One of my all-time favourite TV shows of the past (and present, thanks to repeats) was the 90’s Cheers spin-off, Frasier. For 10 years we followed the life of Kelsey Grammer’s wonderful character Frasier Krane, a Radio Psychiatrist, who in between dealing with all manner of challenges would offer words of wisdom and advice to his callers beginning with his famous “I’m listening” tag.
Fast-forward 30 years and mental health and well-being have never been more visible than it is today. What was previously considered a weakness, is now widely recognized as being as serious as more visible physical conditions.
As such, it is unsurprising that responsible businesses are focusing their attention on creating a working environment within which their employees feel both safe and nurtured. This is more often than not centered on a set of core values that the company expresses to help define the culture it wishes to establish and maintain.
With the employment market so buoyant and with website such as Glassdoor exposing the good, the bad, and the ugly of workplaces, getting the culture right is vitally important if businesses are to attract and retain talented staff.
Choosing to promote a good culture with a set of strong values is one thing; actually making it happen can be an enormous task and one that is never truly done. It takes a huge amount of effort to bring about change within an organization and even more to make it stick. One bad hire or mishandled event can quickly unravel months of effort.
That is why many companies run pulse surveys across their staff base to ascertain how the general mood is and then act upon emerging themes once the results have been analyzed.
Whilst this is commendable, it is really only an aggregate measure of employee sentiment. Individuals are unlikely to get direct feedback as the surveys are typically anonymous to promote openness.
We at OpusView feel that feedback should be continuous and completely integrated into the activities people do.
Our flagship platform OpusView has had feedback and surveys at its core since it was envisaged. This was to leverage the power of collaboration and to gain differing perspectives and insights from the whole team or a wider audience, rather than just the bolder characters who are more comfortable to express their ideas.
Additionally, we have introduced Sentiment Analysis which really helps capture how feedback providers are feeling in addition to answering specific questions which may not convey the mood within the team.
Many teams are now working remotely for much, if not all, of their working week. This makes checking in with people to find out how they’re doing increasingly difficult. With a narrower communication channel, it is easy to miss those early signs that someone or something is not alright.
With OpusView it is easy to create and publish surveys and get timely and focussed feedback. The ability to poll for votes on important decisions and request feedback on ideas, helps build that inclusive and engaging environment. Results are available real-time allowing immediate action in terms of implementing ideas/options attracting the highest interest.
A continuous employee listening culture built upon trust, honesty and openness will not only deliver a better experience, it will also ensure you can keep and retain your most valuable assets.
Martin Shaw, CTO