How to Better Understand Your Employees Needs

June 20, 2018 | 835 views

How to Better Understand Your Employees Needs

How to Better Understand Your Employees Needs

About a year ago, Amazon rolled out a program called Connections. This program prompts employees each morning to answer a single question. The questions range from how they feel about their manager to how they feel about the cleanliness of the bathrooms and cover everything in between. The goal? To give Amazon more information about how their employees think and feel while at work.

 

To employers, this sounds like a fantastic and easy way to gather information about employee’s needs without hitting the pavement and talking to each person individually. Although this program has serious potential, it can only work if it’s done properly.

 

The Importance of Empathetic Responses to Employees

The reason why this program has caught the eye of so many human resources professionals is that it answers a major challenge: How to develop programs that enable companies to both attract and retain top talent.

 

Baked into Amazon’s approach is empathy. This empathy comes on the heels of some rather negative reviews about what it is like to work at Amazon, so the tech giant has taken great strides to clear their name. That requires understanding and catering to employee demands.

 

Businesses have long struggled with understanding employees. That’s because many employees don’t come forward with honest, direct feedback in the workplace about their needs out of fear of being fired or ridiculed. This is a mistake and one that can be answered by a program like Connections.

 

If your business plans to implement something similar, here are a few tips for how to roll it out successfully.

 

Anonymity is Critical

Before you can ask deep questions and expect honest answers, you have to set up the program to protect the anonymity of each employee’s response. It should never be possible to track down who said what in their answers. If the feedback program lacks anonymity, you won’t get the type of feedback you need to take an empathetic stance and react to your employee’s needs, which will only put you back to square one.

 

Show the Firm is Listening

It’s not enough to simply gather responses. You must also react to what your team says and their needs that are not being addressed. For example, if your team says they struggle to achieve work/life balance, you might want to try adjusting your scheduling process or implement a new online scheduling tool to give them more control over the hours they work. By doing so, you show that your team is listening to the feedback and that it’s not all for naught.

 

So, Are You Listening?

If you don’t have any type of feedback initiative in place, you’re missing a critical opportunity to hear from your team and provide the type of changes needed to make your workplace more attractive. Although you don’t need something as extensive or expensive as Amazon’s Connections program, having some type of feedback gathering process is vital to keeping your team happy and engaged.

 

Author Profile Jon Forknell is the Vice President and General Manager of Atlas Business Solutions, Inc., a software marketing company specializing in employee scheduling software, including ScheduleBase employee scheduling software, and other business software solutions. In the past, Jon has been recognized by the U.S. Small Business Administration as a SBA Young Entrepreneur of the Year. Atlas Business Solutions was named as one of Software Magazine’s Top 500 Software Companies in 2004 through 2007, and 2010, 2013, 2014, 2016 and 2017.

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