Employers often gauge how employees feel about the company — its culture, benefits and employee programs — by sending out surveys. Too often these surveys don't let employees express how they truly feel in their own words...their own voice. More companies are encouraging employees to communicate with coworkers about the employer brand through social collaboration tools and by harnessing new feedback technologies to give employers fresh communication channels.
One company embracing these technologies is Speetra’s pulseM — an app that lets employees speak their comments and questions to their smartphones. When employees don’t have the time or words to write out criticism or praise about the employee program, they are able to voice opinions via pulseM. Pawan Jaggi, CEO and founder of speech analytics firm Speetra, said that allowing employees to communicate their feedback verbally in a mere 5 to 10 seconds tackles several issues that are common to surveys — low participation rates, non-relevant questions and inability to effectively capture sentiment.
Multiple channels for feedback can encourage employees to voice their thoughts through private company-only networks, according to pulseM, rather than resorting to public social media channels — which could also be potentially destructive to a company’s reputation.
Immediate Audio Feedback
When companies sign up for pulseM, they receive a link and a QR code specific to the company that they can share with employees via Facebook, Twitter, newsletters and email to get them to give feedback about a particular topic. After downloading the app and selecting their company, an employee simply voices a comment into the smartphone, and, within seconds, the employer receives an audio file with the feedback. For employees that prefer written responses, they have the option to submit text comments. Employees can either make their identity known, or submit anonymous responses.
Employers can also opt-in to have the analytics software detect the tone and keywords that an employee uses to gauge whether the sentiment is positive or negative, BusinessWire reports. Another part of the analytics process is ranking the feedback in one of three stages — promoters (those who are satisfied), passive (those who are between satisfied and unhappy), and detractors (those who are unhappy).
These types of technologies allow employers to pose a question like “What do you think about the on-boarding process?" and let employees have the option to provide input that is more constructive and actionable.
As employees are providing feedback, companies can share that information with the employees to let them know what their peers think. “Companies can showcase the real-time feedback in a break room using live feeds to let employees know what the common sentiment is,” suggests Jaggi.
pulseM found that employees who were asked about their experience giving feedback in the form of online surveys often complain about wasting time and not accurately capturing opinions. Instead, pulseM aims to give employees a voice about what’s on their mind and cater the feedback to the employees (instead of the other way around).