Deploying a listening strategy: lessons learned

August 30, 2016

The employee survey world is changing. Companies large and small, across all industries and regions, are eager to move beyond sole reliance on a traditional survey event to a more agile employee listening strategy. This trend is being driven by advances in technology that allow organizations to deploy a range of targeted listening tools on a more ongoing, continuous basis. These include pulse surveys, onboarding and exit surveys, online chats and jams, social media scans and more.

This development is very positive as it reflects a desire among leaders to stay more connected with their employees and prioritize the employee experience and workplace culture. At Willis Towers Watson we’ve consulted with many clients and written extensively on how to make this transition successfully. While most of that work is tied to specific guidance for particular circumstances, there are also a handful of general principles we’ve learned that are useful to keep in mind if you’re embarking on such a transition, regardless of the specific solutions you may be deploying. They are:

  • Be prepared to act, not just listen.
  • Recalibrate your expectations for improvement.
  • Remember: Even the most thoughtful analysis can’t salvage bad data.
  • Have a plan for how to route and address issues quickly.
  • Manage your managers.

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