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Reducing Delay Between Feedback & Action with Survey Overhaul

This article about MaritzCX was originally published by

Shortening the Time to Respond to Feedback

Despite an already high engagement score, a national employer has overhauled its engagement survey process to shorten the time it takes between receiving and responding to feedback.

In effort to connect and compare employee engagement data with data on client outcomes, and facilitate a more effective feedback loop, national law firm Maurice Blackburn moved from biennial engagement surveys to a new program, the MaritzCX Employee Experience Suite, says acting GM of HR Anna Hart.

“We were already undertaking employee engagement surveys…every couple of years [but] it was a massive survey; it was taking too long to get results back — and back to managers. By the time they took notice and action, the lag-time made the employee feedback almost useless,” Anna said.

“We also wanted to introduce more regular action planning and monitoring to see if what was being put into place was actually making a difference.”

Enhancing Pre-existing Surveys & Launching New Ones

The organisation also wanted to enhance exit surveys, introduce on-boarding surveys, better monitor employees at other key stages in their life cycle, and create an “always-on” survey that enabled staff to anonymously raise an issue at any time.

The new program allows it to understand engagement by tenure, group, gender, age, hours worked, employment type, and state, as well as by the categories of diversity and inclusion, direct supervisor, bales, and culture, role, senior leadership, flexible work, innovation, L&D, and R&R.

It’s still early days, Hart says, but the program’s annual employee engagement survey is now up and running, and a few pulse surveys have been conducted to check on particular initiatives.

The hope is that by intermittently surveying about a third of the firm at a time with a similar, shorter version of the annual survey, the delay between managers receiving and action on feedback will drop.

Creating Goals to Implement Dashboards for Data

A further goal is to implement dashboards for managers so they can access data independently of HR They can then make action plans informed by that data, and initiate pulse surveys to see whether those plans are working.

“Then there’s the personal changes we would like [managers] to make, from the supervisor-type feedback in the survey,” Hart adds. “Both of those things require them to be an active participant in this process. Some are really interested and engaged in it, others are less so.”

As managers receive further education, which is currently underway, their confidence with the system should grow, resulting in further use, she says.

“When we can get it working, with the managers having confidence and access to the data, and able to take action in a timely way, and then get that feedback loop to show whether that’s working or not [and] marry that up with client outcomes, it becomes so powerful.”

Managers’ lack of confidence hasn’t been the only barrier to the program’s implementation.

Already high engagement scores have made it difficult for some to see the benefit of the new program, Hart says. “The question we’re being asked is…’if employee engagement is already at 83 percent in a team, how much more value do we derive from lifting it by one percent?”

“What we say is that the engagement score is derived from only three or four questions in the survey itself, but there’s a whole range of other questions that employees give feedback on — about their supervisor, about their team, about understanding where they fit in — that don’t affect engagement score, but are feedback the team should be listening to.”

Proving the Value of Engagement

“The thing I’m excited about being able to do is to prove the value of employee engagement,” Hart says. By building up a bank of data, HR will be able to compare, “what clients are saying or feeling at certain points in the client journey” with what employees are experiencing.

If the firm can pinpoint which factors make the biggest positive impact, they can prioritize them, and if there are gaps, they can work to close them.

“Integrating our data is a key aim. Unless we do, the insights are impossible to get — it takes too much effort…and you’re not sure if you’re comparing apples to apples, so a central employee record with all this information hanging off it and a view of how clients are feeling will make life much easier,” Hart says.

“In a law firm, all they want is evidence,” she adds. “I guess success will be us being able to identify the impact that employee engagement has on how the client feels and the outcome we get.”

A decision to be “very transparent” with results means they’re already available on the firm’s intranet. A full survey in March, which 740 of the firm’s 1,042 employees completed, shows engagement is strong at 83 percent.