Corona crisis: Pulse surveys offer immediate and actionable results for remote working

Marlies Pellikaan

Pulse surveys offer your organisation concrete starting points on how to support your employees during the Corona crisis, as the first COVID-19 Workfore Pulse survey, which Effectory conducted inhouse, shows.

Corona crisis: Pulse surveys offer immediate and actionable results for remote working

The Corona crisis is here and we are all affected by it. Of course this applies to people working in the healthcare industry, who experience an extreme workload. Meanwhile, companies in other sectors see their revenues declining, leading to an insecure time for us all. As employers, we are struggling with the question if employees working from home can work productively.

Optimal crisis management

Organisations want to find out if they possess the right technical means required for working remotely, if collaboration with colleagues can continue the same way, if employees know what is expected of them and also, if everyone’s home situation does enable working from home.

Effectory developed the COVID-19 Workforce Pulse to offer direct insights in how to best support your employees during this time of crisis. Find out how morale is keeping up, if employees are experiencing their working from home as productive and how opportunities can still be found and utilized.

Effectory offers this survey for free for your organisation, up until the 1st of May 2020.

Weekly updates and new insights from pulse surveys

COVID-19 Workforce Pulses are sent out weekly, offering continuous up to date insights on current affairs. The weekly results show possible changes every week, and if the taken actions have led to the desired results.

Case study: Effectory

We at Effectory started with our first COVID-19 Workforce Pulse last week. We would like to share our first results and experiences, to show you what you can expect when you will start using our Workforce Pulse.

Effectory COVID-19 Workforce Pulse

Use our COVID-19 Workforce Pulses to gain insights in employees’ wellbeing, enablement & communication to bounce back faster and stronger.

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Topics of pride and improvement amongst remote workers: actionable results

Our HR Projects & Change Manager Marloes Odenkirchen concluded that the first scan brought several topics of pride and improvement to light.

1: Improve access to internal software for remote workers

Over sixty percent of Effectory employees experienced trouble accessing Effectory systems from home. This was also clearly described in answers to open ended questions.

Our IT team was able to devise an immediate workaround, which was tested by a group of ten colleagues. These were colleagues who suffered mostly from the new situation. From their laptops they received an immediately link with our server at the Effectory Office, which worked perfectly. Step by step, we will offer this solution to all employees.

2: Offer (more) guidance to remote working employees

Our first scan showed that over ten percent of employees actually experienced their workload too low. Open answers told us that employees felt the need to be useful and productive, it showed their will to contribute. The issue was, that they weren’t sure how to do this exactly. Odenkirchen: “Employees wonder how to contribute and how best to allocate the time they have on their hands.”

For this reason, our leadership team set out clear goals for the coming months. “What are the goals that we can and will focus on for the coming months? What will contribute most to continuing our business as best as we can? We are creating an internal, online project overview where we will collect the most important projects and biggest challenges. Colleagues who will be wondering what to do or where to focus on can access this project overview.”

In the coming scans we will enable social innovation. Odenkirchen: “We want to ask our people for more ideas. What opportunities do they see for Effectory? How do they think we can currently use and offer our products and services? How can we contribute to society?”

3: Reassure parents: 15% of remote workers struggle combining work with childcare

The COVID-19 Workforce Pulse-dashboard shows that fifteen percent of Effectory employees struggle working from home, combining their work with childcare. “We have stressed that we are aware output will suffer from this, and that we have adjusted our expections accordingly regarding productivity and result. We ask parents to be clear about what they think they can accomplish and we are understanding about this situation.” Through daily e-mail updates Effectory will continue to emphasize this.

4: Manage stress

The majority of our Effectory employees are worried about the consequences of the Corona Crisis. “Working from home also blurs the lines between work and personal live”, says Odenkirchen. “It is extremely tempting to continue working late at night. This makes it hard to unwind and try and find relaxation”.

Starting this week, Effectory offers daily yoga sessions and twice weekly guided meditations. This is something we will keep providing for the coming weeks. “On top of that, we will share tips in our daily updates on how to stay happy and healthy working from home. We will encourage them to really take their personal time”.

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5: Virtual Fun

Odenkirchen: “In the written answers, people very honestly described how they were starting to feel loneley. Social gatherings are an extremely important part of our culture and way of working within Effectory. Those moments are sorely missed now. On top of that, personal plans, such as birthdays or parties, are also cancelled. This means the only way we can gather is virtually. We organized a virtual Friday Drinks meeting, which went down really well”. 

Next thing we did was create a virtual lunchroom. From 12:00 to 13:00 you can virtually lunch with colleagues who also check in online. Between 16:00 and 16:30 there is a coffee/tea moment. “Colleagues also take initiative to share photos of their homework station or #challenges to challenge other teams to share a video and to pass it on”.

Capable crisis management increases commitment

Effectory employee commitment went up from 7.6 to 8.6 in the third week of March. The first pulse scan shows that this was due to capable crisis management and continuous communication during this crisis. 

Odenkirchen: “From the early days of this crisis we have been communicating about the decisions we were faced, and the consequences these would entail for everybody in the company. We rather shared too much then too little. The keyword for us here is ‘trust’. We are keeping all lines of communication open, and we as HR and our leadership team check in regularly with all teams’. We have also decided to launch our Pulse survey weekly to receive as much feedback as we can.”

This policy is reflected in the primary results of our first COVID-19 Workforce Pulse. Employees state that they are satisfied with how Effectory is managing this crisis. They give a score of 9.4.

Employees are less focused

Effectory employee engagement went down from a 7.7 in January to a 7.1. Odenkirchen: “This is actually unsurprising and a logical consequence of the current situation. During a crisis people reconsider what is most important to them. Nothing is more important than the health and wellbeing of yourself and your loved ones. Apart from work, people are trying to contribute to society and figuring out how they can be beneficial.”

Effectory will use the COVID-19 Workforce Pulse to keep on monitoring employee engagement. “We do not want this to drop any further.”

Take care of each other

Odenkirchen: “We want to continue taking care of each other. You sometimes hear stories through the grapevine, that this is not always the case in every company. They, conscious or not, pressure employees, because the company itself is under pressure. We put our faith in our people, in the hopes of creating a feeling of togetherness and unity. I hope other organisations have faith in their people as well and manage to accomplish a feeling of calm in a time that is worrying, new and strange for everybody, for both employer and employee alike.”

Effectory COVID-19 Workforce Pulse

Weekly monitor the impact of COVID-19. The COVID-19 Workforce Pulse is based on a set of 20 relevant questions. You can decide when you want to send it out. Questionnaires will be send out automatically. The day the survey closes, results will appear online, giving you insights into the four most important points of improvement for your organisation during this pandemic. Next to that, you will gain insight in the most important drivers for succesfull collaboration and maintaining productivity.

Available themes are:

  • (crisis) Communication
  • Personal wellbeing of employees (health, job security, organisational stability)
  • Working remotely (Communication, technology, internal and external meetings,)
  • Workload and work happiness
  • New opportunities for your organisation

Management in times of crises

For further reading: 9 Management Lessons and Effective crisis management


Effectory COVID-19 Workforce Pulse

Use our COVID-19 Workforce Pulses to gain insights in employees’ wellbeing, enablement & communication to bounce back faster and stronger.

Request information