As the definition of workplace continues to evolve, culture is top of mind for HR leaders and executives. These 5 Initiatives will not only help you keep your best people, they’ll power your culture, your initiatives, and your reputation.
1. Always be listening
Ever had a bad day or a bad week at work? Of course you have. How about a bad conversation with a boss or employee? Have you ever questioned a decision the company made? Does this mean you are working at the wrong place? Of course not!
Why is it that so many companies think that asking employees to complete a 30 question survey once or twice a year is a true reflection of culture? That approach is likely more of a reflection of how the employees are feeling about the company the moment when the survey comes out.
Some companies will strategically send out the annual engagement survey right after the big event each year when employees are more likely to be happy.. How does this do anything for workplace culture?
Don’t get me wrong, it’s great data that you can analyze and make decisions from, but it’s not nearly enough. Listening is not something that only happens on the second Tuesday in November. It needs to be strategic. It needs to be smart. And it needs to be active.
One or two long form surveys each year is the way companies have been checking in with employees for more than 20 years. If this is your company, it is time to evolve your EX data program into an Active Listening Solution. How do you do this? Think about each key employee journey moment as a potential listening, interacting, engagement opportunity.
These are just a few of the journey moments you should be focusing on checking in with your team.
- We are so excited you are joining the team, tell us about yourself so we can introduce you to the team.
- Your start date is approaching, here is what to expect on your first day and week.
- Now that you’re a part of the team, we’d love to know more about your boarding experience and make sure you don’t have any questions we can help with.
- How was your first week?
- Congratulations on finishing your training. We’d appreciate your feedback on the content, instruction, and testing materials.
As you can see these moments are focused only on new employees. There are many more. And each one should come from the relevant leader, at just the right moment. A culture that actively listens to their employees is a strong culture.
2. Don’t force change! Instead, make it the employee’s idea.
You have your ideas, priorities, and initiatives. You’ve read the engagement data. You know what the employees are asking for. You are ready to make a move and request or spend some of that critical (and often scarce) HR budget. All the research, the effort, the integration, and congratulations, you launch!
Wait, what happened? Why didn’t they adopt it? Why didn’t they engage? Why are you having to chase people to get them to do the thing they asked for? Isn’t this what they wanted?
Nope, you missed a critical step. You forgot to make it their idea.
People love their own ideas, and they often hate yours. It could be the exact same idea. But it’s your idea, not theirs. How do you do that? Easy! Send an operational feedback form asking them to help you prioritize and define the requirements. Ask the questions properly and nothing changes, except it’s now their idea. Show them the data. Thank them for making such a great decision. Update them on the progress of their idea throughout the development phase. Take no credit. Give it all away, and watch them rally and engage behind their great idea.
3. Get your employees to celebrate each other
Employees love to hear an encouraging word. We all love positive feedback. Affirmation is good no matter who it comes from. Here’s how to put it on autopilot and get your entire company celebrating each other.
First, create an automated weekly outreach. Name it something specific to your organization. We know that shared language drives culture. At Experience.com, we call our outreach, Wowzer Wednesday. Wowzers are what we call our employees.
Next, send an email and a text like this; “It’s that time again. It’s time to catch other doing great work and recognize them for it.” Build a 3 or 4 question survey asking them to nominate a co-worker and share their story of excellence. Something like this.
- What co-worker would you like to celebrate?
- Which award would you like us to send them?
- Amazon gift card
- Starbucks gift card
- Company store credits
- Which award would you like to nominate this employee for? (come up with a few buckets for your annual awards like these;, a. Above and beyond for our customers, and b. Exceptional team player award)
- Then collect their comments by asking them to share their story about the co-worker.
Next, automatically share the employee affirmations to your Slack, Teams, or Intranet channel. You should get 30-50% of your employees sharing great stories. And most employees will jump in to interact and reply. At Experience.com, this has been the single biggest cultural boost for our company. We even added automated gifting to our workflows.
4. Activate the voice of your employees to power your reputation
So, you had to let that employee go, and they are upset. Their first stop? Glassdoor and Indeed. That employee that loved the company on their last engagement survey is now reframing every experience as an awful mistake and can’t wait to tell the world. You already know this causes many issues for your HR, and recruiting teams. What you may not know is that this problem goes even further. It can affect company culture, Recruiting, reputation, and even sales.
The good news is, you probably have more happy employees than unhappy ones. So why not activate them. Upgrade any of your active listening workflows with a simple request; “Would you mind clicking the link below and leaving a review on our Glassdoor or Indeed page?”
It is really that simple. Just ask, and watch this problem turn into a big opportunity for your company quickly.
5. Choose the right partner to activate your employee voice.
Spending HR dollars to power initiatives like these is a complicated landscape to navigate. Every company is different. One partner will bring in a high powered sales and consulting team and sell you on all their advice, customization, and analytics. Another will show you their templates and reports. Another will tell you that they are built for HR teams only. When searching for the right partner to support this effort, here are 5 things to focus on;
- Extreme flexibility – it needs to be easy to design, build, and test new moments in minutes, without the help of a coder or a consultant.
- Maximize personalization – it must be able to send any message, and collect any data, from the right leader, to the right employee, at exactly the right moment.
- Easy workflow management – it needs to automate additional workflows, like escalating
- Unlimited Integrations – If the platform is not open, run. It needs to integrate with any data source, and it needs to be able to map to any data source (i.e. Tableau, Domo, PowerBI, or Slack, Teams, and even gifting platforms)
- Advanced dashboards and reporting – every journey moment is different. Checking in about a training experience is very different than a quarterly engagement survey, or an exit interview. But each of these offer critical insights. Dashboards, reporting and API integrations must be flexible and customizable.
Want more information about how to power all of these ideas and more for your company?
Experience.com is the leader in using voice to power business. We’d love to talk with you, and we will always start you with free access to the platform and all templates, along with consulting so you can make an informed decision after seeing the platform in action.Free Trial Offer