickly every day. As well as providing a score for how they feel, it would also allow them to provide an explanation as to why they feel that way. Alerts fired to their Team Leader or HR would trigger an immediate response. Letting Heads of Department monitor the differences in feedback between their teams and the trajectory of employee engagement will allow a more nuanced approach to management than the annual employee survey can possibly provide.

There are many ways in which we can push information and support to employees but pulling feedback from them in a regular, structured and cohesive way is just as critical.

If you’d like to find out more about ways in which we can help with an employee ‘check-in’ programme, please get in touch.

Boyden Manns
Insight Director.

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