Voice of the Employee Survey
Happy employees make for happy clients. But what makes your employees happy? Holding an employee survey once a year doesn’t tell us much, most HR professionals agree. We are seeing a shift from thinking in terms of HR processes to gauging the perception of employees, Employee Experience.
Employee Experience comprises all moments when and ways in which employees are in contact with the organisation for which they work that consciously or unconsciously feed their experience/perception.
Only when you truly understand your employees, will your organisation be able to exert a positive influence on employee experience (EX). Positive employees will, in turn, transfer this feeling to clients (CX), which leads to loyal customers (CL) and ultimately great business results (Value). There are also a number of important side effects, such as lower absenteeism rates, less staff attrition and higher productivity. So everyone benefits: the employee, the employer and the client.
Voice of the Employee
But how does an organisation find out what its employees are experiencing? And how can it assess the consequences of a positive employee experience? This can be done by continuously and structurally measuring, analysing, interpreting and following up on the so-called Voice of the Employee (VoE).
After all, knowing and understanding what is going on inside the heads of your employees allows you to anticipate, in order to continuously improve how they perceive their work. While this may sound complicated, it does not have to be, provided that the Voice of the Employee programme is well structured. So what does such a programme look like?
Step 1: Goal setting
Catering firm Hutten uses a special approach towards Employee Experience. One of the goals it has set itself is to make its employees ‘the happiest’.
Another way to set goals is to identify the challenges and/or opportunities. One of AnalitiQs’ clients, for example, faces an attrition rate of > 25% among first-year employees. This organisation has set itself the goal of reducing this rate.
What is your organisation’s goal in terms of employee experience?
Step 2: Decide what needs to be measured
Once you have set a concrete goal, it becomes possible to identify the subject areas that relate to this goal. The goal itself and the related subject areas need to be measured.
In the Hutten example, they assume that the goal of ‘being the happiest’ is influenced by the work-life balance and room for personal development (see below). Achieving this goal also contributes to a good working atmosphere, low absenteeism, high product quality, creativity and customer/guest satisfaction. This forms the basis of their people policy.
Starting with EX and VoE will probably put you in a chicken-and-egg situation: you have made certain assumptions, but you are not sure whether they are correct, and there are no measurements yet to validate your assumptions. So where should you start? First, you may take a broad approach that includes brainstorming, logical reasoning, incorporating insights from academic literature and collecting information from colleagues. After this preliminary research, it is clear which subject areas are related to your organisation’s goal. Below is a list of subject areas from our practice:
eNPS (employer Net Promotor Score) | Commitment | Motivation | Satisfaction | Loyalty | Happiness (at work) | Willingness to change | Stress | Sustainable Deployment | Vitality | Culture | Employer Value Proposition | Reasons for leaving | Workload | Agility | Development | Onboarding Effectiveness
Which subject areas impact your organisation’s goal? And what sort of value does your organisation’s goal seek to create?
Step 3: Flesh out the measurement method(s)
So the goal has been set and the subject areas for measurement have been decided. But how exactly will you be measuring them? It is important to take these eight considerations into account for each subject area:
- Active / passive
The desired data may already be available within the organisation. In this event, there is no need to approach the employees (again). Analysing the reviews that employees have submitted to websites such as Indeed or Glassdoor is one example of passive research. If, on the other hand, you send your employees a pop-up message asking them ‘How do you feel today?’ when they open their laptops for the first time, you are engaging in active research.
Does your research include all employees, as well as job candidates and former employees? Or perhaps you want to focus on a certain employee segment, such as new staff. Will you be approaching everyone within the selected segment or would it be better to take a sample?
- Quantitative / qualitative
Are the subject areas suitable for quantitative research, qualitative research or would a mixed research design be best suited to your situation and organisation?
- Extensive / compact
Would one or just a few questions suffice, e.g. when determining the eNPS? In other cases, however, it may be important to carry out more extensive measurements on a subject area, e.g. when investigating your organisational culture.
- Push / non-push
Will the employees be approached in scope (i.e. push), or is it desirable to leave the decision to participate in the study up to the employees themselves (i.e. non-push)? One example of pull research is the placement of emotion buttons at specific locations in the office or on the intranet page.
How often will you be measuring? Generally, sentiments such as engagement, motivation or enthusiasm are measured more often as they are subject to significant fluctuation, e.g. per season or in response to communication on internal developments. Themes like culture, absenteeism and the work-life balance are usually measured less often since the ideas about these subject areas are less prone to change and the subject areas themselves require a deeper understanding.
Of course, there can be no data collection without tools. If you choose to hold a survey, you will usually need a survey platform. Other options are the scanning of e-mails for sentiments using text analysis or the placement of consoles with emotion buttons.
Will the data be processed confidentially or anonymously? Making a clear choice and explaining it to employees are crucial steps in retaining the trust between employer and employee.
So you have achieved your goal: you know what to measure and how to measure it. It is time to start measuring and to analyse the ensuing data.
Step 4: Measuring
Now it is time to collect data. At AnalitiQs, we find that these data-collection programmes are always unique because the subject areas and the contexts are different for every organisation. The client case involving the Protestant Church in the Netherlands (PKN) is a good example.
The culture change at PKN started with a baseline measurement in 2016. The aim of this measurement was to map the existing culture, but also to inventory which cultural aspects were considered desirable. The measurement revealed that bureaucracy was often mentioned as a cultural aspect that was present but undesirable. After the baseline measurement, the subject area of bureaucracy was further investigated. In addition, a follow-up measurement was carried out every six months in order to establish whether the desired cultural aspects were increasingly visible and the undesired aspects were in decline.
Step 5: Analysis and Reporting
Once the data on the various subject areas has been collected, it must be connected. This allows testing for the assumed relationships and provides insights. The model used by Hutten assumed that the subject areas ‘work-life balance’ and ‘development’ were related to the company goal of ‘being the happiest’. Below are some examples of potential relationships:
- Is there indeed a connection between work-life balance, development and happiness?
- If happiness increases by 1%, to what extent will customer satisfaction rise?
Step 6: Follow-up
Ultimately, the success of any Voice of the Employee programme depends on a thorough follow-up. In our experience, a good follow-up requires rigorous programme management as well as sufficient capacity and support in the organisation. For the follow-up path, AnalitiQs has partnered with Kirkman Company.
In this partnership, AnalitiQs provides the proper insights while Kirkman Company supports the data-driven transformation. Together, we ensure that your organisation achieves maximum value from its Voice of the Employee programme.
Get the best out of your employees
AnalitiQs is an independent party that believes in the power of data. Responding to data-driven insights leads to better decisions. Depending on your organisation’s needs, we can fulfil the roles of consultant, project manager, analyst, trainer and/or coach. Together, we reveal what your organisation needs to get the best out of its employees:
- Voice of the Employee (VoE) introductory workshop
- VoE Masterclass
- Demo of the VoE survey platform
- VoE as a service
Got curious about VoE?
Are you trying to think less in terms of HR processes and listen more to the Voice of the Employee? Get inspired by our webinar below. Do you have any questions, or would you like to start working hands-on with the Voice of the Employee? We would love to meet with you and discuss the options. So feel free to contact us via the form below.
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