Using feedback to shape the employee experience
New data shows that prioritizing employee experience is more important than ever. And so is listening.
As VP of People at Momentive, I consider employee feedback foundational to creating and evolving great employee experiences. Today, keeping those channels open and asking for feedback frequently is more critical than ever, especially when you realize that:
- 4.5 million employees quit their jobs in November 2021
- 40% are considering leaving
- And the cost of losing and replacing an employee is 2x the employee’s annual salary
I took the opportunity to run a series of polls at a recent webinar for HR professionals, “Using Feedback to Drive Exceptional Employee Experience.” The feedback we gathered prompted insights organizations can use as they develop employee experience initiatives.
Poll #1: What has been your biggest challenge over the last year?
I wanted to understand what HR leaders were finding most difficult when it came to understanding employees’ experiences. Was it the Great Resignation? Evolving how your organization approaches Diversity, equity, and inclusion in the workplace? The transition to a hybrid working environment? Or always thinking about the health and safety of employees during the pandemic?
About 40% of participants cited the Great Resignation as their biggest challenge. The second biggest was transitioning to a hybrid work environment. Next, ensuring the health and safety of employees during the pandemic, followed by DEI.
Not too surprising. As evidenced by the latest jobs report, the job market continues to be incredibly competitive. Employees are demanding more from their employers. Companies across the world need help building their brand and attracting top talent, and at the same time, they want to work harder than ever to retain great talent by ensuring they feel valued and included.
Continuing to engage and invest in the employee experience is critical. And a great way to show people they are valued and included is to ask them for their feedback–and then act on it.
Poll #2: How do you use feedback to improve your employee experience?
Asking for and obtaining feedback is only one side of the equation. We need to hear directly—and regularly—from people who are engaging with our organizations as prospects or as employees. And then we need to act on it.
I asked our audience of HR leaders how they use feedback to improve their employee experience. Do they use it for recruiting? Onboarding? For learning and development? What about retention? Offboarding? All of the above or none of the above?
Most respondents answered “all of the above,” with about 40% indicating they use feedback throughout all stages of the employee journey. Another 38% use employee feedback for retention, followed by those using feedback for learning and development. Only a small percentage–8%–said they were not using feedback today.
It’s great to see that so many are using feedback throughout all stages of the employee experience, from recruiting through offboarding. I think that’s a best-practice goal. At Momentive, for example, we send candidates who go through the interview process a survey about their recruiting experience. It’s the first touchpoint candidates have with our company, and we want to make sure we’re making a good impression. So we ask them if the interviewers were clear about the role, how prepared the interview panel was, if the interviewers allowed them to highlight their strengths for the role, if they had the opportunity to meet with a diverse panel of interviewers. We use our candidate-experience feedback to continuously improve how we’re showing up. This is also an effective way to gather input from hiring managers to assess, coach, and celebrate the success of your recruiting team. We continue this approach of asking for feedback throughout all employee touchpoints, all the way through the offboarding experience.
Poll #3: How often do you track employee sentiment?
In my last poll of the session, I asked HR leaders how often they track employee sentiment, whether in house or through external providers.
Only 12% track it quarterly. Most respondents – here again about 40% – track employee sentiment annually, and 18% track it twice annually. A surprising 31% do not yet track employee sentiment.
While it can take some time to establish channels and a frequent cadence for gathering feedback, a good place to start is to think about how you can obtain and use feedback at every stage of the employee experience.
For example, at Momentive we’ve used employee feedback to help us consider how we were going to re-enter the workplace. Our return-to-office efforts have been guided by employee feedback, including whether people want to come back in person, stay remote, or do a hybrid approach, what it would take to make people feel safe, and what office resources they’ll likely need. We also used this employee feedback to make it clear that the purpose of our offices is to foster Collaboration, Community, and Learning.
That’s because we want our employees to show up with their best self so they can do and deliver really great work and outcomes, that is no longer tied to an office. Feedback is how we make that happen.