There are some milestones within your employee lifecycle when it’s important to check in. Implementing employee listening efforts at these key times can provide you with new insights. You can then use this info to improve your workplace culture, your employees’ working lives, and your retention rate.
Happier employees are more likely to stick around. So, it’s no wonder that 60% of employers have improved their employee listening efforts. However, only 31% of businesses conduct employee surveys, and only 13% of them use focus groups.
58% of employees wish their employer sent employee engagement surveys more often. And there is a clear connection between their frequency and employee engagement. Yet only 21% of companies conduct surveys three or more times per year.
An always-on employee feedback tool can help you get vital data from your team. In fact, 64% of HR leaders believe an always-on feedback tool is an essential part of any employee listening strategy. But only 20% of them have this kind of tool in place.
The more often you connect with your employees to find out what’s going on with them, the more likely they are to feel listened to, valued, and like they truly belong. It’s especially important to get their feedback when big changes happen, either in their own lives or within your business.
So, where are these crucial touchpoints for your employee listening strategy?
When employees experience a great onboarding process, they’re 18 times more committed to their employer. Those kinds of numbers can do huge things for your business’s productivity, retention, and revenue. In fact, effective onboarding improves retention by 82% and productivity by 70%.
If your onboarding process is poorly organized, badly explained, or your people aren’t made to feel welcome, they’re much more likely to leave in the short-term. This means you’ll need to repeat the hiring process all over again.
Understanding what your employees think during this stage is therefore key. You can find out what they need from you, if they’re understanding all the new information that’s being sent their way, and how they’re getting along with their colleagues.
Employee listening efforts will give you crucial insights to improve their onboarding process and update it for future hires, too.
When changes occur
Change is scary. It’s even scarier if you feel like your voice isn’t being heard.
Even if your employees don’t get a say in the final decision, they should still feel like they’re being listened to and that their opinions are valued. This is good for their mental health and good for your workplace culture.
If they’re concerned about a restructure or layoffs, there should be someone they can talk to who can answer their questions empathetically. This will help remove some of the stress around the changes and provide them with the answers they need.
When an employee program launches
New employee programs can be exciting. However, if you’re not communicating with employees about how to make the most of the new offerings, they’re less likely to take advantage of them.
If they may perceive the changes as negative, you want to get their opinions as well. That way, you can allay their concerns based on what you learned from your employee listening efforts.
If there are benefits changes
When any employee benefits change, people need to understand what the changes are and how it will affect them.
Everyone will be impacted differently depending on their role, what benefits are changing, how much they’re paid, etc. So giving them detailed information is important.
Once they’ve got the right information, it’s important to check in with how they’re feeling. What do they think about the changes and how are they processing them?
Through employee listening, you may find that there’s a better way to communicate changes with the team. Or, that you haven’t shared enough information so the rumor mill is in full force.
When they experience a big life change
When experiencing a big life change, it can sometimes feel like your world has stopped while everyone else’s is still spinning. It can be hard to articulate what you’re going through. Unsurprisingly, this can significantly impact your daily life.
Big life changes can be lonely. Connecting with employees going through these types of life events is really important. That way they know you’re there to support them.
Knowing that their employer supports them helps employees to feel less alone. Your employee listening efforts can enable you to take some of the stress away from their situation.
If the changes require accommodations, such as more flexible working or different office equipment, employees will feel much more able to approach you about it if you already have an employee listening program in place.
After performance reviews
Performance reviews can be an uncomfortable time for some employees. This is particularly true if they had a negative experience with them in a previous role.
Checking in with employees after a performance review helps them process how they felt things went, the decisions that were made, and the comments they were given.
They can also provide feedback on the person they had their performance review with, helping that person improve, too.
At the end of the year
A lot can happen in a year. Checking in with your employees at the end of each year, whether that’s the calendar year, financial year, or whatever other year your business runs on, allows you to reflect on the last twelve months and how things have changed.
You can take stock of successes, mistakes, and failures, so that you can move forward together productively.
Employee listening needs to be continuous and happen at a multitude of touchpoints. It shouldn’t be just once per year or when there’s a problem.
It’s about so much more than the business deciding to conduct an employee experience survey. It’s about making sure employees feel heard.
If you want to level up your employee listening approach, Workrowd can help. Our always-on feedback tool automatically collects data about what’s driving impact for employees, and solicits their thoughts after important events and initiatives.