Simpler, faster, better

When it comes to employee experience, engagement and continuous listening, I am currently working with several large companies where we are helping them:

  1. Save money at this critical time (e.g. halving what they have previously spent on traditional engagement surveys with other providers)
  2. Become agile (e.g. collecting insights in the moment, flexibly, from key groups and then driving change via sprint sessions with managers) 
  3. Get far more value (e.g. through smart analytics and alignment to their business priorities and CX)

Simpler, faster, better. Three key priorities, especially now when cash-flow really matters.

I’ve encountered some leaders who think you cannot listen to employees during this crisis because it’s too difficult and expensive. That feels like an excuse. It’s certainly not the case with our tools and our HPEX framework.

My clients are keeping in touch with workers through pulse surveys and virtual focus groups. They’re providing real-time advice to employees and giving them access to resources. They’re personalising communications through mobile tools. They’re prioritising well-being.

Here are some of the guiding principles that we see the best companies following:

  1. Understand this as a defining leadership moment — to continue delivering the best possible outcomes for all stakeholders; staying true to your purpose, values, principles and culture, and embrace new ways of working
  2. Adopt an agile and continuous learning mindset – harness innovation and creativity that arises during difficult times
  3. Involve and engage all stakeholders in decision making (e.g., shareholders, employees, customers, supply chain partners, unions/works councils, healthcare providers, community)
  4. Focus on the intersection of employee and company well-being
  5. Balance immediate needs with the ability to rebound and remain viable long-term

One of my learnings from the Financial Crash is the importance of this final principle. The companies that rebounded the strongest had been able to keep their eye on the long-term. In fact, they took advantage of the opportunity provided by the crisis in order to re-imagine and re-invent processes and systems that had lain untouched for too long due to inertia.

In this scenario, two low-hanging fruit for many companies still are:

  1. Modernising a traditional employee engagement survey and moving to continuous listening and employee experience instead
  2. Re-tooling a traditional and tired performance management process so that it provides more ongoing, constructive and useful feedback

You could easily add to this list re-thinking skills and jobs for the future of work, and ensuring that your organisational design is fit for the future.

Some of my HR clients have told me that their to-do list has actually risen up the business agenda. That’s because people and organisational priorities are at the heart of how you need to respond to this crisis. Discussions that were hard to move forward are now getting traction. Just so long as you keep a focus on: simpler, faster, better.

Message me if you would like more information on any of this.

At WTW we also have a library of great resources related to the COVID-19 crisis that you can access here.

Tags: #EmployeeSurveys #COVID #FutureOfWork

This article was first published on LinkedIn on April 7, 2020.

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