When, Why, and How You Should Survey Your Employees

November 10, 2015 Jiordan Castle


Customers are the bread and butter of any successful business, which is why most companies spend so much time and money on delivering a great Customer Experience. But if your focus begins and ends at the customer level, you’re missing out on an equally important group — your employees. Engaged workers are an essential part of delivering a great Customer Experience.

Pulse checks: an alternative to annual surveys

Medallia, an operational customer experience management system, helps businesses transform their Worker Experience. Just as you would with valued customers, they help businesses create and send out surveys for employees, collect responses, analyze feedback, and develop actionable insights.

Much of this is done with “pulse checks,” a concept that turns the traditionally lengthy annual employee survey on its ear. The Harvard Business Review tells us that pulse checks — short, frequent, anonymous online surveys — give managers a better understanding of team dynamics and ways in which individual team members believe the Customer Experience can be improved. Most importantly, pulse checks aren’t about metrics; they’re done 2 to 4 times a year, and focus on trends and unfiltered feedback, which leads to a useful dialogue. For both managers and their direct reports, Medallia’s ability to delve into the root causes of issues is far more beneficial than simply calculating an arbitrary engagement score.

After all, Forbes says that more performance reviews and team-building exercises don’t make for more engaged employees; it’s the quality and meaningfulness of surveys and engagement exercises that can make or break workforce morale. The good news is that the level of employee engagement directly correlates to the extent in which trust, values, and overall company mission determine and drive daily activities and interactions. If employees clearly understand their work (and the work of the company at large) and believe in it, they’re more likely to be engaged.

Make the most of every employee journey

It sounds simple enough: collect feedback, understand feedback, and voila — you’ve got more engaged employees. But when you choose to survey employees is every bit as important as how you survey employees. The key to gathering insightful, actionable feedback is a combination of 3 things: identifying common employee journeys, collecting feedback during moments of truth (times of explicit change and/or reflection), and ultimately, taking action on areas for improvement. Ongoing engagement is important to employee success, particularly during “moments of truth,” such as:

  • Throughout the onboarding process
  • After the first month of work
  • After the first year of work
  • When an employee gets a new manager
  • When an employee is promoted

Medallia’s surveys are designed to focus on attributes that align with your company’s structure, are specific to individual roles, and provide enough time to take action once feedback has been received. Surveys are a tool, not a substitute for human communication. As such, surveys — when given at the right times and with relevant questions — can complement learning and development training and regular support from managers.

Learn more about consumer-grade technology, building a better Worker Experience, and developing empowered employees from our ebook, The Future of Employee Engagement.


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