A common challenge companies face as they rapidly grow from a smaller tight-knit organization into a larger scale company is how to maintain a very intimate communication flow with their team members. Small companies have the advantage of informal networks which keep the communication flow going in both directions. As companies grow, they need to be more proactive in thinking about how they maintain this tight connection by leveraging technology to replicate this informal network. Done well, companies can gain a true competitive advantage not only by engaging their teams but also in leveraging their teams’ collective perspective to drive thoughtful decisions that affect them.
In current times, the need for these close connections and fluid communication is more critical than ever. Not only is the need to provide team members with clear and consistent communications essential, but so is the need for the business leaders to make rapid decisions/changes to meet the challenges of a very dynamic business environment. MeBeBot’s Intelligent Assistant has proven to be a great tool for driving “push” communications to keep team members in the loop with changes, but it can also be an incredible tool to “take the pulse” of team members to gather feedback on key decisions that directly affect them and your business.
The idea of soliciting input from teams to drive decision-making is gaining momentum; although, there are clear best practices to keep in mind as you consider doing so. Well-thought and well-executed pulse surveys can be incredibly valuable – those done without proper planning can be far less effective in gathering valuable people analytics.
Below is quick summary of best practices to ensure the success of any employee survey program to drive decision-making.
Pulse Surveying Best Practices:
- Announce Surveying Initiative Up Front – Before conducting any pulse surveys, it is critical to broadly communicate the initiative and its intent to team members. This will tend to set the company up for better participation by allowing the company to anticipate and address team member concerns in advance.
- Reinforce Anonymity – The most common objection to survey participation is fear that responses will be seen by management, which will either reduce participation or affect the honesty of answers. Be clear in discussing how the results are anonymous and what the feedback will be used for.
- Set Expectations Up Front – Discuss how team member feedback will factor into the decision-making process. It will be good to reinforce that not all decisions will be subjected to the pulse surveying process, but it will focus on those decisions where the company will most benefit from team member perspectives in managing trade-offs. It will also be helpful to reinforce that decision-making will also be driven by the company’s goal of providing team members with compelling rewards programs and policies balanced with the need to manage cost implications. Understanding team member preferences is key to managing this trade-off.
- Utilize Clear and Specific Questions – All questions should be clear where the result is a specific and actionable “answer”. Avoid open-ended questions as they do not set themselves up for a clear plan of action. Likewise, questions should not seek to gain a general understanding – they should be constructed to help facilitate a direct response.
- Follow Through on Results and Actions – With well-constructed questions, the outcomes will be clear, and results should be communicated back to participants. Along with the cumulative results, the company should provide a summary of the direct actions the company will take as a result. Company initiatives that get great responses occur when team members see the direct link of their responses to driving company actions.
Many companies have avoided engaging their team members through pulse surveys out of concerns about confidentiality, setting unrealistic expectations, etc. but these concerns can easily be overcome with a well-thought-out campaign.
In addition, many companies have experienced low participation in such programs, making it difficult to gather enough data to influence their strategies. Leveraging pulse survey tools that are purposeful and accessible in the employee’s normal “flow of work,” for example within collaboration tools like Slack or Teams, can greatly impact success.
The key benefit of making this effort is in creating a culture of communications and feedback where you reinforce team member value by soliciting their input and feedback on decisions that affect them.
MeBeBot can be the cornerstone of this initiative by intuitively and cost-effectively connecting with your team members on key decisions. Please feel free to connect with us to discuss further how MeBeBot can take your connection to your team to the next level through our new pulse survey capabilities.
About the Author
Craig Briscoe is a senior Human Capital Executive currently serving as an Investor, Advisor, and Independent Consultant. Over a 25-year career that includes significant consulting and in-house company roles, across all areas of Human Resources, Craig has extensive experience influencing C-level executives and boards of directors. Craig consulted on a wide variety of topics including executive compensation, merger & acquisition due diligence and integration, and broader human capital issues. He has worked with a number of Fortune 100, mid-size, and smaller early-stage growth companies across all industries.
Craig holds a BBA from Texas Christian University with a double major in Finance and Accounting and an MBA from the University of Notre Dame with concentrations in Marketing and Finance.
MeBeBot’s Intelligent Assistant seamlessly installs as an app in Teams, Slack, or web portals to provide employees with instant automated answers to global HR, IT and Ops FAQS, real-time usage Dashboards, Push Messaging, and custom Pulse Surveys, generating instant employee feedback on of-the-moment questions. MeBeBot’s “one-stop bot” is trusted by leading organizations to elevate the employee experience so work can be more meaningful and valuable.
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