Most successful companies have a well-developed customer service system. As it turns out - the use of customer satisfaction management tools in relation to employees can also bring tangible results. Companies that decide to take this step achieve unprecedented success - they multiply profits, areas of operation, and develop on many levels. Those who achieve above-average results have one more feature in common – they focus on the needs and experiences of employees.
Customer needs vs. employee needs - why are they all important?
No business can operate without two components - customers and employees. They are the foundation of any organization and directly determine its success. Entrepreneurs use multiple tools, techniques, and mechanisms to analyze customer experience :
- Overall customer satisfaction level
- Tendency to recommend the company
- Level of customer effort
- Ideas for fixes and improvements
- Expectations and needs related to the company
These are just some of the areas that are analyzed in relation to customers. But let's consider – how many of them do we use in relation to employees?
This approach is the main determinant of how employees act and perform their duties. The fact is that employees make a company - but in many cases, they don't feel it. That is because the organization's approach to HR often tends to be very automatic.
Failure to understand the employees' needs, and no attempt to answer them, leads to the failure of achieving the full potential of the organization. It can be said that the company - by not engaging in this area - wastes a significant part of funds in the form of human resources, and consequently money.
Employee surveys - What tools to use to get to know and understand the needs of employees?
There are many ways to get to know your organization and employees. This can be achieved by HR tools, such as :
- Measuring the pulse of the organization, employee satisfaction, and engagement surveys
- eNPS, which can be used to measure employee loyalty and job satisfaction
- 360 Feedback – a survey that allows you to get feedback about the employee and the entire organization from multiple sources
- Recruitment tests
Employee surveys help to understand the needs of employees, which is the first step to meet their needs. If we succeed in this, the efficiency of the organization and profits can increase significantly.
The employee's journey and conscious shaping of the career path
A good practice on the way of the organization's growth is the use of employee surveys in relation to the employee's journey. This is divided into stages, that have different characteristics and needs. Each of them requires a different approach and continuous improvement of the applied solutions. The employee's journey in the organization consists of :
How can we use employee surveys and tests to improve each of these stages?
Attraction and recruitment
Attraction is the first step in any employee's career. It determines the moment at which the latter gets acquainted with the job offer. At this stage, we can respond to his/her needs – how? It is enough that in the job offer – in addition to the list of requirements – we also describe the points that are important to the candidate. These can be, for example : remuneration, working hours, non-wage benefits, etc.
At the recruitment stage, we may ask for the candidate's opinion on the content and structure of the offer. Find out what other questions he/she would like to answer – and provide them with the answer. If a question is repeated often, the answer should be included in the offer description.
Thanks to this, the potential candidate will know what to expect from the company and whether he/she is actually interested in it. This will attract only motivated and encouraged people who are much easier to implement and involve in the operation of the company.
Onboarding, development, and retention
Onboarding is by far the most demanding stage in an employee's journey. He/she needs a certain time to adapt, gain basic knowledge and competencies related to the functioning of the company. It is important to check employees’ satisfaction and expectations on an ongoing basis. After signing the contract, ask him/her to give an opinion on the recruitment process, and after completing the training, ask if it was useful, and so on, and so on.
It is very important that we do not treat the information obtained as secondary - quite the opposite. We should analyze it and try to find and implement solutions that will meet the needs of a newly hired employee on an ongoing basis.
Onboarding surveys can also increase the effectiveness of the development stage. Information from questionnaires allows us to divide employees into groups according to much more important data than demographics or the position held. We should pay attention to things like career development expectations, non-wage benefits, and working hours. When we carry out such categorization, we will be able to adapt the environment and the way of working to the expectations and needs.
The same mechanism applies to the employee retention stage. We should check his/her job satisfaction as well as the level of overall satisfaction and needs on an ongoing basis. Make sure employees have the opportunity to share feedback and that they receive it themselves. Thanks to this, they will have a real impact on the company.
Exit means the end of the relation between the company and the employee. It could be a retirement, dismissal, or resignation. Contrary to popular belief, this stage is also very important. By asking an employee for the reason for leaving, we have the opportunity to prevent such situations from happening in the future. Thanks to this, retaining the best employees will become much more effective.
What tools do companies use to measure needs and satisfaction?
Tools that allow measuring employee satisfaction and employee voice collection have become a standard among the most innovative companies. On a large scale, the effects of their use are even more visible than in the case of smaller organizations.
Amazon, perhaps the most recognizable company in the world. In 2021, it ranked second on the list of the 500 most successful American brands - Fortune 500. In 2020 Amazon generated profits of USD 22.9 billion which is almost twice the profit of the previous year. Undoubtedly, the coronavirus pandemic had a huge impact on it - however, generating such large profits would not be possible without optimizing the work of people employed at all levels, in which the satisfaction and experience surveys played a large role.
Alphabet, the mother company of the Google brand. It ranks 9th in the Fortune 500 with profits of USD 40.3 billion. The very principle of the functioning of the Google company is currently based on advanced mechanisms of satisfaction research and feedback collection, as well as user experience design. Naturally, the same mechanisms are used in relation to employees, thanks to which the optimization of the entire process is much more efficient.
Why is employee experience worth considering?
Employees are as important to the company as customers - this can't be underestimated. Measuring the needs, satisfaction, collecting remarks (regarding, for example, training or benefits), expectations, and suggestions of employees allows you to significantly improve its operation. As managers or business owners, we gain a comprehensive picture of our company - both strong and weak sides. The self-awareness of the organization, in turn, is one of the most important factors that enable growth.