Gaining a deeper understanding of how your people feel during their employment at your company is a vital exercise. As mentioned in my first blog in this series, having an insight into the employee experience can help your people feel like they belong, stem employee turnover, attract top talent and improve your bottom line.
Throughout an employee’s tenure, you will gain a lot of data on a person’s progress at your organisation; for example, through training logs, absence records, and salary and promotion history. But this data needs to be combined with employee experience insights – that is, what employees are actually telling you about their experience – to understand your company’s existing cultural landscape and to identify barriers, overcome challenges and make improvements.
Here are our top five proactive listening strategies to build that more comprehensive picture of the employee experience at your organisation:
- Candidate reaction surveys
These surveys provide a window into your hiring process to assess the effectiveness of your advertising and interview/selection model. We recommend monitoring the experiences of both successful and unsuccessful candidates to ensure everyone feels heard. Plus, treating unsuccessful candidates with the same reverence as your new hires ensures they too have a positive experience, while also creating advocates that can enhance your company’s reputation, even if they did not secure a role.
- Onboarding surveys
As mentioned in my previous blog, this is the period of time immediately after being hired when new starters meet their colleagues, are introduced further to their role and the resources at their disposal, and begin to get a feel for a company’s culture. This is a crucial point of their employment journey, and where a bad experience might see them looking to make an early exit!
Start gathering their impressions from day one and have regular check-ins with them as they settle in. These views could be gathered via quick surveys held during informal one-to-ones with their team leaders so they’re not too onerous or intimidating. Asking a few questions during this time also demonstrates how much you value the opinions of your employees, even in those early days.
- Training feedback
Training sessions are important milestones in an employee’s time at an organisation as they help to enhance a person’s learning and skillset, and lead to progression and promotion within the company. It’s therefore worth asking people for immediate feedback on not only what they liked or did not like about a session, but how easy was it for them to obtain this training, how they felt it benefited them personally and whether they would have liked this training sooner? This will help you improve the quality of your training and how your people access it.
- Stay interviews
As retention efforts step up following the pandemic, you’ll probably be hearing more about the stay interview. Think of them as the opposite of exit interviews.
Conducted as informal discussions with your top and long-serving performers, these proactive interviews will help to uncover what excites them about work, what motivates them to stay, how they see their future at your company and what improvements in their experience they would like to see. The results of these chats will enable you to act on the now, rather than wait for an incident to happen or have to remedy mistakes of the past.
For stay interviews to be effective, it’s important you work on fostering a culture of psychological safety so employees feel they can speak freely without fear of pushback and knowing their feedback will be taken fully on board.
- Exit interviews
While the aim of understanding employee engagement is to stop good people from leaving, if they do seek the door, it’s important that you take the time to ask them about their experience before they go. With little to lose, you’re likely to gain your most honest feedback from participants of exit interviews, which can help you understand the reasons behind your turnover rate. These are ideally conducted by “neutral” members of HR, rather than team leaders or managers, to encourage the most useful insights.
At Tell Jane, our skilled HR practitioners are on hand to help you develop an effective employee experience evaluation programme and provide bespoke training on all the methods outlined in this blog. Get in touch today at firstname.lastname@example.org to learn more.