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The best employee survey questions

11th November, 2021.

The best employee survey questions

In 2020 there were 44,000 businesses in the UK with over 50 employees. Our State of UK Employee Engagement research found that 52% of businesses send an employee survey at least once every 6 months. That means, every year, there is a minimum of 45,760 employee surveys going back and forth between businesses and employees. That’s a lot of opinions, a lot of data and a lot of questions to get right!

Before we highlight some of the strongest questions to include in your employee surveys, let’s cover some of the essentials first.

The 15 dos and don’ts of employee surveys

Employee surveys are a hugely valuable method of gathering information from employees but there are many things to consider for you to maximise what you achieve.

1) DO have a clear goal for your survey

Ensure you know exactly what you want the survey to achieve. Do you want to measure employee engagement? Do you want to gather opinions on new company values? Do you want to better understand learning and development requirements? Whatever your reason keep it in mind throughout your survey creation ensuring every question relates to the outcome you want to achieve. This will keep it focused and provide higher quality results.

2) DO NOT send a survey without the relevant leadership team agreeing to its value, goals and output

The leaders of whichever teams you are sending the employee survey to need to understand its purpose, benefit and outcome to ensure they promote it effectively to their teams. Any doubt or uncertainty will reduce the number of people that take part and potentially influence how they answer the questions.

3) DO have a clear understanding of what the employee survey results will contribute to

Will the output from the survey be the decisive factor for a business decision? Will it contribute to other opinions and/or research? While having a goal is a starting point you also need to be clear as to how the survey will contribute to that goal. This also needs to be known and agreed upon by the entire leadership team. Any confusion or disagreement will hamper the effectiveness of the results.

4) DO NOT send a survey without your employees knowing exactly what it is for

To maximise survey participation you need to explain why your employees should take time to fill in the survey. This is your time to “sell” the survey. Include your goal, how the results will be used and expected timescales for the results to be actioned.

5) DO stick to one purpose

So often employee surveys end up covering multiple goals. As a result, they either become very long or don’t ask sufficient questions to get a conclusive result. By having a single goal for every survey you and your employees will have a much clearer picture of what its purpose is.

6) DO NOT exclude employees from taking part in the survey

While you may not intentionally exclude people from answering the survey if they do not have direct access to the survey their opportunity will be limited. Either find an employee survey tool that can be sent and filled in via a mobile device or hold sessions in which those employees can have access to the survey. Without this inclusive approach, your results will never be accurate.

7) DO be consistent

If your employee survey will be repeated set specific times for the survey. We are naturally creatures of habit so this familiarity will help with completion rates. If relevant, also include how the results of the previous survey have influenced or changed the business. The reiteration of how the results were used will further build confidence that their time spent filling in the survey will be time worth spent.

8) DO NOT overcomplicate your survey

Keep your questions to the point. Unnecessary or confusing words in a question will increase the effort required to complete the survey. Avoid using any jargon and keep your wording as simple as possible. Make sure there are no double negatives and ensure every question only asks for one thing.

9) DO mix your questions up

Ensure your questions are varied enough to keep your employees interested. While you may want to ask five questions to really drill into what they think about one thing, your employees are likely to lose interest. Also, use a variety of answer choices such as multiple choice, radio buttons and sliding scales. This encourages the recipient to keep focused.

10) DO NOT include too many open-ended questions

While these are useful to give employees an opportunity to expand on a specific point, they also require more effort to answer. As such, many people are likely to skip the question or abandon the survey. They also make it more difficult when analysing the results of the survey. Due to the manual element of needing to review each answer, open-ended answers can become overlooked.

11) DO keep your employee survey questions neutral

Perhaps one of the hardest things to achieve because you are naturally thinking about how the responses will be used. But effective surveys ensure that every question is neutral. Leading questions that demonstrate opinion will influence the results. Employees will answer the question how they think it should be answered rather than giving their true opinion. For example, instead of asking “How would you rate the success of our leadership team?” ask “How would you rate the performance of our leadership team?”

12) DO NOT miss out answers in your multiple-choice questions

If using multiple choice take a step back from the question and ensure you include all potential answers. Think of it on a scale from worst to best and include a mid-way response that enables the employee to be neutral. If it isn’t clear cut include a ‘none of the above’ or ‘other’ option. As a survey participant, there is nothing more frustrating than not having the option to select the answer you have in mind.

13) DO ensure you and/or colleagues have the time to analyse the results

Recent research found that only 28% of those responsible for sending employee surveys are completely satisfied with how the survey results are used. Typically, this is often due to a lack of resources or time to fully delve into the results. It is also caused by a lack of buy in from leaders in the business who don’t listen to the insight gained from the survey. Therefore, ensure you have the time to tease out every bit of insight from your survey and ensure point 2 is fully completed before you embark on the survey.

14) DO not forget to communicate the results of the survey and the actions that will follow

The moment employees think survey results aren’t used or listened to is the moment your employee survey participation rate plummets. Once you have analysed the results ensure your share these with your employees and include the outcome of the results. What will happen next? What will change? What are the timescales?

15) DO consider the user experience

A survey that is clunky to complete or visually unappealing will increase abandon rates. You need to make it as easy and as pleasant an experience as possible. The right employee survey tool should do a lot of this for you but always take a moment to fill the survey in as an employee to ensure it engages you and flows naturally.

Find further tips on how to improve employee survey response rates here

The best employee survey questions

Employee surveys can cover a vast array of topics from learning and development to cultural alignment. To help you get the most out of your employee survey we have selected questions for the five most common types of employee surveys; professional development surveys, employee satisfaction surveys, employee wellbeing surveys, employee engagement surveys and company culture surveys. All of the questions listed have been chosen because of the quality of the output they generate.

For each closed-ended question consider your pre-defined answer set. Some may benefit from multiple choice answers while others may be better suited to a scale. This consideration combined with the dos and don’ts listed above will help ensure you gather highly valuable insight from your employees.

Questions for professional development employee surveys

Whether you want to understand what your employees need and expect to progress their careers with you, or you want to assess how effective your learning and development programmes are, these questions will help you get the answers.

  • Do you feel you have the knowledge and support necessary to successfully do your job?
  • Are your tasks and responsibilities clearly defined and achievable?
  • Does our organisation support you in your career progression?
  • On a daily basis, how challenged are you at work?
  • Can you visualise a career path at [organisation]?
  • How invested is your line manager in your success?
  • Do you see yourself working here in two years?
  • How well does your manager support your career development?
  • Do you utilise all of your strengths in your role?
  • What would you change about our learning and development programme?

Questions for employee satisfaction surveys

These are the questions to ask if you want to gauge overall employee satisfaction. They will collate the views, attitudes and perceptions of your employees. An employee satisfaction survey is often used if you suspect an element of dissatisfaction because the results can help to define what that dissatisfaction is.

  • How satisfied are you with your job requirements and targets?
  • Does your line manager value your opinion?
  • If you could, what’s the one thing that you would change about your job?
  • When was the last time your manager recognised your achievements at work?
  • How satisfied are you with your current compensation and benefits?
  • Do you feel your role impacts the future success of our company?
  • Do deadlines and workloads regularly cause you stress?
  • How effective do you think our leadership team is?
  • Are you confident in our organisation’s financial stability?
  • Hypothetically, if you were to quit tomorrow, what would your reason be?
  • If you were given the chance, would you reapply for your current job?
  • Do you look forward to starting work each morning?

Questions for employee wellbeing surveys

The following questions will help you understand the level of wellbeing within your organisation whilst also identifying if there are any opportunities to improve your wellbeing initiatives.

  • How would you rate your work-life balance?
  • How valued do you feel at work?
  • Do you have all the tools and equipment you need to fulfil your role adequately?
  • How comfortable do you feel providing feedback to your manager?
  • Does your physical workspace fulfil your needs?
  • How connected do you feel with your colleagues?
  • When something unexpected comes up in your work, do you usually know who to ask for help?
  • Do you believe you’ll be able to reach your full potential here?
  • Do you feel comfortable and relaxed at work?
  • How could your work environment be improved?

Questions for employee engagement surveys

These questions will help you understand employee engagement by delving into the levels of commitment and drive each employee has for the work they do at your organisation.

  • How transparent is our company when communicating company performance?
  • Are you proud to work for [organisation name]?
  • How inspired are you by the company vision and values?
  • How likely are you to recommend [organisation name] as a good place to work?
  • Do you understand the strategic goals of the organisation?
  • Do you feel like you are contributing to the strategic goals of the organisation?
  • Do you look forward to coming to work each morning?
  • How empowered do you feel at work?
  • How can we improve your engagement at work?
  • Do you believe we will reach our organisational objectives?
  • Are we a better organisation now than we were six months ago?
  • Within your role, do you believe you have a positive impact on the organisation?

Questions for company culture surveys

Is the way that your employees view their work environment aligned with your company culture vision? These questions will find out by helping you measure the effectiveness of your corporate values.

  • How comfortable do you feel contributing ideas and opinions at work?
  • Without looking them up, can you recite our company values?
  • How comfortable do you feel asking for help?
  • What three words would you use to describe our culture?
  • Do you believe we are achieving our company values?
  • Does [organisation name] adequately addresses discrimination and inequality?
  • Do you think [organisation name] is socially responsible?
  • To what extent do colleagues respect one another?
  • How well does the leadership team listen to your feedback?
  • What can we do to improve the company culture?
  • Do you think the results of this survey will positively impact the future of our organisation?
  • In your opinion, how does this organisation define success?

Do you have the right employee survey tool to conduct your employee surveys?

Our employee survey tool enables you to create bespoke employee surveys whenever you need them. Results are presented in real-time dashboards making it quick and easy for you to analyse the results. Thanks to the employee app, everyone in your organisation receives the survey no matter where or when they work. This, combined with the ability to communicate the results with everyone through the internal communications tool, makes VRAMP a very effective employee survey tool. Discover more here.

author-rachel-stidworthy

Rachel Stidworthy

Marketing Manager

I am a focused and highly organised communications professional with over 15 years marketing experience in the B2B sector.

Categories
Blog Employee Engagement

Common Problems with Employee Engagement

10th November, 2021.

The 15 most common problems with employee engagement and how to fix them

Employee engagement is a huge job. Not only do you need to engage your employees, but you also need to keep abreast of any changes and manage your internal processes.

With so many plates to spin it is no surprise that only 22% of companies know what’s driving employee disengagement.

But when employee engagement has been proven to reduce staff turnover rates, improve productivity and increase profits it is essential that you iron out any issues quickly. If you needed any further motivation, a study by Bain found that an employee who feels engaged and inspired is 125% more productive than an employee who is just ‘satisfied.

With so many gains available when employee engagement rates increase let’s explore what prevents improvements in employee engagement and the solutions for overcoming those problems. When considering the most common problems, they can be categorised into three groups:

1) Your employees

Your employees work differently and think differently. With such an array of different minds, it can be very difficult to engage with everybody. But for those who are less engaged, there are a number of reasons that directly impact how they feel that could be holding them back.

2) Your business

The nature of your business and the managerial team leading the business all impact your employee engagement efforts. It is here that there will be numerous variables, such as a managerial change or a business acquisition, that could rock your perfectly aligned employee engagement boat at any time.

3) Your way of working

How you deliver your employee engagement strategy is often overshadowed by the two points above. But your processes and tools are just as important to the smooth running of your employee engagement strategy than the other two points.

This blog explores the five most common employee engagement problems for each category and how to fix them.

Your employees

Your employees are the very reason that you have an employee engagement strategy. They are the driving force of your organisation but inevitably there will always be stumbling blocks. Here are the most common challenges and how to overcome them.

1) A lack of recognition or development opportunities

If an employee doesn’t feel appreciated, they will rapidly become disengaged. Everyone needs to feel like they are contributing to the overall success of a company and 37% of employees state recognition as the most important motivator.

Recognition will come in various forms ranging from a simple “thank you” to a bonus scheme or benefits package. While you may already have some of these in place, are you consistent with your recognition?

Closely linked to recognition is the opportunity for progression. Career development is the number one reason why employees leave their job. If they cannot see an avenue for growth, whether that is a different job or training to improve their skills, they will become unmotivated and disengaged.

The solution: Your resolution to this problem will depend upon the extent of your existing approach. If you already have recognition and training & development programmes in place you may need to focus more on communication. If you do not yet have anything official, your first step will be to create recognition and development strategies. The list below will act as a checklist to ensure you have everything in place to give your employees the recognition and progression they need to feel engaged.

  • A clear recognition policy – all line managers need to know when recognition is warranted because any inconsistencies will cause frustration. Linking recognition with company values could be a good way of ensuring this consistency.
  • A culture of acknowledgement – a simple “thank you” goes a long way. With the right company culture, employees and line managers will naturally show their appreciation for a colleague who has helped them or gone above and beyond.
  • A training & development programme – if you don’t have a formal programme in place this should be your first port of call. A clear process for employees and line managers will be essential to support the growth of your employees.
  • Regular one-to-ones and annual reviews – it is important to set time aside for each employee to discuss their work. A study by Forbes found that 43% of highly engaged employees receive feedback at least once a week. A structured meeting to be able to discuss performance and to raise concerns or desires is key to encouraging employees to have these conversations.
  • Ensure awareness – some employees may simply not know about your recognition programmes and training and development schemes. Regular communication about what is available will act as a constant reminder of what employees have available to them.

2) Day-to-day frustrations

A standalone frustration is barely given a thought but a frustration experienced day-in-day-out soon becomes a barrier to employee engagement.

This could be a laborious process, a dirty work environment or a disrespectful colleague. No matter how severe the frustration, if nothing is done about it, in time, it will cause disengagement.

The solution: The first step is to know about the frustrations. Employees must have an outlet; a means in which they can share their frustrations. Line managers should always make themselves available but some employees may not feel comfortable discussing their frustration with their direct report. Suggestion boxes, employee surveys and staff forums are all good alternatives to give employees additional channels to raise their frustrations.

Once you know the frustrations it will be important to take action. If those frustrations are likely to have impacted others in the organisation communicate the solution to them too.

There may be some instances where a resolution cannot be found. If that is the case communication is more important than ever. The moment employees think their employer isn’t listening is the moment you start to see a decline in employee engagement.

3) A lack of collaboration

If your employees lack interaction with colleagues this not only impacts how well they can do their job, it may also prevent innovation.

The more you can connect your employees the more they will take accountability, the more they will learn and the more they will achieve.

Ultimately, a collaborative way of working drives empowerment. An empowered workforce will feel able to make their own decisions, contribute more and achieve more. All of which breeds satisfaction and, in turn, employee engagement.

The solution: No matter how your employees work, it is essential that you find ways for them to collaborate. Whether that is an employee directory which people can search to find a colleague to help them, regular social events to encourage interactions or a central location to find forms and documents.

If you don’t have the processes in place to connect people, you may want to explore a software option to help you. Many employee engagement platforms include employee directories and document libraries to bring all your information and people together. You also have the added bonus of being able to send your internal communications and employee surveys through the same platform which will help you consolidate the number of systems you use.

4) Poor direction

The leadership experienced by your employees is a major influence on their engagement. If they do not have a clear direction, they will lose faith in their leadership and the business as a whole.

Employees need to know what is expected of them and those expectations need to be realistic, clear, and concise. They need to witness their manager displaying the same behaviours that are expected of them and they need confidence that their manager makes the right decisions.

Employees also require their managers to be consistent. Any fluctuations in their interactions will cause distrust.

The solution: Ultimately each of your managers should successfully carry out these duties:

  • Maintain the smooth running of their business function
  • Communicate transparently and effectively
  • Translate business goals into functional individual goals
  • Plan set goals and report on progress
  • Manage team projects and finances
  • Resolve problems and issues
  • Support employees on their growth aspirations
  • Ensure a safe and secure working environment for their staff

If you recognise gaps in any of your managerial team’s abilities these need to be addressed through training. This could be peer-to-peer training or through an external provider.

Even if your managers tick all these bullet points it may be worth exploring further training to maximise the way your managers interact with employees. The one thing that sets a good manager apart from an excellent manager is their ability to truly understand an employee. The exemplary managers identify what makes someone tick and what qualities they have and then convert this understanding into a way to harness their way of thinking and unique skills. This individualised approach harnesses what each person has to offer and uses it to drive business performance.

While this is a difficult skill to learn, if you are in the position to work with managers to develop the skill, you are likely to see a significant increase in employee engagement.

5) Not being heard

As much as employees want to hear relevant information relating to them, their jobs, and the business, they also want to be heard. Generally speaking, organisations have become very good at communicating out but often overlook how to effectively receive information.

One route often taken is employee surveys. But many confuse employee surveys with conversations. While they do a brilliant job of gathering opinions, the feedback received only relates to the questions asked and they don’t enable employees to discuss the topic. They also only represent a snapshot in time.

Gathering feedback in this way is now very alien to us. Societally we live in a world of immediacy in which we rarely have to wait. Therefore, within the workplace, if an employee has to wait to share their opinion it is likely to cause frustration and disengagement.

The solution: Give your employees a consistent voice. Find ways in which employees can share their ideas, opinions, and concerns.

Tools for employee engagement such as an employee communications platform often enable employees to like and comment on the internal communications that are shared. This constant opportunity to provide feedback means that thoughts are captured in the moment. Employees won’t forget to mention an idea or brew on a frustration.

While employee surveys are not the sole answer to two-way communications, they do still play a part. They enable you to drill deeper into specific topics and when used alongside other methods for gathering feedback, you will have a much more thorough and fluid two-way communication process.

The fundamental rule to remember with all feedback that you gather is to listen and respond. Employees will be buoyed by the opportunity to share their feedback but if they feel that information is falling on deaf ears they will disengage.

Your business

Your business is the reason employees took the job in the first place. Whether it was the role itself, the culture, the business proposition, or the stage of growth; something about the business will have attracted that individual to pursue their career with your organisation. But the business and the way it is run is often the cause of a lot of employee dissatisfaction. Here are five problems that frequently hamper employee engagement:

1) Not having leadership buy-in

Your employee engagement strategy will only be successful if your leadership team believe in it. Our ‘State of UK Employee Engagement’ survey found that 17% of UK businesses state a lack of leadership buy-in as their greatest challenge when undertaking employee communications and engagement.

If your leadership team disagree on the route your strategy is taking or the effectiveness of employee engagement your success will be hampered.

The solution: If you are aware of sceptics within your organisation you may want to create (or reshare) your business case for employee engagement. Depending on the level of scepticism it may also be beneficial to get all your leaders together to discuss your strategy.

Until you have a unified leadership team who agree with your approach and live and breath your strategy, you will not be able to maximise engagement. It is worth persevering until you reach this point.

2) A non-inclusive strategy

A business is only successful because of its people. That includes everyone from a caretaker to the chief executive. Every individual needs to be considered when executing an employee engagement strategy. The famous John F Kennedy interaction with the NASA janitor is a perfect case in point. When asked what he did for NASA the janitor responded with “I’m helping put a man on the moon”.

This is an organisation that had very effectively communicated with the janitor. He knew his purpose and how he was contributing to the business goals.

For many businesses, while they have plans to include everyone, the logistics often get in the way. Depending on their job role some employees can be “hard to reach” and subsequently get forgotten about or receive information secondhand.

The solution: First of all ensure you have an inclusive employee engagement plan. Do you have communications that accommodate everyone? Will those communications resonate with everyone and help them understand how they contribute to the wider business goals?

The next step is to look at your processes for communicating? Do you reach all employees effectively? The word ‘effectively’ is key here. Does everyone receive information in a timely manner? Are you confident that messages aren’t lost in translation? So often the hard-to-reach employees, such as those on the frontline, receive information through a printed email put on a noticeboard or via a team briefing. These methods of communication do not guarantee a message has been received as you intended it.

Thankfully technology is now able to plug this gap, breaking down the barriers that have historically been in place. With an employee engagement platform, you can send communications directly to every single employee through the use of mobile apps. Where or when they work no longer needs to interfere with what information they receive and when they hear it.

3) A corporate culture that fights against your employee engagement strategy

The culture of a business can severely hamper employee engagement. Is there an expectation for employees to work beyond their contracted hours? Do some line managers struggle to instil open and honest communication channels? Is a lack of punctuality common?

The definition of company culture is the shared beliefs and behaviours that guide the actions of all team members. If your organisation has a dysfunctional culture that doesn’t emulate positive traits it will impact the levels of engagement you can achieve. Something as simple as not respecting an employee’s time and regularly turning up to meetings late will have an impact on that individual’s engagement.

The solution: Improving your company culture is a big task, but if you recognise downfalls in your culture you must tackle it if you want to see an increase in employee engagement. You need to create an environment of trust, alignment, collaboration and resilience.

Your starting point will need to be your leaders. You will need to have an open and honest conversation with them about your organisation’s culture. They will need to support you in understanding what is and isn’t working culturally before you can embark on remodelling your culture.

When you know what needs to change, once again this needs to start with your leaders. They need to become advocates who live and breathe the culture. Only once that example is set can you expect employees to adjust their behaviours.

Then it’s all down to communication. An effective communication strategy that outlines what you have done and why will help to accelerate the adoption of your new positive culture.

It won’t change overnight but your efforts will be worth it in the long term.

4) Poor alignment to company objectives

If your employees are disconnected from your company objectives it is often due to a lack of understanding. While company objectives are discussed heavily within the boardroom, the passion and belief displayed behind closed doors are often lost by the time it is communicated to the rest of the workforce.

Another common downfall is that employees understand the objectives but do not think they are achievable. This can be more damaging than if the objectives have been miscommunicated because of the negative connotations. Negativity spreads quicker than positivity so one person’s opinion can quickly spread to become the opinion of many.

The solution: Your employees need to not just understand the reason behind the objectives but also what part they play in meeting those objectives. When communicating your objectives, rather than doing a mass communication to everyone, break it down into different teams and explain specifically what it means to them.

It’s also important to remember that while objectives are set once a year, they last for that entire 12-month period. Communicating with them at the beginning of the year isn’t enough. Your employees need to know progress along the way which will also act as a gentle reminder of the objectives. By keeping employees connected to your objectives throughout the year they are far more likely to buy into them, and to your company as a whole.

5) Significant change

As businesses grow and develop change will always happen. That could be a change in the management team, a change of business direction, an acquisition, or the introduction of a new system. Whatever the change it is likely to unsettle some of your employees. It is human nature to resist change so this is to be expected. Therefore, during any period of change, we must work particularly hard to maintain employee engagement.

The solution: it’s important to understand the reasons behind people’s fear of change. This article neatly summarises the emotions people may be feeling and helps to put their reactions into perspective. By taking a moment to appreciate how your employees may feel during a time of change you can then create a communication plan that supports them step-by-step through the change.

For every change communication you create remember to include information about what is changing, how that change will affect them, what is expected of them and what the next steps will be. By following this pattern with every communication you will help your employees adjust quicker and reduce the risk of disengaging them.

Your way of working

The way your employees feel and perceive things and the way your business functions will directly influence employee engagement. However, there are also a number of aspects within the HR/communications team that could be inhibiting your employee engagement efforts. When you are working so hard to drive up employee engagement you need to ensure that your ship is sailing at full throttle. The most common challenges our customers come to us with are:

1) Unrealistic expectations

These unrealistic expectations could be on yourself or your team.

Often this is an unrealistic expectation of time; trying to squeeze too many tasks into not enough time. This is a very common challenge with 38% of employee engagement professionals stating time as their biggest challenge in our recent State of UK Employee Engagement survey.

The survey also found that over half of those responsible for employee engagement spend less than 25% of their time on this function. With so many plates to spin at any given time, it is easy to see how expectations can increase beyond capability.

The solution: If you and/or your team carry out employee engagement activities as part of another role it would be advisable to have a discussion with the relevant managers to discuss the balance. You may want to create a business case to increase the hours spent on employee engagement. Or you may just need to define the lines between the roles more clearly.

You may also find value in reviewing everyone’s roles within your team. Does everyone understand the part they play? Do they know what their responsibilities are and the deadlines that sit alongside their duties? Do they agree that these are attainable? Are you utilising all their skills effectively or would it be beneficial to switch some of the responsibilities?

If time is particularly tight with no immediate solution, could you recruit some advocates from the wider business? Even if it is to help promote a single engagement initiative, their passion for what you do could be really beneficial.

2) Silo working

Silos are very common within employee engagement teams. They are often caused because of a dispersed workforce or individuals having multiple job roles.

As such, tasks may be owned by just one individual or data may only be accessible by a single team that has multiple other priorities that sit above your request.

Whatever the silo you experience, it will be causing inefficiencies, frustrations and open you up to risk.

The solution: Collaboration! By introducing a more collaborative way of working you will no longer have a need for silos.

If multiple people work on different tasks consider adopting a task management system in which everyone in the team can view all of the tasks and who is responsible for them. This will give you a single source of truth that will provide confidence and a more efficient way of working.

If certain skills sit with just one employee explore training and development opportunities for other individuals so you always have at least two people capable of any given task.

If you experience silos within your processes, such as a bottleneck when accessing data, is there another way this could be done? Are there alternative systems or integration options that would simplify the process? Are there other teams or colleagues that could support with the project? Or do you just need a formalised process to ensure you receive the information in a timely fashion?

3) Limited budget

Employee engagement is often last to receive a budget. It’s a relatively new business function and as such, often goes unmissed during budget planning. Instead, those responsible for employee engagement often put forward a business case for specific expenditure as it is needed rather than having their own budget to manage throughout the year.

In other situations, the budget simply doesn’t match aspirations restricting what is achievable.

The solution: Push hard to get an allotted budget for employee engagement. As is the case for any ‘new’ budget, this will be a difficult task. Anyone in finance will be reluctant to hand money over when there is no hard proof that there will be a Return on Investment (ROI)!

Use as much evidence as you can to prove your case. Whether that is an initiative that previously had funding that has had a positive impact or a use case from another business that is representative of your aspirations. The more figures you can provide to evidence the benefits gained from having the budget the more likely you are to be successful. You may find our guide on ‘Building the business case for employee engagement’ useful during this process.

If you feel a larger budget is required, once again evidence is your answer. Use the budget you have but ensure you measure the success of that investment every step of the way. Once you can show the ROI you are far more likely to be able to negotiate a larger budget.

Whilst you work to increase your funding you will become very skilled at making the most of what you have! But there are many others in exactly the same boat so build connections with these people. Explore what communities you could join to exchange ideas and tips.

4) The wrong tools for the job

Due to the resource implication and fear of change, it can be easy to stick with a tool even if it isn’t meeting all your needs. You may customise the system to get it doing what you need but there are inevitably always workarounds or compromises. These workarounds open greater possibilities for human error and over time the workarounds become more and more cumbersome.

If you have an established employee engagement strategy you may also be suffering from having too many solutions. Jumping from one system to another will have a knock-on effect on productivity. You may also find it difficult to compare data from two systems because of the way the information is collated or displayed.

The solution: As a team, audit your processes and systems. It’s important to take this step back from your day-to-day roles and consider if the systems you use are providing the best outcome. While they may have been the best tools for the job two years ago there may be better solutions available to you now. Likewise, two years ago one of your solutions may not have had the same level of capability it has now. Upon review, you may find that you could easily consolidate your systems.

Once you have carried out an evaluation, schedule in the next one. By keeping these review sessions regular you will keep on top of your needs and encourage your team to stay curious, always exploring how improvements could be achieved.

5) A lack of valuable insight

Our recent study found that 48% of UK businesses do not monitor the effectiveness of their internal comms. Further to this, another study identified that only 55% of companies regularly diagnose their employee engagement data.

That’s approximately half of UK businesses that are running employee engagement tactics without any insight into to how effective they are. If you too lack useful insight, this is a quick win that could transform your employee engagement efforts.

The solution: If you have unused data your first step is to study that information to identify what it tells you. Based on this research you can identify any data gaps; considering what information would really help inform your strategy.

If the data you have available is limited you may want to look at a software tool that could help you collate and interpret more information. Tools such as employee engagement software will enable you to send internal communications and employee surveys whilst also collating data from each activity you undertake. Many of these software solutions analyse the data for you, automatically providing comparisons and key performance measures. This could save you significant time and give you greater confidence in your decision making.

However, you choose to record and analyse your data, as a bare minimum we recommend you measure the following:

  • Open rates, and preferably engagement rates, for each internal communication that you send.
  • Employee engagement levels per team and company over time.
  • Employee absenteeism and staff turnover rates.

With this information at your fingertips you will not only be able to better inform your future actions, but also help to evidence your success. This evidence can then help to drive future initiatives and funding.

daniel wright

Daniel Wright

Marketing Assistant

With a desire to grow personally and a wish to improve working lives through employee engagement, I am thrilled to be part of building an internal comms system that connects everyone.

Categories
Blog Employee Engagement

What Employee Engagement Explorer are you?

26th October 2021

What kind of employee engagement explorer are you?

Employee engagement is a relatively new concept in the world of business. We’ve only been using the term “employee engagement” for 30 or so years and as such, many organisations are still finding their feet when it comes to realising the benefit of employee engagement.

Only 25% of employers have an active engagement strategy and 48% do not monitor the effectiveness of their internal comms (Source: State of UK Employee Engagement Report).

What about you and your organisation? Are you at the beginning of your employee engagement journey or is employee engagement engrained in your culture?

Let’s find out. Which of the following biographies best matches your situation?

Cultivating Crusader

Are you a Cultivating Crusader?

You are passionate about employee engagement and aware of the benefits it can bring to your business. However, your leadership team either do not see these benefits in the same light as you or always prioritise other things first.

As a consequence, you have limited time to spend on employee engagement strategies and tactics. Your existing internal communications function adequately but you get very little, if any, insight on how effective each of those communications are. Employee surveys are also inconsistent with some results being poorly utilised.

Conclusion

As a Cultivating Crusader, you are at the start of your employee engagement journey. But the good news is that you are far from alone; a huge proportion of UK businesses are in exactly the same place. Luckily for your organisation they have you. All it takes is one passionate individual, some solid evidence and a strong business case to get your employee engagement strategies underway.

Have a look at our report – The State of UK Employee Engagement to understand more about how you compare to other UK organisations and what you can do to raise employee engagement up your business agenda.

Are you a Purposeful Pioneer?

Your adventure has already begun but you have many routes still to explore.

While you have an employee engagement strategy of sorts this needs evolving and refining.

To date not all your employees know there is an employee engagement strategy and your leadership team have differing opinions on both the importance of employee engagement and the most suitable ways to engage your employees. As a result, you are pulled in many different directions. You are also very aware that there are far more efficient ways of working which you get frustrated by.

Conclusion

You are in somewhat of a catch 22 – until you are able to prove the value of your employee engagement efforts and convert any remaining sceptics, you will have limited time and resources. But whilst at a frustrating point in your journey you are making progress.

Have a look at our report – The State of UK Employee Engagement to discover how you can convert your frustrations into an established employee engagement strategy that starts to bring real benefits to your organisation. From the report, you will also be able to benchmark yourself against other UK organisations. During which you will probably recognise that as a Purposeful Pioneer you are actually doing really well. Many organisations are much further behind on their journey than you!

Purposeful Pioneer

Purposeful Pioneer

Are you a Purposeful Pioneer?

Your adventure has already begun but you have many routes still to explore.

While you have an employee engagement strategy of sorts this needs evolving and refining.

To date not all your employees know there is an employee engagement strategy and your leadership team have differing opinions on both the importance of employee engagement and the most suitable ways to engage your employees. As a result, you are pulled in many different directions. You are also very aware that there are far more efficient ways of working which you get frustrated by.

Conclusion

You are in somewhat of a catch 22 – until you are able to prove the value of your employee engagement efforts and convert any remaining sceptics, you will have limited time and resources. But whilst at a frustrating point in your journey you are making progress.

Have a look at our report – The State of UK Employee Engagement to discover how you can convert your frustrations into an established employee engagement strategy that starts to bring real benefits to your organisation. From the report, you will also be able to benchmark yourself against other UK organisations. During which you will probably recognise that as a Purposeful Pioneer you are actually doing really well. Many organisations are much further behind on their journey than you!

Valiant Voyager

Are you a Valiant Voyager

You have been exploring what employee engagement can do for your organisation for some time.

You have the luxury of a leadership team that believes there is real value in having an employee engagement strategy. Subsequently, your strategy is well known throughout your organisation and you are able to reach most of your employees.

However, as your employee engagement strategy has evolved, inefficiencies have crept in. There may be clunky processes, multiple systems doing similar jobs, silo working or the requirement to duplicate some tasks. You also wish you had greater insight to better inform your future engagement strategies.

Conclusion

While you have inefficiencies to overcome you already have a broad understanding of what needs to change. Now is your opportunity to take stock and ensure the next steps you take will cater for ongoing expansion of your employee engagement strategy.

For more guidance on how to move forward with your employee engagement strategy have a look at our report – The State of UK Employee Engagement. As well as guidance for progressing through your employee engagement journey you will also be able to compare yourself against other UK businesses.

Are you a Game-changing Guardian?

Congratulations. You have been on a journey of discovery but you now have a solid employee engagement strategy that is effectively engaging your employees.

Your leadership team are invested, you work fluidly with others in your organisation and you have all the data and insight you need to make confident decisions.

Since inception, your employee engagement score has increased and employee engagement is now widely ingrained in your company culture.

Conclusion

You have every right to feel a little smug! You have overcome many hurdles to get to this point.

But once you have given yourself a pat on the back remember that while your adventure has reached your target destination, new routes could open up and new hurdles could form. You need to keep an ear to the ground at all times whilst also looking for opportunities to further solidify your strategy.

Have a look at our report – The State of UK Employee Engagement for further guidance on how you can continually improve your employee engagement strategy. You’ll also find out whether your employee engagement strategy is on par with the best performing UK organisations.

Game-changing Guardian

Game-changing Guardian

Are you a Game-changing Guardian?

Congratulations. You have been on a journey of discovery but you now have a solid employee engagement strategy that is effectively engaging your employees.

Your leadership team are invested, you work fluidly with others in your organisation and you have all the data and insight you need to make confident decisions.

Since inception, your employee engagement score has increased and employee engagement is now widely ingrained in your company culture.

Conclusion

You have every right to feel a little smug! You have overcome many hurdles to get to this point.

But once you have given yourself a pat on the back remember that while your adventure has reached your target destination, new routes could open up and new hurdles could form. You need to keep an ear to the ground at all times whilst also looking for opportunities to further solidify your strategy.

Have a look at our report – The State of UK Employee Engagement for further guidance on how you can continually improve your employee engagement strategy. You’ll also find out whether your employee engagement strategy is on par with the best performing UK organisations.

No matter where you are on your journey, the fact that you are reading this would suggest that you are as passionate about employee engagement as we are. You are on the road to improved staff satisfaction, increased productivity, greater customer advocacy and higher profits.

At VRAMP we are proud to play a part in this journey. We help our customers implement their employee engagement strategy through our employee communications platform. Our customers can create impactful internal comms, encourage two-way communication and gain insight on content performance and employee engagement levels. To find out more about how our internal communications tools and employee engagement surveys could improve the working lives of your employees, request a demo today.

author-rachel-stidworthy

Rachel Stidworthy

Marketing Manager

I am a focused and highly organised communications professional with over 15 years marketing experience in the B2B sector.

Categories
Blog Employee Engagement

How good is the UK at employee engagement?

7th October 2021.

How good is the UK at employee engagement?

Employee engagement is on a journey in the UK. The term “employee engagement” only started to enter discussions 40 years ago and the concept of having a business function responsible for employee engagement is an even newer concept.

For the organisations that have embraced employee engagement and weaved it into their culture and business strategy, they are now reaping the rewards. These statistics from Engage for Success  speak for themselves:

  • Businesses with engagement scores in the top quartile had twice the annual net profit of those in the bottom quartile.
  • Organisations in the top quartile of employee engagement scores had 18% higher productivity than those in the bottom quartile.
  • Organisations with high levels of engagement have 40% lower staff turnover rates than companies with lower levels of engagement.
  • Organisations with top quartile engagement scores average 12% higher customer advocacy.

But despite the very clear business benefits of employee engagement, we are still presented with statistics that paint a bleak picture for much of the UK workforce.

Driven by the statistics above, we wanted to find out just how good, or bad, UK businesses are at employee engagement. More specifically, we wanted to understand how widespread employee engagement is as a standalone business function. Is it still predominately the big brand organisations that are the masters of employee engagement or has the ethos trickled down into smaller organisations?

To find out we embarked on a survey in which we interviewed over 200 internal communication professionals.

The results show that the evolution of employee engagement still has a long way to go in much of the UK.

For example, our research found that 48% of UK organisations do not monitor the effectiveness of their internal comms. That’s almost half of UK organisations that carry out internal communications completely blind with absolutely no idea how those messages are being received.

The research did however find some glimmers of hope. Employee engagement is now more widespread with many mid-sized organisations starting to consider how it can benefit their businesses. There are also some sectors that shine much brighter than their counterparts.

Have a look at the report – UK Employee Engagement: The State of Play – to see how your organisation compares. The report also includes guidance on how you can overcome the blockers that are preventing you from evolving your employee engagement strategy.

author-rachel-stidworthy

Rachel Stidworthy

Marketing Manager

I am a focused and highly organised communications professional with over 15 years marketing experience in the B2B sector.

Categories
Blog Internal Communication

15 benefits of an internal communications app

23rd September, 2021.

15 benefits of an internal communication app

For many years we have relied upon ‘traditional’ communication methods to share information internally with our employees. From face-to-face meetings to posters in rest areas to emails and intranets. While each of these channels has its own merits, they also have their limitations.

This blog compares internal communications software with these traditional communication tools, highlighting the key differences and benefits each of those differences brings. Here are 15 reasons that an internal comms app will transform your business.

1. Give employees a voice

The traditional methods of internal communication do a good job of disseminating information but they give little opportunity for employees to have their say.

While for some business leaders enabling employees to ‘have their say’ is a terrifying concept it really needn’t be. They picture scenes of anarchy with strongly opinionated individuals standing on the pedestal broadcasting their views for all to hear, but in reality, giving employees their say is about giving them an opportunity to share their opinion on the matters that affect their working lives.

What’s more, giving employees a voice is a critical part of employee engagement. Without employees feeling as though they are listened to, it will be impossible to truly engage employees. At best you will just be good at internal communications.

2. Reap the financial rewards

As the point above highlights, internal communication apps give an opportunity to truly engage employees to a level not achievable with traditional methods of communication.

With greater employee engagement come financial benefits. There is a lot of evidence available to back this up. Here are a couple of statistics from Engage for Success that paint a very clear picture:

  • Businesses with engagement scores in the top quartile had twice the annual net profit of those in the bottom quartile.
  • Organisations in the top quartile of employee engagement scores had 18% higher productivity than those in the bottom quartile.

Switching to an internal communication tool that drives, and measures, employee engagement makes business sense.

3. Reach everybody

One of the biggest problems with traditional internal communication channels is that they rarely reach everyone. In fact, in a recent survey we commissioned, 27% of internal communication professionals stated reaching all their employees was their greatest challenge right now.

Historically, organisations have utilised multiple channels to increase their reach but even then, with different work patterns, locations and occupations, it is rare that communications reach everyone.

An internal communication app changes this. Everyone, from an individual sat in an office, to a warehouse operative, to a paramedic, will receive your communications. That is because an internal comms app can be accessed without a company email address. All that is needed is a mobile phone. (VRAMP also has a desktop version for those who spend more time in front of a computer.)

4. Put the right information in front of the right people

In addition to reaching everybody you also need to ensure you are not bombarding them with information. Employees in the sales department will require different information to those on the frontline. The last thing you want is for them to be sifting through information to find what is of interest to them. Over time this will become bothersome, they’ll give up and disengage.

An internal communication app allows you to segment audiences so that employees only receive what is relevant and interesting to them. Every time they open the internal comms app they will see the information they want to read which will further boost employee engagement.

5. Share information quickly

There are times when there is information that needs to be circulated fast – whether that is a major health & safety alert or a business announcement that cannot afford Chinese whispers.

When using an internal communication app, at a click of a button everyone receives the information at the same time. Push notifications and options to pin an announcement to the top of feeds mean that those messages are received far quicker than any traditional communication method.

Content can also be written on the go (via a mobile) enabling multiple people to contribute content. This immediacy can make a huge difference, particularly in a crisis.

6. Provide a single source of truth

Internal communication apps simplify the entire communication process. One message can be sent to every employee at a click of a button. Without needing to rely on other people to disseminate messages you know that original messages aren’t being misinterpreted or, worse still, missed altogether.

Every employee knows that the information they read is true to the original source.

7. Make it easy for people to engage

As a society we want things to be easy. If employees have to take time out of their normal working day, remember yet another password or learn how to use a new system you risk them losing interest.

An internal comms app simplifies the entire communication process. Apps such as VRAMP will be very intuitive to use, akin to many social media platforms that most of the workforce will be familiar with. There is no need for a password and the internal comms app can be accessed on any iOS or Android device.

By improving employee’s accessibility to your communications, you will automatically increase their engagement.

8. Put employees on a level playing field

The logistics involved with traditional communication channels would mean that inevitably, employees who work at a computer would receive information earlier than those who work in a different location. Purely because of the logistics of passing messages through the chain of line managers. This creates an unspoken division – a ‘them and us’ culture.

The simplicity of preparing and sending all communications from one internal communications platform means you can remove these unspoken divides. There are no hierarchies for receiving information and everyone can get involved through comments and surveys so no one feels less important than their colleagues.

On paper, this is a subtle benefit but it makes a huge difference to the culture of a business.

9. Connect employees

An internal comms app goes beyond sending and receiving communications. They also have additional features such as an employee directory and document library that help to connect employees with people and documents.

Employees can search the database to find colleagues they need support from or documents they need for a specific job. This boosts collaboration and improves productivity.

10. Monitor skills gaps

Internal comms apps such as VRAMP also list the skills each employee has to offer. This searchable database makes it even easier for employees to collaborate but it also helps managers identify skills gaps and training needs.

11. Collate more ideas

With an internal communication app, you will reach a wider audience. Through comments and survey responses these previously unreachable employees could contribute valuable ideas.

With a larger source of ideas available it will not only boost creative thinking, but it will also make employees feel more valued, increasing loyalty and engagement.

12. Strengthen the company culture

With better communications reaching more people your employees will have a greater understanding of the company vision and goals.

The other points listed above will also help each employee understand where they fit within those goals and how they contribute to the company’s success.

With a strong, well understood culture across your entire workforce, you will have a powerful army of people that will drive your business forward.

13. Communicate more efficiently

As many of the points above highlight, an internal communications app will enable you to communicate and engage far more efficiently. And if you choose the right internal comms app there will also be no need to swap between platforms for internal communications and employee surveys.

Having everything you need in one tool not only makes your working life easier, but it will also help you work more collaboratively with any other colleagues who hold responsibility for internal comms or employee engagement.

14. Measure and prove the ROI of employee engagement

Potentially the biggest benefit of an internal communication app is its ability to provide you with data. You will be able to see which communications employees have engaged with most, which topics of conversation are most interesting to them and what employee engagement scores look like on a company and team level.

Furthermore, if you choose an internal communication app that includes employee survey tools you will also be able to view all the employee survey results in the same employee engagement system.

This level of data is game changing. Particularly when the traditional forms of communication have provided very little if any, analytics.

It means that employee engagement finally becomes a valid, valuable Key Performance Indicator (KPI) that can be measured alongside other business goals to evidence how employee engagement contributes to business performance.

15. Improve employee engagement

Without accurate analytics you cannot be confident in any changes you make to better your employee engagement strategy. An internal communication app removes the need for guesswork or hunches. Instead, you can make confident improvements to your strategy safe in the knowledge that you can measure the effectiveness of each of your changes.

The level of data that an internal comms app provides makes it possible to continually improve your employee engagement strategy.

Take your journey to the next level

If you’ve read this far it suggests that you can really see the benefit of an internal communications app. And rightly so, these are 15 of the strongest points, we could waffle on for days about the brilliance of internal comms apps!

Perhaps now is the time to discover more about how our internal comms app could help you realise these benefits? Either give us a call on 01392 984175 and we’ll happily answer any questions you have or request a demo of VRAMP to see exactly what an internal communication tool can do for you.

daniel wright

Daniel Wright

Marketing Assistant

With a desire to grow personally and a wish to improve working lives through employee engagement, I am thrilled to be part of building an internal comms system that connects everyone.

Categories
Blog Employee Engagement

Is terminology standing in the way of employee engagement?

employee-engagement

September 16th, 2021.

Is terminology standing in the way of employee engagement?

Have you ever paused and thought about the terminology we use and the connotations those terms may have? I found myself doing this recently and it’s really hit a chord. It’s made me question if some of the language we use could be preventing, or at least holding back, employee engagement. Let me explain why…

We commonly use phrases such as “deskless workers” and “remote employees”. But surely these terms go against the very definition of employee engagement?

For an employee to feel engaged they must feel part of the company. They must feel like a valued member of the team. But both these terms create separation. “Less” within ‘deskless’ suggests a lower level to their office counterparts. The term “remote” instantly makes it acceptable that these people are more distant.

But this isn’t the first time we’ve created a divide. In the 1920s the term “blue collar worker” was created to represent the jobs which were typically carried out by people who wore darker clothes to hide the dirt. Accompanying that was the “white collar worker”. Over the years, these terms took on wider meanings with “blue collar workers” often being seen as low paid jobs completed by uneducated people. A divide was born.

Today we hear these terms less and less because those labels are no longer seen as acceptable. Furthermore, they are in no ways beneficial. So why are we repeating history?

It’s time for change

In the past, terminology that divides office-based workers from their frontline counterparts may have been necessary. Purely from a logistical point of view. Communicating with someone using a computer was very different to communication with someone on a factory production line. No doubt, albeit subconsciously, these terms favoured our office workers because they were far easier to communicate with. Sending an email or publishing an intranet article is much more straightforward than ensuring a message is disseminated through line management for example. Due to this completely different way in which we communicated with the two groups, there was a need to categorise them. Although I would still argue that we could come up with better terminology than “deskless workers”!

But today we do not need this definition.

We have internal communications software that can send (and receive) communications to every employee no matter where or when they work. Communicators can now focus on communications rather than the logistics of communications. This technological advancement means we do not need to segment employees by their access to a computer.

But to add to the argument; we now work in a world of hybrid working. The pool of “remote workers” has grown exponentially since the COVID pandemic. If we continue to define these people as a separate more ‘remote’ group, we are going to find our employee engagement taking a downturn.

With the help of internal communications software we have an opportunity to actually treat everyone the same. To create a level playing field that brings everyone together playing their part in the company goals.

I accept that internal communications software is a relatively new solution that hasn’t been adopted by every organisation yet, but I have hope. Hope that with the help of an internal communication tool and an eagerness to make hybrid working a success, we could see the end of divisive terminology.

In a decade I really hope that I look back on this blog with a smile on my face having realised that I haven’t heard the term “deskless employees” or “remote workers” for an absolute age. If I do, we’ll know that employee engagement has reached a new point in its evolution. A more sophisticated, employee centric point that in which businesses will be reaping the rewards that come hand in hand with an engaged workforce.

author-darren-hepburn

Darren Hepburn

Director

Bon Jovi loving, social media junkie and F1 fan. I spend most of my time thinking about the impact technology is having on our society. And my pug Winston…

Categories
Blog Employee Engagement

5 Steps to Better Engage Your Hard to Reach Employees

26 August, 2021.

5 steps to better engage your hard to reach employees

The number of employees we segment into the ‘hard to reach’ category is expanding. Technological advances, a ‘give it to me now’ culture, and new hybrid/home working policies are all influencing how and when our employees work. From warehouses to home offices, supermarkets to oil rigs, hospitals to delivery drivers – our hard to reach employees make up a huge part of our working population.

It therefore comes as no surprise that in a recent survey we conducted with internal communication professionals, 27% said an inability to engage their hard-to-reach employees is their greatest challenge right now.

In some ways it is refreshing to see that this is a top priority for over a quarter of internal communicators. It suggests they recognise the importance of engaging with these people. For too long, organisations have focused on communicating with the easy-to-reach people; relying on third hand channels to cascade information. Not only is it impossible to know how effective these channels are, but it is also a sure-fire way to make these people feel less important. To feel marginalised and disconnected from the collective vision. Once that feeling is ingrained productivity will decrease and staff turnover will increase.

So let’s prevent this from happening and ensure you find the right ways to engage with your hard to reach employee

5 steps to better engage your hard-to-reach employees

1. Select your channels and get buy-in

How you are going to communicate is the first hurdle to overcome. If you are reading this blog, it suggests the channels you currently use are not effective. But before you discard them and start from scratch, first consider why they aren’t effective. Do they require your employees to take time out of their working day to consume the information? Is this perceived to be a distraction from their ‘actual’ work? It may be that your existing channels are the right mode of communication, but the culture surrounding them needs to shift.

Manager and senior leadership buy-in is absolutely critical. They need to set an example to your employees. They need to be seen using the communication channels and they need to spread the message that it is acceptable to take time to participate in those channels. They also need to spread the wider purpose; the reasons for the new methods of communication. Nail this and you are already well on your way to improving engagement.

So what about the channels? There are many to consider:

  • Team briefings
  • Newsletters
  • Emails
  • Posters and signage
  • An internal communication app
  • Letters
  • An intranet
  • Social media channels
  • Text messages
  • Company events
  • Employee surveys

It is highly likely you will select a few different channels. In fact, in the study we carried out, most organisations have at least 3 channels to communication with their employees. As the provider of an internal communication app, we are obviously advocates of using technology but, ultimately, you need to consider what is right for your employees. What kind of people are they? Is the majority of your workforce made up of millennials who would embrace an app? Or do you have a real mix and need to consider two internal communication channels at the opposite end of the spectrum?

If you’re unsure, carry out an employee survey to find out more about your hard-to-reach employees. That way you will be confident in your decisions.

2. Harness your advocates

Humans are like sheep. We are more likely to join in and get involved when we see others doing so. Therefore, once your channels are up and running and while you are building up your engagement levels, advocates could really help you. Identify who is engaged within your hard-to-reach communities and use their enthusiasm to spread your messages wider. Encourage them to promote the channels you are using and work closely with them to gauge feedback.

Within our internal communications software we automatically identify these advocates making it easy for you to identify and engage with them.

3. Engage rather than broadcast

The moment you start broadcasting information through your channels is the moment you risk disengaging your employees. Where possible, segment your employees so that the communications they receive are only relevant to them. If everything they receive is interesting, they’ll keep reading.

As you put a communication together always consider what’s in it for the reader. How is that information going to help them and what do you want them to do. By keeping these basics in mind, you will write communications for your employees rather than for your leadership team.

Our internal comms app also has the functionality to like or comment on messages which further helps employees to engage with what they are reading. Not to mention helping you to see what people like reading, but I’ll come to that in a moment!

4. Consider your timings

When you communicate could make a real difference to your engagement levels so consider your audience carefully. Are there tight deadlines at a particular time of the week/month that you should avoid for example?

You may also want to consider creating a communication schedule so that your employees become familiar with when they are going to receive set communications. Routine is a large part of our lives, both at work and at home. Having a familiar schedule will really help with engagement encouraging employees to take a few moments at the same time each week/month.

5. Measure and take action

You now have your channels in place, buy-in from those that can influence engagement, and a solid strategy for how and when to communicate. The final string in your bow is to know how successful your communications are. Without this insight you are working blind and will never truly know how engaged your employees are or what you can do to improve employee engagement.

Our internal communications software tracks the interactions with every communication you send. You can compare them side-by-side so that you can see what your employees have engaged with and what they haven’t. You can also carry out surveys within the employee engagement survey feature to gain even further insight into what your employees want to learn about.

Another huge benefit of our internal comms software is the ability to see which teams are or aren’t engaged. For example, our customers can see if a team has historically been engaged but in recent weeks and months that engagement has dropped. It enables others in the business to explore the reasons before the disengagement becomes ingrained.

How you collate and analyse data on your employee engagement is up to you. Just make sure you have a way to measure your success. And when you have the data, ensure the insight is used otherwise you will be back to square one. There is nothing that will disengage a workforce more than them providing you with feedback and that information not being used. They need to see that you are listening and see that you are achieving your goals of improving employee engagement.

Good luck on your journey to improve employee engagement! It won’t be quick, but if you incorporate all five of these steps, you will see the results.

author-rachel-stidworthy

Rachel Stidworthy

Marketing Manager

I am a focused and highly organised communications professional with over 15 years marketing experience in the B2B sector.

Categories
Blog Employee Engagement Employee Wellbeing

How to Motivate Warehouse Employees

how to motivate warehouse employees

How to motivate warehouse employees

The demand for warehouse employees is rising. As stated by the Financial Times “employers are scrambling to recruit staff”. Now more than ever there is a need to focus on how to motivate warehouse employees. Improving employee engagement will both retain existing employees and appeal to future recruits. But this is an enormous challenge in this sector. Someone once told me; “The only thing that motivates warehouse employees is their salary and the people they work with.” There is certainly some truth in this. As you can see below from the top 10 reasons people leave their employment, compensation features highly while many of the others fit into the category of ‘cultural fit’.

Top 10 reasons employees leave their employment

  1. Feeling unappreciated
  2. A lack of proper compensation
  3. Insufficient time off
  4. Change in management
  5. Outdated machinery and equipment
  6. Unrealistic goals
  7. Lack of management support
  8. A lack of challenge
  9. Lack of joyful environment
  10. Lack of career progression

While the distribution sector is so buoyant there is a lot of competition with the potential to poach your employees. There is also the added challenge of many of the baby boomers now retiring resulting in the need to appeal to a very different generation.

Combine this with the fact that the average cost for losing and replacing an employee is £12,000 (Employee Replacement Cost), and it is clear that you need to do everything you can to retain and motivate warehouse employees.

5 steps to retain and motivate warehouse employees

By improving motivation and better engaging employees, you not only increase retention rates but you are also highly likely to see improvements in productivity. There are few sectors where staff satisfaction has such a direct effect on productivity. Here are the 5 steps we recommend every distribution organisation adopts in order to maximise staff retention and employee engagement.

1) Understand your employees

An obvious point but one that is often overlooked. You can’t improve their working lives unless you truly know what makes them tick. What are their motivations for coming to work? What do they enjoy about their working day? What don’t they enjoy? What barriers do they consider to be hampering their performance? What do they enjoy doing when they leave work?

If you don’t know the answer to any of these questions it is important to understand them. Without these answers you cannot set a benchmark, you cannot relate effectively to your employees and you cannot improve warehouse staff retention rates.

To find out the answers you could carry out employee surveys or ask in 1:1s. Whatever your method, ensure you get as many people involved as possible and explain the reasons for the survey to get buy-in.

2) Review your remuneration package

In such a competitive market, it is always a valuable exercise to review what you offer your employees. From salary, through to productivity incentives and holiday allowances. When warehouse staff can pick and choose their employer, these factors will make a huge difference in their choices.

You may want to carry out research on your closest competitors to understand where your remuneration package sits in comparison. The answers to the questions in step 1 will also guide you on what your employees expect and need.

If you don’t already, you could introduce some productivity incentives in which employees receive a reward when they reach certain productivity milestones. If you do this, the most important factors to consider are; make the targets challenging but achievable and consider your reward carefully. You may even want a few different rewards to cater for different employees. Another option to consider is ‘employee of the month’ which recognises and rewards employees who have achieved their productivity targets or who have demonstrated your company values.

You may also benefit from considering more flexible working hours in your employee engagement strategy. This is something the younger generation are likely to look for and is becoming more expected since the pandemic.

3) Provide a pleasant working environment

A very basic but absolutely vital employee need. An unpleasant vs a pleasant work environment will influence an employee’s decision on whether they stay or leave your company. Here are some factors you should consider:

  • Cleanliness – dirty areas are depressing but also potentially dangerous. Investing in a cleaning regime will always boost the mood of your employees.
  • Machinery and tools – in a job where productivity is measured constantly, anything that hampers an employee’s productivity will cause significant frustration. Where possible, ensure you have the right machinery and tools in place to minimise these frustrations.
  • Space to relax – working in a warehouse is hard work and often noisy. By providing a quiet, comfortable space to retreat to will help your employees recharge their batteries and have the downtime that is so vital in a busy work environment.
  • Use music – as well as improving morale, a study found that playing music improves the productivity of 73% of warehouse workers. This is therefore well worth considering if you don’t already have a music policy.

4) Ensure effective managerial support

Positive working relationships with managers make a huge difference to employee engagement. With the right processes and feedback loops in place a manager’s role in the distribution sector is absolutely critical to staff retention. They can show appreciation for the work the employee has undertaken. They will help the employee with any career progression aspirations. They will identify any training requirements or opportunities. And they will cascade information in both directions.

The role of a manager cannot be overlooked in this sector. They need to be granted the time and processes necessary to carry out effective 1:1s, provide quality support and put focus on employee engagement. This in turn will foster loyalty, all of which contributes to staff retention.

5) Consider your company culture

The final factor that wraps all of the above steps together is your company culture. Your culture should demonstrate the attitudes and behaviours you expect your employees to adhere to. In essence, when you have nailed your company culture, everyone will be working towards the same goals with mutual respect for one another. It is this shared ethos that will create a community and that will create loyalty amongst your staff.

Central to a solid company culture is communication. Your employees need to know what is expected of them and where they fit in the company goals. Likewise, your employees need to feel listened to and have the avenues to provide ideas and feedback. You can achieve this two-way communication loop far easier in today’s world. Technology such as employee communication software provides all of this in a single platform helping you master employee engagement and ensure your employees feel valued and part of the company’s journey.

daniel wright

Daniel Wright

Marketing Assistant

Driven to learn and better myself physically, mentally and professionally.

Categories
Blog eNPS

Turning eNPS Passives Employees Into Promotors

employee net promoter score passives

Employee Net Promoter Score - turning passive employees into promoters

For eNPS (employee Net Promoter Score) to work effectively it needs to ignore passive employees. But while it is the promoters and detractors that generate the employee Net Promoter Score, it is actually your passive employees that hold the greatest potential. Before I explain why, let’s remind ourselves how someone becomes a ‘passive’ employee.

How the eNPS calculation works

The employee Net Promoter Score (eNPS) is a measure of how likely your employees are to recommend your company as a place to work. Employees are asked one question and answer that question on a scale of 0-10. Those who provide a score of 0-6 are classified as ‘detractors’, those who choose 9 or 10 are ‘promoters’ and those who opt for 7 or 8 are known as ‘passives’. To calculate the eNPS score passives are ignored and the percentage of detractors are subtracted from the percentage of promoters.

While this calculation is extremely effective at benchmarking employee loyalty, running an eNPS survey gives you so much more than just a score. It gives you an opportunity to start exploring the reasons behind these scores.

Life after an eNPS survey

Once you have completed an eNPS survey you will want to explore the reasons behind the scores. For example, if you have a high percentage of detractors you will need to quickly delve into the reasons so that you can take remedial action. Likewise, you will want to learn more about the positivity of promoters so that you can encourage that further. While follow-up approaches for these two groups will need to be carefully considered, they are relatively straightforward. You want to know the reasons for the negativity and the reasons for the positivity. Passives however are much more complex and because of this complexity, they are often overlooked.

What a passive employee could be thinking

‘Passives’ are on the fence. They have a relatively neutral opinion of your company. But the reasons for the neutrality could be vast:

  • They may like your company but had a recent negative experience that is holding them back.
  • They may be negative about your company, but their morals or fear of being reprimanded may have prevented them from pressing the score they really wanted to select!
  • They may just be a reserved character who doesn’t naturally have strong opinions either way.
  • They may not trust the anonymity of the eNPS survey.
  • They may simply be moderately happy at work.

This list could go on an on and as you can see, the reasons for a passive falling into this category are vast. But one thing that is certain – passives hold significant opportunity. They act as a bridge between detractors and promoters. If you can understand their decision to score a 7 or 8 you have an opportunity to convert them. And this conversion will be far quicker than those who are detractors. You also have an opportunity to prevent them from becoming a detractor, or from seeking employment elsewhere.

How to motivate passive employees

Whether through further employee surveys, focus groups or one to one conversations, you need to delve deeper into the minds of your passive employees.

Hot tip: With the follow up questions ensure there is no room for neutrality. You need to ask a question that will give a definitive answer. For example, ask “What single thing can we do to increase the likelihood of you recommending our company as a place to work?” rather than asking “Is there anything we can do to improve your experience at work?”. By being much more direct in your questioning, you will get more valuable answers.

When you know more about the reasons it will be time to make changes. For this to be effective you will of course need buy-in from your leadership team. In fact, they need to be onboard before you even embark on your eNPS survey. Without them understanding the benefit or purpose, you will struggle to follow through on any of the points your employees raise. And that is a guaranteed way of disengaging your employees!

The next step is to communicate. Not just the actions you have taken in response to the survey, but the survey results themselves. Transparency will earn respect and trust, particularly within a group of people who may typically be more reserved.

Finally, you may also want to reflect on your company culture. Particularly if you have a large percentage of passives. There could be many underlying factors that are preventing passives from becoming promoters. The little things that just niggle away at people. For example, an expectation to work longer hours or a disparity between team recognition. Even if these are just perceived scenarios, they will have a negative impact. Addressing these blockers and communicating that they have been addressed, will really help your passive employees view your company more positively.

Converting passive employees with the right software

If you would like to discover how our employee survey tools can help you run effective eNPS surveys and gather deeper follow-up insight have a look at our eNPS page and employee survey page for more information.

author-rachel-stidworthy

Rachel Stidworthy

Marketing Manager

I have over 15 years marketing experience in the B2B sector and have always been heavily involved in internal communication and employee engagement. I firmly believe that with the right engagement strategy in place, an organisation can achieve so much more.

Categories
Blog Internal Communication

VRAMP achieves ISO 27001

VRAMP achieves ISO 27001

July 14, 2021.

VRAMP achieves ISO 27001

VRAMP is thrilled to have been awarded the highest international information security standard. The ISO 27001:2017 certification highlights VRAMPs dedication to providing a highly secure employee engagement software solution.

What is ISO 27001?

Published by the International Organisation for Standardisation (ISO), ISO 27001:2017 requires a detailed audit to ensure compliance against an extensive list of information security criteria. The standard evidence that a business holds data safely and has the systems in place to combat any threats to the integrity of that data.

What this means for VRAMP’s clients?

It provides confidence that we have the best information security, cybersecurity and privacy protection a business can achieve. Our clients know that we have the systems in place to protect their data.

What ISO 27001 means to us

There are many milestones a business can reach, achieving ISO 27001 is one of them.

Protecting all data within our business, in particular that of our clients, is routed at the core of what we do at VRAMP as a data handler. This accreditation means that we not only meet the highest standards today, but also confirms that we will review our processes and information security on an ongoing basis to ensure VRAMP continually meets the highest standards.

We also believe that it sets us apart from our competitors. Many in the employee engagement software industry just rely upon their data centre to meet the ISO 27001 standards. We choose not to take any shortcuts. While we still only work with ISO 27001 accredited data centres, we also ensure we meet these standards too.

When you combine or security with the capabilities of our employee engagement software, it makes all of us extremely proud of what we have achieved for our clients.

If you feel like you need to find a better way to improve employee engagement, get in touch and we will show you how our employee engagement survey tools will help you achieve better results.