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Crucial time for firms to ensure staff are included

‘We host ceo broadcasts in which our people have the opportunity to send through questions’

Keeping track of the mood and needs of the workforce is important.

Keeping track of the mood and needs of the workforce is important.

 

Now more than ever it’s vital that companies make their employees feel heard and included. We spoke to two that are going to great lengths to ensure their staff feel valued.

Cpl is part of the Great Places to Work Programme (GPTW) and is listed as the 11th best place to work in the large category in Ireland. Niamh O’Connor, head of Culture & Engagement, Cpl Group, explains how they make their people feel an integral part of the company.

“Being a part of this programme for seven years very quickly taught us the value of feedback and the importance of ensuring our people feel heard. We have used this framework along with other mechanisms to give our people avenues to be heard both publicly and anonymously. For example in addition to our annual engagement GPTW survey which gathers feedback on communication, management, work environment and wellbeing to mention a few topics, we also conduct regular pulse surveys.

“We host ceo broadcasts in which our people have the opportunity to send through questions to be answered live by our ceo or deputy ceo. We also do ad hoc surveys on important topics and tend to get good engagement, eg – we recently conducted a ‘help with mental health survey’ to allow people share their view on our wellbeing offerings and their feelings and reservations around using our company Employee Assistance Programme. Other very effective mechanisms we use which are linked to our commitment to being a great place to work is our Champions, who are appointed individuals (either by their team or management).

The Champions act as a pulse on the ground and act as a voice for their colleagues. They tend to bring ideas, issues or concerns to Management or HR who then take action or communicate back to our people. In addition to our Champions, we have working groups comprised of people from across the Cpl Group for topics that have been highlighted by our people in surveys that need action such as recognition, communication and career development. The participants in these groups again act as a voice for their peers and play an influential part in changing/improving how we do things.

“We have always been very conscious of providing avenues for our people to be heard and definitely more conscious during the pandemic as the informal cues, managerial instincts and antennas are not as accurate when working remotely in my view. There is so much we don’t see or hear remotely which is why we have also invested in training programmes for our managers for metal health awareness & inclusive leadership. Some of the less formal local mechanisms to teams will be the virtual team huddles and virtual café’s and lunches which are also a very valuable way of hearing people’s views.”

Ronan O’Dulaing

Vice-president of engineering at Workhuman Ronan O’Dulaing: ‘Our mood tracker was built in conjunction with our behavioural psychologist.’
Vice-president of engineering at Workhuman Ronan O’Dulaing: ‘Our mood tracker was built in conjunction with our behavioural psychologist.’

Vice-president of engineering at Workhuman Ronan O’Dulaing, who provide cloud-based, human capital management software solution, explains the importance of employee engagement.

“Workhuman has always been tuned into the humans in our workforce but the pandemic has really heightened the need to take a different approach to listening to our employees. It’s harder to understand and check on the pulse of the organisation given the absence of the physical time we have together. We, like others, built on what we already had to make sure they were heard, recognised and valued. It’s close to home for us, our platform promotes connectedness. It’s about recognising employees for the work they’ve done.

“Our mood tracker product, a pulse survey tool, helps us listen to our employees and see where the challenges lie. Our mood tracker was built in conjunction with our behavioural psychologist, and it’s a way for organisation to understand what’s going on . Ten to 12 questions go out on a pulse basis, every week, to a percentage of teams. It’s easy to respond to that and is a listening post to help our leaders and HR team understand how our employees are feeling. Our wellness activities, learning and development priorities, ways of working and how we go back to the office is shaped through mood tracker.

“There are many benefits to this- working remotely it makes it easy for employees to drift and disengage- mood tracker maintains that connectedness. It allows them to feel heard, gives everybody a voice, and with the actions we’ve taken employees are assured we are listening and their opinions are valued.”