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Decoding Employee Needs for Resources and Support with Listening

Decoding Employee Needs for Resources and Support with Listening

The experience of today’s workforce is complex, and the future promises to be just as challenging. Communities, companies, leaders, teams, and individuals struggle to align to purpose, ensure their time and talents are used wisely, and contribute to something meaningful. Lack of resources — everything from technology to trucks to personnel to finances to time — is getting in the way of motivated, dedicated employees delivering the impact they want (and that the company needs) to be successful.

So how do we ensure it is clear to each individual how their job connects to a larger purpose, and how the organization is supporting them to perform their responsibilities in service to that purpose? A comprehensive employee listening strategy is critical to any go-forward strategy that looks to leverage self-awareness and evidence-based insights to make timely decisions, provide the right support where it is needed and solve sticky problems.

Strategic listening programs can also foster a trusting, positive company culture and enable leaders to tackle emerging business challenges head-on. A key factor to enabling this kind of responsiveness is carefully measuring and acting on responses to your listening program’s Resources and Support dimension.

According to recent research conducted by Perceptyx, 95% of organizations surveyed have an employee listening program in place. 70% of organizations conduct a listening event for their employees at least quarterly and plan to increase their listening efforts within the year. Despite this impressive commitment, only 40% report that insights captured through listening inform company decisions. There is immense untapped potential for immediate performance improvement if we start listening and acting more effectively when employees tell us what they need to do their jobs and fulfill their purpose. 

Unpacking the Implications of Resource Deficiency

A lack of resources and support can depress employee productivity and satisfaction, and impact the organization's overall performance. There are a few strategies that organizations can adopt to counter these challenges.

  • Tools and Resources: Ensuring that employees have the right tools and resources is paramount to their performance and productivity. With efficient processes, appropriate tools, clear communication channels, and sufficient finances and personnel, employees can perform tasks in an optimal way.

  • Prioritization: Ensuring goal alignment between employees and management can help optimize resource utilization. A clear understanding of priorities reduces resource strain, eliminates redundant tasks, and strengthens strategic efforts. Moreover, it is respectful to employees. A group of employees pushing over the weekend or at the abandonment of other tasks to complete something they thought their leader needed, but which was actually a low priority, can drain psychological safety and jeopardize morale and performance.

  • Grassroots Problem-Solving: Encouraging employees and line leaders to identify better ways to manage resources can enhance efficiency. This involves creating avenues for requesting additional resources or offering support when available. Enabling employees nearest to the work to use discretion for what resources and support they need will cut to the most important support, allowing for more surgical interventions and cost-savings.

  • Well-being at Work: Ensuring employees' ability to manage workload and stress is critical in balancing job requirements with available resources. Arming employees with what they need to do their jobs well enriches their experience and allows them to engage smoothly in what motivates them, while also relieving pressure and avoiding activities and experiences that drain them. Providing adequate resources and support is an investment that always pays broad dividends.

In many instances, resources and support can be low-hanging fruit with immediate benefits. For instance, providing new hard hats on a worksite not only keeps people safe but also signals that management cares about employee well-being. This perception shift can have far-reaching implications, from boosting morale to mitigating discontent and improving employee-employer relations. 

When these strategies are applied, employees enjoy better performance and a smoother workday, feel seen and appreciated by the organization, and strains on time and energy and decision-making from having to compensate for insufficient resources are reduced. Employees can expect less conflict between their work and home lives as work can more reliably be accomplished within the workday. High performers are less at-risk for burnout as they do not have to take on tasks of lower-performers who have a harder time navigating a resource-poor workplace — and the list of benefits goes on.

Demographics: A Closer Look at New Hires and High Performers

Two key places to learn the most about Resource and Support needs from your listening program are comparing demographics and employee comments. Diving deeper into these two areas can reveal more nuanced strategies and lead to better results in the enhancement of resources and support.

Consideration of the various demographic groups within an organization's workforce provides a treasure trove of insights. When we focus on groups such as new hires and high performers, the value of this demographic analysis becomes even more apparent.

  • New Hires: New hires, fresh from their initial training, often struggle with resource limitations more acutely than their experienced peers. They may not yet know the organization's inner workings and can often experience stress when faced with resource-related roadblocks that they aren't equipped to navigate. Through lifecycle surveying done with a product like Sense from Perceptyx, their feedback can provide insights into potential improvements in the onboarding process, the clarity of job roles and expectations, and the adequacy of training programs. In turn, these improvements can enhance the integration of new hires into the organization and boost their productivity and satisfaction levels.

  • High Performers: High performers are the organization's backbone, but they are also the ones who may push through resource limitations to meet their objectives. This resilience, while admirable, could also hide systemic issues that need to be addressed. By paying close attention to the feedback from high performers via listening conducted with a survey product like Perceptyx’s Ask, organizations can identify areas where additional resources or support are needed. More importantly, addressing these needs could have a significant impact on overall organizational productivity and morale by relieving undue pressure on this group.

Employee Comments: The Power of Qualitative Data

Quantitative data derived from employee surveys provides valuable broad strokes, but the finer details often lie in the qualitative data, specifically the employee comments. Employee comments offer a more personal, in-depth view of the realities on the ground. They can highlight specific challenges and successes, reveal underlying organizational culture elements, and provide insights into employee morale and engagement. Furthermore, comments can help distinguish whether stress arises from a genuine lack of resources or from perceived managerial indifference.

This rich source of qualitative data can yield powerful insights. For example, a recurring theme in comments could point to a systemic issue that needs to be addressed at the organizational level. Conversely, a single insightful comment could spark a new idea for improving resources and support.

To fully capitalize on these insights, organizations need to implement robust data analytics and actioning processes. A listening platform like Perceptyx’s People Insights Platform can handle both structured and unstructured data and has capabilities such as natural language processing to facilitate the sentiment analysis of text-based responses. The newest gem in the Perceptyx qualitative comment analytics platform is Intent Analysis, which raises — you guessed it — intention to the surface, including “Needs and Wants,” which is a rich source for quickly getting past the noise of pure complaints or mere venting to the real asks and needs of employees. 

By amplifying employee voices, these survey-driven insights help create a more supportive and productive work environment. They also feed into the continuous — and virtuous — cycle of listening, understanding, and acting that keeps organizations resilient and adaptive in the face of changing employee needs and evolving business landscapes. Thus, effective employee listening and surveying not only serves to translate employee voices into data-driven insights but also as a compass guiding the organization towards continual improvement and success.

Regardless of the Challenges, Perceptyx Can Help Your Organization Support Its People

As we've explored in this article, strategic employee listening and surveying can transform employee voices into actionable, data-driven insights about necessary resources and support. This is just the beginning of our deep dive into this topic; in the second part of our two-part series, we'll further unpack the dynamic interplay among resources, support, and employee engagement.

With Perceptyx as your partner, you'll be equipped to design a listening program that is tailored to the unique needs and experiences of your workforce. Through our innovative People Insights Platform, you'll have the products to get right to the heart of their needs and challenges, along with the ability to forge a more inclusive, supportive work environment.

It's time to move from conversation to action. Take the first step towards fostering a more engaged and productive workforce by scheduling a meeting with a member of our team or taking our free interactive listening maturity assessment

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