How To Measure Remote Employee Experience: 2 Bulletproof Strategies

Voice of the Employee | Employee Experience | PeopleMetrics LIVE

Reading time: 30 minutes
PeopleMetrics

Trusted Experience Management Partners

The year 2020 taught HR teams that inspiring, motivating and engaging remote employees can be challenging -- especially if your organization doesn't have a system in place for consistently measuring and managing key drivers of employee engagement and performance.

In this session, we show you how you can use experience management tools like PeopleMetrics to regularly collect feedback from both onsite and offsite employees that will help inform your strategy. You can use either of our two bulletproof strategies to increase employee productivity and overall engagement - especially for those working remotely.

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TRANSCRIPT:

Madeline Good: Hi everyone! Welcome to PeopleMetrics LIVE, today we are going to show you two bulletproof strategies for measuring remote employee experience, if you've got questions for our team, please drop them in the comments below and we'll be sure to answer them. So, Sean, as we all know here at PeopleMetrics we always emphasize how important it is to measure the employee experience, but would you say the stakes are higher now that many workforces have either gone partially or 100% remote

Sean: Yeah, I think so employee experience measurement used to be an event right, and what happened in a lot of companies is they would have this big push to get everybody to participate and that involved a lot of in-person activity, you know things like signs on walls, and all hands meetings, and leadership town halls, and all those things that really back before this pandemic person, but now that isn't the case anymore for a lot of companies where their workforce is remote, signs don't work all hands, meetings in person aren't possible, and just the whole work experience has changed greatly where before they may have been running into people at a water cooler or having face-to-face meetings, those aren't happening or they're happening on zoom which is certainly a different experience, so our point of view is now is the time to really rethink what your employee experience measurement program is and rather than thinking of it as an event, think of it as more of a continuous conversation with your employees

Madeline: I like what you said making it a continuous conversation right, I mean just this last year we've gone through so many ups and downs with Covid and things changing daily, sometimes so it makes sense to make that more of a regular conversation all right

Sean: And you know Kirk we do a lot of customer experience work, and that continuous measurement is a hallmark in that world, and I think we're seeing more companies think of it that way for their employee feedback around their experience

Kirk Lohbauer: Yeah absolutely, and I think you know ultimately with customer experience work, the idea is, things are happening in real time, you want to know about them in real time, and you want to respond to them in real time, and that awareness is starting to come to employee experience work as well, not that you need to as we do with customer serving survey after any every interaction, survey after every meeting, but moving towards something that is can more quickly respond to changes, given how many changes folks have gone through that’s a big benefit

Madeline: Hi it's Madeline, thanks for joining us for PeopleMetrics LIVE. If this is your first time watching, PeopleMetrics LIVE is a weekly live webinar session where experts from our team answer your questions about customer, employee, and patient experience measurement and management, and sometimes we show you how you can achieve your goals using tools within our experience management platform, we've been doing this for over two decades now and this is a great way for us to share all our knowledge with you. You can sign up for upcoming sessions of PeopleMetrics LIVE at www.PeopleMetrics.com/events and bring a friend

Sean: We were just talking Madeleine about how these employee pulse the first bullet proof strategy is a short quick survey, I think we had our PeopleMetrics LIVE on it right, you might have the actual slide with this group right, so employee pulse is more of a quantitative quick survey and we showed the model before which was 15 questions, which is this, so if people were in PeopleMetrics LIVE before the model is kind of like a hierarchy of needs model where certain needs have to be fulfilled before the other needs become relevant, kind of like the Maslow's hierarchy of needs and its resources first knowing that they're you're valued, you have your equipment to do your job, then you fit in in the culture, then there's opportunities to grow within the role they're having real purpose and that your work matters, and then finally some sort of emotional connection with the company about around you know, I'm proud to be here, these are 14 or 15 questions um these aren't going to take a lot of time and you easily could do this once a quarter without I think a big burden but also having a huge benefit on getting this data, and why is it a benefit Kirk to get this data on a quarterly basis do you think

Kirk: Yeah, especially with the switched remote the reason this is bulletproof, and this is so essential is that the whole experience has changed for folks, this is a kind of the start of the bottom working way to the top, covers every part of the employee experience and so doing this quarterly allows you to say, we've made this shift, how can we understand we're doing across the board make some change and then revisit it right, so you can respond rapidly exactly so

Sean: Exactly, I just want to re-emphasize what you said, you might see one of these metrics lagging or not as high as you want, and then a quarter allows you to really focus on it and make some changes and then re-measure to see if your changes had an impact that you expected right, so that's why you would do this quarterly is to kind of make some changes measure again right, and just make sure that you have a pulse on the overall kind of engagement and commitment of the company, and for those people who've attended other PeopleMetrics LIVE on this topic, you know I've gone through this before but it's worth repeating, employee engagement really is the amount of discretionary effort an employee will provide to your company, so effort above and beyond the role and in the job and companies that have employees that are having a great experience and exhibiting discretionary effort over and over again have a big advantage in the marketplace, so that's really why all this matters and it links strongly to the experience that customers have, so we've seen over and over again data that shows that organizations that have really strong employee experience with a committed engaged workforce have very high customer experience ratings in terms of NPS, and then they tend to drive financial outcomes like sticking around longer, trying new products and services, writing good reviews on social media, or if it isn't a social if it isn't that kind of business, telling colleagues about their experience right, so it all kind of fits into the chain and that's why we you know talk about this a lot because it does really link to customer experience very strongly

Madeline: Yeah, it makes me think of the things that you were saying that happen when you have a positive customer experience, of writing good reviews, telling colleagues, or telling friends about your great experience with a brand, I know we've talked about this before as well, but a lot of those similar behaviors can be seen when you've got an engaged workforce too right, like recommending to another great software developer that you know to come work on the team, or telling your friends how much you love your job, things like that help the company get more talent and just more advertising too, a lot

Sean: Yeah, it's a lot easier to recruit great talent when you have a great culture that has highly engaged people, and also the other thing I want to point out is if you're in the employee experience world, by definition you're in the customer experience world and if you're in the customer experience world, by definition you're in the employee experience world, like even if that's not in your job title the people, if you want to create a great customer, employee experience you have to understand what the customer experience is like, you'll notice in one of our questions here, the 14th question, excellent service to customers is recognized, rewarded employees want to be part of companies that are delivering a wonderful customer experience and it does link to their own experience, and it's kind of this cycle that the more they feel that the better service and better experience they're going to offer to their to their customers right, and if you're in the customer experience business, the experience your employees have who are interacting with your customers absolutely drive the employee experience, we ask a question right Kirk, on these customer experience programs that we run, did anybody go above and beyond in your latest interaction with the company, we call this a recognized kind of question and this is the best correlation to NPS is that is the answer to that if people say, yes somebody went above and beyond, their NPS tends to be promoter

Kirk: Yeah, it's one of those things where you really see how synchronized they are, of customers are driven by a great interaction with an employee and what we find from our survey is that employees are driven when they know it connects to a great customer experience and so they are exactly as you said, if you're if you're involved with one, you're involved with the other

Sean: It's like you're married to someone to the other part of the business even if you don't want to be, it's there you can't really do your job without at least having a good relationship with that piece

Madeline: Did you know that you can watch past sessions of PeopleMetrics LIVE right here on our YouTube channel, all you must do is click the link above. Be sure to check them out for answers to dozens of questions along with stories, tips, short tutorials and best practices from our team of experts. Click the bottom right corner of this video to subscribe to our channel so you never miss an update

Sean: So back to the bulletproof strategy, though like this is a bulletproof strategy especially with remote these days, our recommendation is measure more often up to once a month, quarterly would be our recommendation, very least biannually, don't make your employee survey an event anymore that takes tremendous energy effort, signs town halls, this can be done in a way that's quick, expedient, especially if you have proven questions like these to use where you're not going back and forth for a month on what are you going to ask, and these questions certainly can be added to this and taken out, but for most companies these days this will get you 80% there, if not higher and then you can go out there and get the feedback and take action on it which is why you're doing this in the first place

Kirk: Yeah, and just one last thing I'd add to that, certainly the core part of it being short survey is that, short shorter surveys get more responses and with the employee experience now being remote, and being so spread out, you want to collect as much of that feedback as possible, so that really is that shift remote, you want it shorter, you want it more frequently, so you're catching kind of all of that the changing the experience that folks are having across your organization

Sean: So, you know Kirk a lot of times, what happens on these programs is something pops on one of the quarterly pulses in terms of something like, my manager provides me opportunities to learn and grow or I trust senior leadership to make the right decisions something like that right, like maybe that item isn't as high as you want and you're sitting there and you're thinking, well what should we do about this, like how do we improve this, and there's a couple different ways you can do that, you can get into a room with some of your colleagues or in a zoom room these days, and think about it nand come up with an idea plan which is a great idea, but what a lot of best practice clients are doing is they're including their employees as part of the solution and that's really our second bulletproof strategy right Madeline, we talked about today there's two of them right and, these are what we're calling conversations, so rather than a survey that gets sent out on a regular cadence like quarterly, these are specific instances where you reach out to a group of your people and it may be in a variety of different groups up to 25 employees in each group anonymously discuss an issue that you found out in your employee pulse that needs action taking on it, so maybe it's your performance management system, maybe it's the way that senior leadership is communicating, maybe it's how do we have fun in a remote world like we used to in a non-remote world, it's like it's whatever topics that are coming up either in your pulse or outside that you just know about that you need to dig in deeper, and there's something we call in conversations which is an asynchronous discussion, asynchronous simply meaning that people can join whenever they want they don't have to be live and there's a topic that gets set up like in a focus group, and they people discuss it through qualitative or open-ended feedback, although there can be some quantitative and survey questions thrown in there as well, so it's really a good deep dive opportunity and that's the second bulletproof strategy I would say

Kirk: Yeah, and here again I think what we're seeing is another example of pulling in best practices from customer experience where focus groups, customer focus groups nthat's the thing that folks understand within the employee world that is a little harder to do because you need to make sure it's anonymous and you might have a workforce that is in different time zones that is kind of all over the globe, with something like employee conversations you are able to have this anonymous, asynchronous conversations and it serves that same purpose of, I've identified some issue with my employees pulse survey, I need to deep dive into this to get a better sense of something specific, something like performance management, and in the remote kind of world that is so important because so many things that have changed that can cause a dip in an employee experience are very specific to your organization, and you want to get very specific feedback and can tease those things out in a dialogue

Sean: Yeah, and these typically last about three days, a different topic or two is introduced each day, employees are identified with some sort of nickname or something, we use Greek alphabet names typically so nobody knows who anybody else is, except us, and they're free like I said to participate any time they'd like during those three days, new topics get introduced each day but they can go back to a topic from a previous day and provide input and then at the end of this, a nice transcript can be downloaded where you can read kind of what your people were talking about and suggesting to improve that area and you know often PeopleMetrics will help with a report on this to make sense of it all, because there are sort of a lot to read through sometimes, but it is a great secondary kind of tool to use to really get out what's going on within your employee population, and especially with the remote work, we think it's even more relevant because you can't get in a room anyway, so for most people so let's still get the feedback

Madeline: Our employee experience blog is a great resource for HR professionals looking to measure and manage employee experience, whether you've got teams working in the field, fully online, or a combination of both. Check it out today at www.PeopleMetrics.com/ex-blog. Yeah, and I think it's a great it puts a good structure around something that if you're trying to get feedback from a lot of different people on a topic, I can only imagine a zoom room full of people trying to voice their opinion and brainstorm in that way, so I think this is a great kind of structured approach to still getting that feedback and not having to align a million schedules and things like that, so this is great, anything else you guys want to touch on before we close out this session of PeopleMetrics LIVE today?

Sean: Those are the big things, anything else Kirk do you want to you want to touch them

Kirk: I think it lays out a great flow of keep it short, keep it more frequent, learn kind of that quantity big picture, and follow up with a real deep dive with some employee conversations, and that's a successful remote experience right yeah and just

Sean: I guess the other thing is just don't assume you know what's going on with your people right, even if you're on a zoom call with them every day you have to reach out in a way that that they feel comfortable for writing the feedback, and that's why sort of using a third party like PeopleMetrics is always recommended, but you could do this to yourself on all these through your HR or through yourself if you're in HR, but you have to think about kind of will people give you the kind of very frank honest answers that you should be looking for or you shouldn't be doing this to begin with, so if you want to get really you know good quality feedback it's always worth partnering with someone like PeopleMetrics to help you do that

Madeline: Right definitely, and I can see what you're saying there Sean, you know if you’re first starting something like this and beneath the surface there's a lot of mistrust of leadership or something like that, if that's not coming from a third party you might have resistance of people wanting to fill out something like that, if it's coming from internal so yeah that works great

Sean: And response rate should be high for this right, so we've gotten what Kirk didn't, we get 94% in a company that was about 10,000 employees, that was I think our highest, there was a good effort on that one, but we're always around 60-70 on these things, so that's where you should be aiming for in the pulse, for the conversations, for the online focus groups, it's really the goal is to get up to 25 people who will consistently participate over a three-day period, so one thing that we recommend there is to have an RSVP process where you're inviting up to 50 to get that 25 committed, we typically will do, meaning PeopleMetrics will do the random sampling for you if you say you need a random sample of your employees to represent a larger population we'll do that, we'll pick the people, we'll invite them they'll rsvp, they'll commit, we will then invite them to the group and we'll take care of all of that, so that's another good reason to use somebody like PeopleMetrics, right now I'm not a commercial type person, I'm not like trying to do a commercial for the company but if I were in you, if I were in HR, I want someone on the on the outside helping me on this

Madeline: Definitely, that's a lot of logistics to take off your plate right, that we can handle, so well great guys, thank you for this conversation, it was great to just go through those two strategies for measuring remote employee experience and my fun little evaporation into outer space, thank you for taking over while I was coming back to life, so like you said it's very important to measure this kind of stuff especially when we're not face to face, so on behalf of everyone here at PeopleMetrics, I want to thank everyone on the line for joining us for PeopleMetrics LIVE today, and on behalf of everyone here at PeopleMetrics thank you for joining us for PeopleMetrics LIVE. If you liked this video make sure to subscribe right here so you never miss an update, and have you checked out other sessions of PeopleMetrics LIVE yet, you can click right here to watch them all. I'll see you there.

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PeopleMetrics LIVE! is a weekly live webinar session where experts from our team answer YOUR questions about customer, employee and patient experience measurement and management – and sometimes we show you how you can achieve your goals using tools within our experience management platform. Tune in for short, casual conversations every Tuesday at 2:00pm ET.

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Posted on 04-01-2021