As one of the largest privately held companies in the Midwest, this Twin Cities-based manufacturer has experienced exponential growth over the last several decades. The company’s strategic focus is to use its innovative products to make lives better for its customers, communities and employees.
“Engagement is one of the key things that we measure around our people. We want to know where our hot spots are, what the perception is, and where we can drive improvement,” said the manufacturer's Organization Effectiveness Leader. “We know that, from a business perspective, engagement can help drive productivity, but it can also help us predict turnover and provide insight into what kind of action we need to take in specific groups. The survey helps us gauge the sentiment of employees at every level, and that’s really valuable to us.”
The manufacturer has gone through a lot of growth and change over the past several years. Coinciding with that growth, the company has evolved its employee listening strategy to capture and understand the employee experience throughout different transitions, as well as the employee lifecycle, by utilizing Quantum Workplace tools—engagement surveys, pulse surveys, and lifecycle surveys.
This growing manufacturer utilizes its employee engagement survey to uncover areas in which the company can move the needle, paying close attention to specific business units and regions.
Leaders are given direct access to engagement data within Quantum Workplace’s reporting dashboard, and they have a specific deadline in which they must share out the results and meet with their team to agree on commitments for the next year. The commitments are then inserted into Quantum Workplace’s software and must be checked on and updated quarterly to ensure that progress is being made.
“People are really great about having conversations related to engagement, but sometimes there’s a lack of follow through on commitments because they get lost in the day-to-day work,” said the Organization Effectiveness Leader. “Then we see the same areas of opportunity come up in the next survey. We have changed our accountability model on this process to keep commitments top of mind, encourage leaders to revisit them, and report on the actions that have been taken.“
Beyond using the engagement survey to uncover areas of opportunity, the company also utilizes the tool to analyze different metrics that are important to its business and its leaders.
One of the analyses that the manufacturer’s leaders were most interested in seeing was how the company’s top talent was viewing the organization since this population is critical to the business’ success.
To do this, the company loaded a "Talent Potential Status" demographic into its survey data so it could assess the status against engagement.
“One of the things I appreciate most about Quantum Workplace is the flexibility to add custom demographics and the willingness to help with analysis,” the Organization Effectiveness Leader said. “This way we can ensure we have the most current view of our workforce.”
One of the things that was uncovered was that employees who were considered "promotable" didn’t see clear career development and growth opportunities within the organization.
This analysis prompted the manufacturer to reevaluate the frequency and effectiveness of current career development conversations. The HR team pushed leaders to be very intentional about one-on-one conversations related to career growth and development. It was apparent that this group of employees was not getting enough and was looking for more. It was imperative to talent retention efforts (and business success) to show this top-performing population that they were valued and heard.
Another employee listening tool used by the manufacturer is Quantum Workplace’s pulse survey tool which allows the company to get real-time feedback on any topic, at any time.
One of the ways the manufacturer is growing rapidly is through acquisition. During one of the company’s most recent acquisitions, it was able to easily launch a pulse survey to just one of the locations the company had acquired. The goal was to make sure that the onboarding of its new employees was effective and they had everything they needed.
“There’s a big risk of talent loss when you bring on a business,” said the Organization Effectiveness Leader. “And part of the value of the deal in an acquisition is the talent that comes along with it. We want to ensure we have a pulse on the onboarding experience so we can mitigate the risk of any negative perceptions that could arise and impact turnover. The pulse survey is a super easy way for us to get this.”
To round out the manufacturer’s employee listening strategy the company has implemented both Exit and New Hire (Lifecycle) Surveys.
“The labor market is really tight right now, and we get a lot of great intel from the surveys to help us improve the employee experience and understand why people might be leaving,” the Organization Effectiveness Leader said. “In an industry where turnover is pretty high right now, it’s important for us to have this intel in order to stay competitive.”
The company uses Quantum Workplace’s software to get a more holistic view of turnover. The ability to understand micro and macro turnover trends allows the company to see how turnover affects different employee demographics and pinpoint reasons for turnover within specific groups.
“The exit survey has revealed some things we might never have known without the exit survey data,” the Organization Effectiveness Leader said.
The manufacturer views the exit survey data for one-off instances and to track quarterly trends. Exit survey analytics have helped the company:
1. Uncover two areas of misalignment and opportunity that impacted turnover. Exit data helped the Twin Cities-based manufacturer:
2. Gain insight into why critical roles and/or skill sets have left to help the company be more proactive in preventing unwanted departures.
3. Uncover trends in areas of the business experiencing higher turnover.
“New hire surveys have been useful in understanding perceptions of training and onboarding, especially in our production locations,” the Organization Effectiveness Leader said.
The Twin Cities-based manufacturer launches New Hire surveys at:
Survey data unveiled that the company needed to improve its training and helped the HR team for one region implement an initiative to improve its on-the-job training. Based on the data, the team became focused on:
“It’s important to ensure that our employees are set up for success from the beginning,” the Organization Effectiveness Leader said. “Feedback from new hires is critical in improving the employee experience, improving their performance, and supporting engagement. At the end of the day, this will also improve overall employee engagement.”
Administration of surveys can be more challenging in an environment where employees don’t all have a dedicated workspace, which is often the case for manufacturing companies.
With Quantum Workplace, this manufacturer has worked around this challenge for its employee engagement survey by setting up kiosks around its facilities where employees can take the survey using a unique access code. The HR team drives excitement and participation by utilizing promotional material, emails, manager talking points, and video messages from the CEO.
In its recent acquisition the company utilized QR codes to implement a survey so employees could provide their feedback right from their phones. And now, the manufacturer is looking at continuing using phones as a primary survey-taking tool by exploring sending the survey invitations straight to its employees’ personal email addresses.
“In an industry like ours, it’s really helpful that there are multiple ways in which we can deliver surveys to our workforce,” said the Organization Effectiveness Leader. “It’s important that as many voices as possible are captured so we can feel confident we’re focusing on the areas where we can make the most impact.”
I really appreciate Quantum Workplace’s service … that I can call our Insights Analyst and ask him about our survey design or contact our CSM for assistance with implementation. We’ve worked with a survey vendor before that charged us for everything – every report. This is night and day compared to that. We’re really happy with Quantum Workplace.
Organization Effectiveness Leader
Twin Cities-based Manufacturer
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