COVID-19 has presented its fair set of challenges to HR professionals and organization leaders everywhere. The basic needs of our employees have changed, seemingly overnight.
For example, according to LinkedIn’s 2019 Workforce Learning Report, 94% of employees said that they would stay at a company longer if it simply invested in helping them learn.
If this same study were conducted in the present day, I would bet that stat would look completely different. COVID-19 has shined a light on employers’ ability to protect their employee’s safety, security, and stability.
Employers who choose profit over creating a positive working environment (regardless if this is remote or in-person) will likely be burned my poor employee retention rates and/or low employee engagement for the remainder of the year.
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Listen and Measure Employees’ Basic Needs
Now more than ever it is crucial to listen to our employees. We must measure, evaluate, and address their concerns. Do not assume that your team members still care about what they proclaimed to be important in years past.
Darshana Dutta said it best: “What makes one feel connected to an organization and motivates to deliver her/his best varies from person to person. It also changes with respect to what is happening in and around the world.” (Source: 13 Employee Engagement Trends for 2020)
The best way to understand changing employee sentiment and engagement given these new circumstances is with a simple satisfaction survey.
In this article, WorkTango has provided great sample questions to include in an employee survey to measure overall sentiment on COVID-19. I will summarize some of my favorites below.
If your team has returned to (or never left) the office, include employee survey questions such as:
- Do you think our organization has taken appropriate action in response to COVID-19?
- What has the organization done in response to COVID-19 that has positively impacted the employee experience?
- What has the organization done in response to COVID-19 that has negatively impacted the employee experience?
- What have you learned from this new workplace normal that will enable our organization to operate even better as we move forward?
If you are continuing to work remotely, helpful employee satisfaction survey questions may be:
- Do you have access to the things you need to succeed at work when working remotely?
- What additional resources would help you work effectively while remote?
- What do you with our organization had done to support the transition to remote work?
- Do you have any other feedback that would improve our new Remote Work environment?
Share and Act on Employees’ Feedback
While it is important to collect employee feedback, it is even more critical you put a plan in place for the next steps.
Understand what areas are deemed low satisfaction, but most important to your employees. These areas should be marked as a high priority to resolve as soon as possible.
It will also be beneficial to share overall results from the satisfaction survey with your employees once you have a better idea as to how to rectify the situations.
For example, in a team meeting create a placeholder on the agenda for addressing major concerns reflected in the survey.
Here is where you can say, “We found an overwhelming concern with the cleanliness of our shared workspaces such as the kitchenette. To help overcome this concern we ask all employees to wipe down surfaces before and after they are in use. We will also provide plastic silverware to reduce the use of shared utensils.”
Consider Consulting a Third-Party for Help
My recommendation is to consult a third-party when executing any type of employee survey. Doing so will assure employees feel they can be 100% transparent with their feedback.
If conducted internally, team members often fear their responses are not anonymous and will be reprimanded for their honesty.
In fact, in a recent survey, only 31% of respondents felt their employee surveys provided an honest and accurate employee assessment. These findings reflect that many workers do not provide honest answers when taking a survey conducted by their employers.
This type of data must be accurate for these satisfaction surveys to even be worth it. A third-party can help bridge the gap on this.
Additionally, an employee survey company can help create a custom and strategic survey questionnaire, designed specifically for your organization. Typically, with self-service survey platforms such as SurveyMonkey, you either must write the questions on your own or select from a canned list of generic questions.