The Organizational Moments That Matter In The Employee Experience
By Dan Rubin, PhD - June 05, 2019
In a previous article, we explored the important events in the individual’s employee experience. From a holistic standpoint, those events are important to the company as well. Employee engagement, the product of a good employee experience, has a big impact on productivity, voluntary attrition, and ultimately, the company’s bottom line.
We’ve also previously discussed the significance of organizational changes on the employee experience. There is some overlap in defining “moments that matter” for employees and organizations, in that anything which positively or negatively impacts employees will also affect the organization. The reverse is also true—things that impact the entire organization will affect individual employees as well. For the purposes of this article, we’ll be exploring events that impact the entire organization, and the effect of these events on the employee experience.
Organizational Moments That Matter In The Employee Experience
A number of events can occur in the business life cycle which have an impact on all employees. Examples include:
- Change of leadership
- Mergers and acquisitions
- Developing and/or implementing a new business strategy
- Launching an important new product
- Regulatory changes
- Market changes
Big changes often have big impacts. While the impulse may be to wait to gather feedback until things settle down into a new normal, there is actually more need to get feedback from employees during times of disruption than at other times.
Surveying employees during events that define the organization’s journey is extremely important. Otherwise, leaders will not know how employees feel about the change, difficulties they may be experiencing, or how well they are adapting to it. The survey is the best vehicle the organization has for learning the perspectives of all employees so it can better manage change in the future.
Are you missing out on opportunities to improve the employee experience? Learn how to enhance the experience at every stage of the employee journey with our free guide, The Employee Experience Playbook.
Examples Of Measuring Through Organizational Moments That Matter
Several companies Perceptyx has worked with serve as good examples of the importance of surveying through big organizational changes.
A Product Recall
One company had an unexpected event that occurred during a scheduled survey. Midway through the three-week period when they were conducting their annual census survey, they had a major product recall. Had they known in advance, they would have scheduled the survey for another time. But due to the timing of the event, it was possible to parse the data to see the differences in perceptions of employees who took the survey before the recall was announced, versus those who took the survey after.
Although company leadership handled communication about the recall well, employees who took the survey after it was announced wanted more information and did not feel that leaders had adequately communicated the reasons behind their decisions. During the initial period of chaos following the recall, employees indicated they needed more direction from leaders. This valuable information will help the organization handle future periods of change.
Another Perceptyx client went through an acquisition as the acquiring company. They were interested in doing a baseline survey of employees in the company they were purchasing within 30 days of the change in ownership, to measure engagement, change management, and communication. Initially they got pushback from the company they were buying. Leaders of the newly acquired company thought the data would be a mess—but this was exactly why it was important to survey.
Moving forward with the survey allowed the acquiring company to establish a baseline. As expected, there was a lot of “noise” in the data around issues of communication. The survey revealed that not all of the right messages were getting to the right people, which allowed the communication plan to be modified. After 90 days, a pulse survey was administered and showed that the communication issues were largely resolved. Without the voices of employees saying “A, B, and C are confusing to us,” leaders would not have had the information they needed to develop a focused action plan for managing the change.
Mapping A Path Forward After Organizational Change
Perceptyx has worked with a number of organizations on culture issues, surveying to help define the current culture and the desired future state. In a merger or acquisition situation, this could be incredibly powerful.
Surveying each company to define the current culture and the desired future culture would allow an overlay of the data from each company. This comparison could be used to gauge the level of consensus about the future state between and within the two groups of employees, and to define the starting point for each. Analysis of the data would be extremely useful in periods of change, when an organization needs to define a future state and map a path to get there.
People are often counseled not to fear change. The best advice for organizations is to not fear feedback about change, because it’s one of the most important things leaders can have for managing transitions through major organizational changes. (Tweet this!)
Are you missing out on opportunities to better manage organizational change?
Transitioning through change is hard, but it’s harder when you’re flying blind. The Perceptyx platform collects the data you need to manage transitions. With surveys tailored to your business objectives, our platform delivers insight into your employees’ perceptions and opinions about changes in your company—and our fast reporting allows you to make adjustments to your change management plans.
Contact Perceptyx today to see how we can help you improve the employee experience during times of change.