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Taking Action on Employee Listening Data: Key Roles & Responsibilities

Taking Action on Employee Listening Data: Key Roles & Responsibilities

In today's dynamic work and economic environment, the mandate for organizations to engage in robust employee listening and action is clear. The Perceptyx Employee Listening Maturity Model, the companion to our 2023 State of Employee Listening Report, acts as a definitive roadmap for organizations who want to evolve their employee listening strategy from beginner to more advanced stages.

This article focuses on key roles within an organization — and their responsibilities — that are essential for effective action-taking in response to survey feedback. With that information in mind, you can answer the critical question: “How do we work together in a coordinated effort to deliver the biggest impact from our listening program?

Unpacking the Updated Perceptyx Maturity Model

Perceptyx’s 4-stage maturity model addresses the key differentiators that distinguish the most mature, successful listening programs. The maturity model offers clear guidance for organizations to transform their listening initiatives from merely "hearing" employees to authentically understanding their sentiments and incorporating these insights into actions and creating change:

  • Number of Listening Channels: Traditional employee listening programs often rely on surveys, with Perceptyx research finding that 71% of organizations use them as their primary method. However, mature programs diversify their listening channels, incorporating methods such as digital crowdsourcing and behavioral listening, which uses passive tech like calendar and email scraping. About 41% of companies use crowdsourcing, while nearly 29% employ behavioral listening techniques.
  • Speed: Technological advancements have drastically reduced the time it takes for organizations to gather and analyze employee feedback. Despite the convenience of real-time data aggregation, around 30% of organizations still take more than four weeks to deliver findings to executives. Speed must complement effective action to initiate real, organization-wide changes based on the feedback.
  • Agility: A successful listening strategy must be adaptable to the changing needs of both the workforce and the organization. Rather than focusing on crafting the perfect set of questions to ask or track over time, mature organizations recognize that an agile listening strategy is one that can adjust the questions and the listening channel to meet changing business needs. It's often the act of listening and taking action on feedback that sends a more powerful signal than the specific questions themselves. However, this doesn't mean that mature organizations are abandoning their full employee experience surveys. Instead, they use them as a diagnostic tool to identify areas where further conversation is necessary. 
  • Integration of Other Business Data: The challenge in modern employee listening programs lies in synthesizing people data from various sources. Mature organizations excel in data integration, enabling them to craft strategic responses to issues like high employee turnover at specific career milestones. For example, correlating exit data with onboarding surveys can reveal mismatches in job expectations, providing a pathway for actionable solutions.

By mastering these four key differentiators, organizations can position themselves to realize the full benefits of an evolved listening program — informing strategic decision-making and driving substantial organizational change.

The Importance of Intentionality and Change Management

To effect meaningful and sustainable change, it’s critical to understand that everyone has a role to play. By working together in thoughtful coordination, leaders and contributors at every level of the business have an opportunity to ensure the creation of the workplace experience they want. Everyone plays a part in understanding and acting based on listening feedback. 

Here is one example of how several levels perform their roles in coordination with each other to achieve a common goal and sustain alignment and strategic focus. How several levels perform their roles in coordination with each other to achieve a common goal and sustain alignment & strategic focus

Imagine if this flow was disrupted or ruptured; there could be untold amounts of confusion and misaligned priorities, lack of clarity and buy-in, etc. 

Here's a granular breakdown of these crucial roles, considerations for each, and best practices that can facilitate genuine listening and effective action planning.

  • Site HR
    • Key Considerations
        • System Learning: Proficiency in the platform is required to interpret data effectively.
        • Data Analytics Capability: The data needs to be understood in the context of its analytics.
        • Coaching Capability: The ability to coach and mentor based on the insights derived from data — which can be enhanced with a scalable AI coaching product like Cultivate Intelligent Coaching from Perceptyx
    • Best Practices
        • Acquire Competency in Analytics and Data Interpretation: Site HR should invest in training programs to elevate their skills in these areas.
        • Act as a Liaison: Serve as the key communication point between corporate survey teams and the local HR leadership, to ensure alignment and synergy in strategies and actions.
        • Offer Coaching and Mentoring: Provide actionable feedback to employees based on insights from the data, and mentor them in line with corporate objectives.

  • HR Leaders
    • Key Considerations
        • System Learning: Like their counterparts in executive roles and site HR, continuous learning of the platform is critical.
        • Scope of Work: The often broad purview of their role, covering diverse teams and geographies.
        • Global Reach: The global scope of their role often requires tailoring strategies to accommodate different cultures and business practices.

    • Best Practices
        • Commit to Continuous Learning: Keep abreast of platform updates and new features to utilize the system to its full potential.
        • Correlate People Strategies with Global Objectives: Ensure that any action plans developed are not siloed but are integrated with the organization's larger mission and vision.
        • Utilize Data to Inform Leadership: Be the advocate for employee voice in the C-suite. Utilize hard data to inform and influence strategic decisions.
  • People Leaders
    • Key Considerations
        • System Learning: Adequate familiarity with the platform is crucial for effective action planning.
        • Time Constraints: Juggling daily tasks and leadership responsibilities often leaves little time for data analysis, which is where a user-friendly suite of products like the Perceptyx People Insights Platform can make a major contribution.
        • Data Analytics Capability: A fundamental understanding of data interpretation is required for insightful action planning.

    • Best Practices
      • Prioritize System Learning: People leaders should earmark time for training sessions on the Perceptyx platform.
      • Leverage Time Management Skills: Effective time management is critical to balancing daily operational tasks with time spent on data analytics and action planning.
      • Act on Data: Translate insights into concrete plans that can be implemented in the short term while aligning with long-term organizational goals.

  • Engagement Ambassadors
    • What are Engagement Ambassadors? A Note on Specialized Roles in Driving Engagement: For those unfamiliar with the term, Engagement Ambassadors serve a critical function in fine-tuning an organization's approach to employee listening and feedback. While not all companies may have formally designated individuals for this role, many successful organizations do. Typically, Engagement Ambassadors organize focus groups, facilitate the feedback process to gauge how messages resonate within different sectors of the company, and assist leaders in executing coordinated action-planning efforts. These ambassadors act as the nexus between leadership, HR, and the broader employee base. Their intimate knowledge of both organizational strategy and employee sentiment enables them to guide more effective and targeted communication, thereby enhancing the overall impact of the employee listening program. Their role is particularly impactful in large or complex organizations, where multiple layers of hierarchy and diverse subcultures can complicate effective two-way communication.

    • Key Considerations for Engagement Ambassadors
      • Timing: The point at which results are communicated can greatly affect their impact.
      • Various Media Types: Choosing the right channel can be as important as the message itself
      • Translations: Global organizations must consider language barriers when communicating results.

    • Best Practices for Engagement Ambassadors
      • Choose the Right Timing and Media: Take a strategic approach to the release of survey results, factoring in company events, and other communications.
      • Work with Language Experts: Ensure translations are accurate and idiomatic to avoid misunderstandings across diverse employee demographics.
  • Executive Committee Members and Function/Business Unit/Site Leaders
    • Best Practices
      • Champion the Process: Act as role models by sharing your results transparently with team members and employees.
      • Communicate with Candor and Gratitude: Be upfront about the organization’s strengths and areas for improvement and show gratitude for employees’ candid feedback.
      • Drive Accountability Through Regular Updates: Set regular milestones for action plans and communicate the status clearly and transparently to all stakeholders.
  • Human Resources Business Partners
    • Best Practices
      • Help Leaders Connect the Dots: Serve as the bridge between people data and business strategy, ensuring that one informs the other.
      • Guide Leaders in Sharing and Acting on Results: Offer workshops and toolkits to assist in the effective communication and implementation of action plans.
      • Upskill HR Professionals: Organize training sessions to fill in knowledge gaps that may exist in the HR department, to better serve the organization’s goals.
  • Site/Functional HR and People Leaders
    • Best Practices
        • Learn System Functionality: Understand the nuts and bolts of the Perceptyx system to guide leaders in making data-backed decisions.
        • Provide Regular Updates to Leadership: Keep the executive board and other stakeholders in the loop about the progress of action plans.
        • Celebrate Successes: Acknowledge and celebrate milestones, no matter how small, to keep the momentum going and to foster a culture of continuous improvement.
  • Action Planning Team Leaders and Volunteers
    • Best Practices
        • Review Data Carefully: Deep-dive into the survey results and other people data to come up with meaningful, actionable insights.
        • Facilitate Open Discussions: Organize forums and platforms where employees can openly discuss survey results and potential improvements.
        • Maintain Confidentiality: Ensuring the privacy of respondents is paramount. Respect this by anonymizing data and ensuring only authorized personnel have access.
        • Provide Updates to Leadership: Regularly update management on the progress of initiatives and projects that are underway, based on employee feedback.
  • Employees
    • Key Considerations
        • System Access: Employees must have straightforward access to the system where feedback is collected.
        • Communication: Clear channels of communication between employees and management are vital.
        • Time Constraints: Employees often face the challenge of carving out time to participate in feedback sessions.
        • Negative View of Surveys: Skepticism often exists regarding the efficacy and purpose of surveys.
        • Distrust in Process: There's often apprehension that the data collected might not lead to actual change.
    • Best Practices
        • Advocate for System Access: Employees should be proactive in requesting access to platforms that facilitate real-time feedback.
        • Engage in Internal Communication Channels: Utilize in-house forums and intranets to articulate their expectations and specific needs from the listening program.
        • Allocate Time for Feedback: Employees should recognize the strategic significance of surveys and allocate dedicated time for participation.
        • Establish Trust in Process: This can be achieved through transparent action planning and feedback loops where employees can see the outcome of their input.
  • Executive Officers
    • Key Considerations
        • Timing of Messaging: The timing at which insights are shared and acted upon is crucial.
        • Ties to Strategy: All actions must be aligned with broader organizational objectives.
    • Best Practices
      • Align Messaging with Organizational Strategies: Use the data-driven insights to bolster and fine-tune key performance indicators and overall strategic goals.
      • Act on Data-Driven Insights: The real essence of a mature listening program lies in the actions taken post-data collection. Executive officers should act swiftly and decisively to improve employee experience across the organizational hierarchy.
      • Overcoming the Learning Curve: A Note on Executive-Level System Utilization: It's essential to acknowledge a common challenge many executives face: a hesitancy to personally engage with the employee listening system, often delegating this task to administrative staff or human resources. While this may appear to be a time-saving measure, it can undermine the executive's direct understanding of the platform's capabilities and the rich insights it offers. Fortunately, the Perceptyx People Insights Platform is designed to be highly intuitive, minimizing the learning curve and making it easier for executives to actively participate in the listening process. Engaging directly with the system not only facilitates more profound comprehension of the data but also fosters a culture where senior leadership is actively involved in employee feedback mechanisms. Executives stand to benefit significantly by overcoming this initial hurdle and logging into the system themselves. Doing so reinforces the importance of the listening program across all organizational levels and contributes to more effective and informed decision-making.

By understanding and implementing these best practices, organizations can more effectively manage changes to their employee listening strategy and continuously and collaboratively improve their employee experience.

Perceptyx Can Help Bring Your Organization Closer Together 

The Perceptyx People Insights Platform stands as a robust, agile product for achieving listening maturity. Its intuitive dashboards and flexible reporting allow organizations to utilize the full power dynamic, data-driven insights. These insights translate into actionable strategies that incorporate the voices of all stakeholders. 

To discover where your organization stands on the listening maturity curve, reach out to a Perceptyx team member or take our free interactive assessment. Listening isn't just about collecting data; it's about evolving into an organization where everyone values the human element in its quest for world-class business outcomes.

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