This week, eight talented new employees onboarded at Effectory. “It felt a little unreal,” one of them told me in confidence. She had actually expected a phone call around late August to tell her that “plans unfortunately had changed for September … you can probably guess why.”
An exciting decision in June
Our turnover did drop by almost fifty percent during the second quarter of the year. We stopped recruiting for a while before starting again in June. Not because things were suddenly going well. In the months before, we had carried out pulse surveys at about 300 organizations worldwide, which meant that we were incredibly busy. But we didn’t earn a penny from it, because all of these high-frequency surveys were carried out for free.
Each of those organization was able to find out quickly how their teams, managers and professionals were holding out, suddenly dealing with a new reality and working from home. The COVID-19 Workforce Pulse helped them to act quickly, to ensure the wellbeing of their employees and maintain productivity among their teams. Organizations that had never conducted an employee survey before discovered the power of “Employee Listening”: an integral approach to obtaining and implementing employee feedback throughout their entire “employee experience.” Existing customers acquired an even better understanding of how important continuous listening is.
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The importance of continuous employee listening
We saw mentalities change before our very eyes. From meta-analyzes of the COVID-19 pulses, we saw that good crisis management is essential for employee productivity. This also revealed that around sixty percent of employees are more likely to experience burnout due to the coronavirus-crisis. In June we knew that something big was going to happen and that we had to continue along the path we were on.
Our belief that listening to your employees would become even more essential after the summer has only grown. Our surveys show that employee enthusiasm and productivity were decreasing in many organizations and the fact that unclarity about how long this situation will last makes it worse. Employees want to be heard and taken seriously. Organizations that continue to panic and spout statements about employees are affected the most by weakening motivation. We realized that we had a solution for them and that we might suddenly get busy in the fall. We wanted to be prepared for this, so we went looking for new talents.
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No hasty decisions
Fortunately, we are conservatively financed and we can make our own decisions. In times of crisis you have to keep a cool head and remain calm. Unfortunately, not all organizations have the luxury of basing their actions on the understanding that engaged and enthusiastic employees are the key to sustainable organizational success. However, since the end of March, we have been trying to warn organizations not to make hasty decisions in a blind panic.
Employee listening is here to stay
Mindsets are continuing to change. As we write this in September, demand for Employee Listening is growing intensely. Existing customers want to know even more what’s going on with their people. New customers from the free COVID-19 pulse surveys are staying loyal to us. Other organizations are teaming up with us for the first time. These customers are now at their wit’s end because they were completely unaware of how their employees were doing. They hardly ever see them, don’t know how productive they are and don’t know what they need to do their jobs well.
Countercyclical investments pays off
Five new employees onboarded during summer. On the morning of Tuesday, September 1st, another eight new colleagues walked into our building. Although only 35 percent of staff are back in the office as most are still working from home, each of these eight new employees physically met a number of colleagues this week. Our onboarding programs are going full steam ahead. Everyone also gets a buddy to help him or her find their way in our world of work, both offline and online.
Acting in a countercyclical manner now is precisely how you can make a huge difference. These eight new talents are extremely motivated. They have arrived at a time when people are being made redundant almost everywhere else. We didn’t just choose the first people we came across — we cherry-picked the best of the best. They now find themselves in good, stimulating company. I can see it: together, we still have a lot to offer for every organization that cares about its employees and wants to listen carefully to them so that it can stay successful on a sustainable basis.
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