Performance management company – Reflektive recently conducted a survey to uncover what employees are looking for most in times of global uncertainty. We had a sit down with the team at Reflektive to draw on the key highlights from the survey:
Could you tell us the theme and foundation of the sentiment survey that was recently conducted?
As many companies abruptly transitioned to remote work, we developed a sentiment survey to help businesses know which employee measures are working well and what additional actions can be taken in this new environment. With questions on employee support, connectedness and productivity, our goal was to equip HR teams with powerful insights to share with leadership — and make the right strategic decisions for their employees.
In a couple of weeks, dozens of our customers completed this survey – with 32,000 responses and 4,000 comments from employees around the world.
What have been some of the biggest thoughts / findings uncovered during this survey on employee engagement initiatives that are being undertaken, also what are some of the biggest lags the global workforce has been experiencing during this time?
Overall, employee sentiment was favorable, and employees are feeling supported and safe while they work remotely. Of the five questions included in the survey, we saw a range of 76% to 92% of employees responding favorably.
The survey revealed a few areas for companies to focus on, including:
- Alignment on key priorities: Some respondents desired more direction to ensure employees were marching towards the same company goal. We recommend managers continue to hold weekly 1:1s and create regular team standups to align on priorities for the week.
- Employee connectivity: Despite the prevalence of Slack messages, video chats and meetings, employees cited feelings of loneliness while they work remotely. Without a common space or hallway conversations, we recommend scheduling more social activities so folks can engage with peers across teams.
- Technology adoption: Another challenge observed was inconsistent technology usage by employees. Some workers said they were new to certain platforms and unable to “figure them out.” We recommend creating a technical resources intranet page that covers the software available to employees, how-to guides, and best practices for technology adoption. Another helpful tactic is a dedicated IT chat channel where employees can quickly escalate any needed IT help.
Could you share some thoughts / predictions on how employee culture and engagement will change for the remaining part of the year given the challenges being imposed on all of HR due to the pandemic?
Employee culture and engagement will be a main priority for all organizations. For the next six months, companies will be reviewing activities programs that drive employee connection, clearer company goal alignment and evaluation of retention strategies.
With no clear end date to the pandemic, there are worrying trends on its impact to employees’ mental health and well-being. We recommend HR leaders evaluate wellness resources and programs to support employees during these uncertain times.
Any cautionary tips for teams still putting in place stronger work norms and employee best practices as remote work remains for some while work from office is being restarted on a slow scale?
Here are a few employee best practices for remote and blended teams:
- Ask and share feedback often. Many employees may be learning new skills, driving new projects during this time of change and/or working remotely for the first time. We recommend you ask your team for regular feedback and also proactively share feedback as well.
- Set expectations on communication norms. As many teams continue to work remotely, video chats may become exhausting. We recommend that companies set a protocol of when to use video versus a voice call. Also, we encourage employees to call each other to connect 1:1, versus relying solely on written communication like Slack and emails.
- Revisit your work goals. Take a look at your current goals and determine if they still make sense given the changes at your company.
- Get some fresh air! Take advantage of the warmer weather. Make time in your calendar to take a walk, get some exercise and break for lunch.
How do you foresee the role and responsibilities of HR change given the new normal and the changes everyone will have to adapt to at the workplace?
While the pandemic has altered so many aspects of everyday life, now is the time that HR teams can come together and build impactful programs for their workforce. Now more than ever, HR teams need to prioritize, stay adaptable and act as a strategic partner to leadership.
Any other last tips / thoughts?
With millions of employees continuing to work remotely — some indefinitely — many companies are unsure what to do next.
If you haven’t run an engagement survey, we recommend running one for a pulse check on employee sentiment.
If you already ran a survey, we recommend sending a follow-up survey to your workforce to understand if the company-wide actions taken previously were helpful to employees. The survey can also assist HR teams in identifying whether employee needs and priorities have changed.
Staying in tune with employee sentiment can help boost employee morale and performance during this unprecedented time.