7 Considerations When Choosing an Employee Listening Partner
Choosing the right survey partner is critical to helping your organization realize its true potential while also delivering an exceptional employee experience. Whether your organization is evolving from a do-it-yourself approach or requires expanded capabilities for multi-channel listening and analytics, here are seven key factors to consider when selecting your ideal listening partner.
1. Trending of historical survey results
When evaluating a new survey provider, it’s important to consider that provider’s ability to support historical trending of results. Leaders and employees alike typically want to know how results have moved from one survey milestone to the next, especially as it relates to areas where action has been taken or are closely aligned with key organizational initiatives. Ensuring the ability to trend results, regardless of the measurement scale previously used, is critical to building momentum internally, maintaining line of sight to progress made, and continuing to drive accountability.
2. Benchmarking capabilities
Aligning to a provider with robust benchmarking capabilities ensures that results can be meaningfully interpreted. Where measurement scales are the same, strong benchmarking capabilities help to support minimal disruption or changes in survey content, as legacy survey items can be more easily compared with existing benchmarkable items.
Consider the ability of a survey vendor to support external comparisons across multiple characteristics that define your organization and employees — industry, countries or regions of operation, company size, and sub-populations like union status, job function, tenure, etc. This will help to build context around survey results, while taking the nuances of your employee population into account.
While benchmarks are a critical part of an effective survey program, they are only one element used to provide external context. Other means of providing context include the vendor's ability to provide real-time insights in the form of panel data and research aimed at identifying trends that are relevant to your organization and industry. This will help to understand how others in the marketplace are addressing current challenges like employee well-being, remote work, and “Quiet Quitting,” to name a few, offering additional perspectives on evolving issues.
3. Employee Engagement methodology
An effective employee engagement methodology assesses the emotional connection that employees have with the organization, as well as their willingness to act on these connections. Engagement is highly predictive of key organizational performance metrics such as reduced turnover, increased customer satisfaction, and higher profitability. It’s critical that your organization partner with a provider that has a robust and validated measure of engagement that can act as a leading indicator of your organization’s future success.
While engagement measures may differ, they often assess an employee’s:
- Commitment or intent to stay with an organization over the next 12 months
- Willingness to recommend the organization to others for employment (Referral Behavior)
- Sense of personal accomplishment derived from one’s role (Intrinsic Motivation)
- Level of pride in working at their organization
4. Ability to evolve and grow your listening program
Organizations have different maturity levels when it comes to employee listening, and a one-size-fits-all approach is rarely the answer. Some organizations' approach to listening is more traditional or episodic in nature, largely consisting of a point-in-time survey, while others are more mature and focused on supporting a strategy of continuous listening across multiple channels.
Regardless of where your organization falls on the continuum, it’s important to have a provider that your organization can grow with — ensuring that they not only meet your immediate needs, but are well suited to support your future ambitions, including always-on employee lifecycle surveys (exit, on-boarding, candidate experience surveys, etc.), multi-rater feedback, passive listening, and crowdsourcing.
As these channels are introduced, it will become increasingly critical to leverage advanced analytical capabilities to better understand the relationships between these channels and how best to utilize the results to support your organization’s business and people strategies.
5. Ability to move with speed and agility
More evolved employee listening programs greatly shorten the time between data collection and the cascade of results — accelerating the feedback loop by quickly getting insights into the hands of managers and employees. This is critical to building trust and confidence in the survey program, as it lets employees know that their voices have been heard and are being taken seriously.
While moving with speed and purpose is important, it is equally important to ensure that your listening strategy is future-proof by working with a vendor that is sufficiently nimble. As we learned from the events of the past few years, circumstances that impact the employee experience can present themselves with little warning, making it vital that an organization can quickly gauge and act on employee perceptions relating to acquisitions, divestitures, return to office initiatives, and more that can all occur with little to no warning.
6. Ability to guide managers and their teams in taking action on survey results
This step is the most critical in terms of evolving an organization’s listening strategy. While gathering and analyzing employee feedback is necessary, it will only yield value if meaningful action is taken and ownership is established at all levels of the organization.
An effective way to drive action on survey results is to ensure that people leaders have the tools at their disposal to easily interpret results. Equally important, managers must be able to quickly share their results with their teams in a compelling way. Once results are shared, ensure that your managers are equipped with digital resources such as facilitation questions aimed at fostering meaningful discussions with their teams, best practice sample action plans, and other tools intended to drive meaningful action.
7. Support throughout all phases of the survey project lifecycle
Creating and implementing an effective and future-focused employee listening strategy is hard work, even for some of the world’s largest and most data-savvy organizations. It’s important to make sure that those tasked with implementing a new survey program have the support needed — from ongoing project management to training and consulting support that will help quickly establish them as internal experts. Additionally, working with a provider that has deep subject matter expertise, thought leadership, and advanced people analytics capabilities will help to ensure that your listening program is able to reach its full potential, delivering world-class outcomes and driving your organization forward.
A Proven Model of Listening & Actioning Success
Perceptyx has helped some of the world’s largest and most admired organizations connect people and business data through our comprehensive employee listening platform. To learn more about how we can partner with you, schedule a meeting with a member of our team.