Prioritizing employee experience and preparing for a "New Normal"

Jolayne Kelehar | May 12, 2020

Through our own experiences, we know that happy employees result in happy customers. From Starbucks to Southwest Airlines to Texas Roadhouse, brands with solid reputations for great customer service have shown us time and again: a great employee experience leads to a great customer experience.

Enter COVID-19. From email to social media to signs on front doors, companies have gone out of their way to reassure customers about their commitment to safety, communication, and customer needs. However, your employees have experienced the same (perhaps even more radical) instability. Lives and livelihoods have shifted dramatically. Each day at work delivers equal doses of both hope and anxiety.

So, do you know how your employees perceive their current experience? Are they getting the message? Are their needs being met?

Your employees are taking care of your customers, but who is taking care of your employees?

As such, employees have many needs and it's vital that employers understand their employees' viewpoints across multiple important issues, including safety, equipment to perform their duties, support from management, communication, information sharing, training, and overall physical and emotional wellbeing.

With rapid and unexpected changes in their day-to-day lives, customers will remember the brands that stood by their side through this unusual and difficult experience. Employees will remember, too. Their needs should be a top priority. Going out of your way to support your team during this time can and will boost productivity, improve employee satisfaction, and increase loyalty, even under these less-than-ideal circumstances.

Hearing the voice of the employee

Today, businesses of all sizes and types are conducting market research among consumers to understand what the future may look like. However, as we look toward the post-COVID-19 business environment, let's not overlook that most critical group — your employees.

There is a wide variety of Voice of the Employee solutions designed to understand your employees across functional departments and geographic locations. Just a few examples are:

Employee engagement pulse surveys

Aptly named, employee engagement pulse surveys can help you keep your finger on the pulse of employee perceptions, attitudes, needs, and satisfaction, providing ongoing measurements for key metrics and trends over time.

Employee panels

Leveraging surveys, IDIs, live chats, and video focus groups, an online panel can give you fast and easy access to your employees, as well as provide you with insights quickly and efficiently.

Employee advisory boards

Looking to generate or evaluate new ideas, policies, or programs? An employee advisory board can bring together and engage your company's thought leaders quickly and conveniently to help solve problems, identify improvements, and uncover blind spots.

When the pandemic ends, the real work begins

Right now, business leaders are putting a lot of thought into how customers' needs, perceptions, preferences, expectations, and spending habits will be transformed by this experience. It is inevitable that employees' needs will shift, too. As we emerge from "Crisis Normal" to "New Normal," it will be just as critical to understand and monitor your employees' needs, perceptions, engagement, and satisfaction. In fact, businesses will most likely need to revisit their traditional approaches to:

  • Medical benefits
  • Sick leave or short-term disability
  • Flexibility to work remotely
  • Travel requirements and policies
  • Cleaning standards and policies
  • Office alterations supporting more physical distance
  • Business emergency preparedness programs.

It all starts with actionable insights and information

Despite many new challenges both inside and outside of work, employees across the nation are serving in essential roles. From the frontlines to the conference room, employees are keeping businesses running. They are the ones making it happen. They keep the lights on and answer the emails. They fulfill the orders and keep the grocery shelves stocked. They are the first responders for the first responders.

Without healthy, engaged, and present employees, the customer experience could suffer during a time when you can least afford it.

Bellomy's Voice of the Employee solutions are tailored to your business needs and ultimately pave the way toward your employees delivering even better service to your customers and your community.

Reach out today to get connected with the voice of your employee.