Reimagining Employee Experience with Always-On Surveys
As organizations progress their listening journey, many are placing increasing focus on measuring the employee experience more holistically, taking stock of key moments across the employee lifecycle. This can be accomplished through the use of "always-on" surveys.
Always-on surveys differ from traditional, point-in-time listening events. They are continuous in nature — meaning that they don’t have a pre-defined start and stop date.
Always-on employee listening measures the evolution of an employee’s experience through notable milestones (e.g., new hire onboarding) or triggers (e.g., a promotion or other role change). They are designed to capture employee perceptions specific to a particular stage of their experience with an organization. By diving deeper into these milestones, organizations are better able to take targeted actions, course correct when needed, and gain a more integrated understanding of how these events or triggers impact an employee’s (or prospective employees’) experience.
Below are some of the ways in which companies are harnessing the power of continuous listening through always-on surveys.
Candidate experience surveys allow an organization to take stock of the first impressions it generates with prospective employees. It helps to identify what motivates candidates to apply, illuminating the ways in which the employee value proposition is perceived from the outside. It also provides insight into the effectiveness of the talent acquisition team, satisfaction with the interview process, and the likelihood of a candidate to recommend the organization to others in their network.
In a competitive labor market, candidate surveys can be critical to delivering insights into the reasons why candidates accept or decline positions and the steps that a company can take to boost acceptance rates. It can also be instrumental in supporting diversity initiatives, by better understanding how candidates from different backgrounds perceive the organization along with its mission, vision, and value proposition.
Employee attraction and job acceptance don’t always go in tandem. While both are critical to the talent acquisition process, it’s important for leaders to be able to distinguish between the two. Perceptyx research indicates that while quantifiable factors like compensation and benefits are vital to employee attraction, they generally don’t go as far as to “seal the deal” when it comes to the acceptance of job offers. Instead, candidates will often cite future career prospects and the stability of the company as the main reasons for accepting an offer. Understanding factors that are vital to driving both candidate attraction and acceptance are necessary when aiming to enhance the caliber and the acceptance rates of candidates.
Hiring Manager Experience
Hiring manager surveys gather feedback from the leader responsible for filling open job positions. Organizations that deploy these surveys continually are able to quickly identify insights related to the hiring process. In doing so, they ensure that the organization is well-positioned to attract and onboard the best possible talent.
Getting the perspective of the person tasked with filling a role can help to shed light as to whether the candidates entering the process are the right fit and have a clear understanding of the expectations associated with the job. When paired with candidate surveys, hiring manager surveys can offer a holistic view into the talent acquisition process while also ensuring that the hiring manager is well-equipped to bring top talent into the organization.
These surveys are playing a greater role in supporting DEIB in the workplace by assessing talent acquisition's ability to attract candidates from different backgrounds, who will inject new ideas and perspectives critical to driving an organization’s future success.
New Hire Experience
New hire surveys aim to capture the employee experience from its inception through an employee’s first year at an organization.
The first of these new hire milestones is often set within 30 days of starting a position. This touchpoint is used to better understand the reasons for joining a company — moving beyond the candidacy phase to get a clearer sense of what actually compelled that employee to accept the job. It’s also used to get immediate feedback on what is most important to the new hire. This often means ensuring that their workstation was set up correctly, that they have the tools and equipment needed to perform, and that they know where to go to have their questions answered — all of which prepare a new hire for success.
As an employee’s tenure increases, the moments that matter most to them will evolve. Therefore, it’s helpful to also pulse on new hire experiences after the 30-day mark, aligning the key milestones in the onboarding process to the listening strategy. Capturing these moments by taking stock of their training, establishment of internal networks, and — more broadly — their satisfaction with the onboarding process is critical to shortening the time it takes for an employee to become proficient in a role. It is also vital to avoid the dreaded “failure to stick,” where talented employees leave an organization shortly after joining due to one of these factors not being in alignment.
To give an example from a Perceptyx customer, a global telecom company uses onboarding touchpoints to assess whether new hires understand the expectations associated with their role at the 60-day mark in their tenure. What Perceptyx research found is that those who lacked clarity regarding their new role were 2.5x less likely to see themselves staying in the organization in the year ahead, when compared to everyone else. They also found that those who left the organization in their initial year of tenure were 5.5x less likely to believe that their job accurately reflected the description they were provided as candidates. Being equipped with this information allows organizations to predict the extent to which employees are likely to remain with an organization and to take timely action to support new hires and candidates in building a more solid future with the company.
Exit surveys are used to gain a deeper understanding of the reasons why employees opt to leave an organization. While departing employees tend to be the most negative, they are also the most candid, providing additional insight into what aspects of their employee experience could have been improved. This becomes particularly critical as we examine data from the standpoint of high performers, or those in critical roles — groups whose departures are often the most regrettable for an organization.
Another Perceptyx customer, a global financial services organization focused on mitigating turnover among its top performers, uncovered that those who opted to leave the company were more than 2x as likely to cite a lack of career opportunities as the driving force behind their decision, versus dissatisfaction with compensation. This is consistent with Perceptyx research that points to employees reporting that they are more than twice as likely to leave a job due to a perceived lack of future career development opportunities when compared with dissatisfaction with pay, and that a recent pay raise has little impact on employee retention.
These insights allow organizations to “double click” into issues that are most likely to adversely impact the employee experience, enabling companies to better understand challenges as they appear — whether it be managers struggling to provide feedback, limited access to new projects, or a lack of transparency around career mobility. When equipped with these data-driven insights, companies can take meaningful action aimed at driving sustained improvements.
Connecting the Dots
Always-on, continuous listening enables organizations to capture and take stock of the moments that matter most to employees and prospective employees in real time. Organizations can take this a step further by pairing always-on surveys with other listening methods to connect the dots and listen more holistically. For example, we can link onboarding surveys with an annual, point-in-time census survey to understand which new hire experiences may be most predictive of future success and the impact that realistic job previews have on employee retention. Additionally, organizations can link exit survey data with census survey data to determine whether employees who left for specific reasons were signaling their dissatisfaction much earlier on and what aspects of their experience most contributed to their reason for leaving.
Is it Time to Rethink Your Talent Acquisition and Candidate Experience?
A product like Sense from Perceptyx can provide critical insight into candidates’ earliest impressions. Timely feedback from candidates, hiring managers, and new hires can help organizations cultivate an experience that drives candidate attraction, top talent acquisition, and new hire stickiness. Exit data provides valuable insights aimed at mitigating regrettable losses.
By unlocking the full power of continuous listening, organizations can capture and act on the deeper insights needed to sustain an exceptional employee experience.
Begin your journey to an always-on listening experience by speaking to a member of our team or taking our free interactive listening maturity assessment.