Putting People First: Using crowdsourced feedback to identify best practices amid Covid-19

Remote work has already started to feel much more natural, thanks in part to technology tools and platforms that allow us to stay in touch with our co-workers better, but establishing a continuous two-way dialogue with employees is critical to maintaining engagement while working remotely.

These are some of the insights gleaned from the “Pulse of HR,” a dynamic resource that invites HR professionals to add their voices to the important dialogue about topics that matter most to organizations right now. It is based on the partnership between Waggl, Josh Bersin Academy, which addresses the business and talent issues organizations face today, and CultureX, which incorporates the latest technology from MIT to provide AI tailor-made for understanding employees’ language and feedback.  We built this platform in order to identify best practices in responding to the Covid-19 crisis.

The pulses are built on Waggl’s transparent engagement platform, which keeps people engaged, connected and informed while working remotely. CultureX’s AI platform identifies critical themes across hundreds of responses.

Each “pulse” is a question posed to the community. For the Covid-19 environment, we posed three initial questions:

  1. Remote work. What is the most impactful thing your organization has done to support employees’ transition to remote work?
  2. Agile Engagement. What is one thing your organization has done in response to COVID-19 that has positively impacted employee engagement?
  3. Re-entry. What is the #1 thing you have done (or are planning to do) to make your physical workplace safe for returning employees?

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The most common themes that emerged included:

  • Frequent, high quality communication
  • Promoting physical wellbeing
  • Checking in on employees
  • Enhancing work-life balance
  • Providing or subsidizing IT hardware and collaboration platforms
  • Having honest discussions
  • Offering virtual social activities.

“Our initial pulse showed a huge uptick in issues about remote work, including the desperate need for good technology, constant communications and listening, and requests for help with family issues, productivity, well-being and physical health,” said Josh Bersin, global industry analyst and dean of the Josh Bersin Academy.  “In our second pulse, the biggest issue was regular two-way communication between leaders and teams, with a focus on flexibility and empathy as employees continued to focus on work, home, family and safety.  And in the third pulse, it became clear that employees are very concerned about specific safety protocols as they come back to work.  Employers and HR teams have to work hard to identify new practices that assure infection-safe workplaces.”

In a business context, respect has to happen both ways – with the organization respecting the needs of its people, and the people respecting the needs of the organization. As we move into the recovery phase, we need to hear from everyone, not just the voices of the people in the boardroom and the executive suite. We’d like to invite everyone to share their ideas about how to make this next phase successful, and make sure that we continue being more inclusive and committed going forward, building upon employee voice.

Michael Papay

Michael Papay
Michael Papay is co-founder and CEO of Waggl.

Michael Papay

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