Uncover Your Organization’s Story Through Employee Comments

January 19, 2018 | Sara Weiner | Glint
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Within your organization, there’s a running dialogue that goes on in hallways and conference rooms, between desks, via phone, email, and within chat. Those conversations tell a story, from your employees’ perspective, about how your organization is doing — what’s working, what’s not working, how culture affects performance, how valued employees feel, and why they may leave. It’s a critical narrative, but these are private conversations. So how can we uncover qualitative insights like those from these informal channels?

When it comes to understanding employee engagement, even the organizations that are on top of their employee feedback game (for example, pulsing employees frequently, digesting and communicating results, taking action) may be missing out on crucial connections when looking at pure numerical data, engagement survey pulse scores, and response rates. Quantitative results only cover part of the story.

Open-ended feedback and comments in surveys that are provided by employees — which can number in the thousands or hundreds of thousands — offer a treasure trove of information and context behind the numbers. When accessed and analyzed, they contain the key to identifying systemic or localized issues that may eventually lead to unwanted attrition, poor organizational performance, and even threats to the organization’s reputation. Conversely, they also can highlight strengths to build on. What’s more, employees often identify and share root causes of problems along with suggestions and solutions that lead to improvement. By leveraging real-time comment analytics, only made possible by artificial intelligence, you can truly understand the underlying, front-line stories and take action where it counts.

However, many organizations miss opportunities to collect this critical information because they are not enabling or allowing employees to leave comments in pulse surveys. At Glint, we find that employees are typically very interested in providing comments given the opportunity. When empowered to provide open-ended feedback, we’ve seen 80% of employees leave at least one comment over the course of a year of quarterly surveys. This is the treasure trove we are talking about — thousands of pieces of feedback that give you and your leadership team greater insight — color and context — into all levels of your organization.

Like the best stories, aggregated comment data can be complex, nuanced, and contain many sub-plots. Paired with solid technology, comments can illuminate what’s trending, connections that may otherwise be missed, where problems lie, and how those problems are impacting the employee experience and the organization’s goals. In order to analyze comments effectively, it’s crucial to look at items like frequency of specific topics, relative sentiment and impact on business outcomes. Understanding the connections and suggestions provided by employee comments leads to targeted action that facilitate positive change.

By encouraging open-ended feedback and analyzing the results thoughtfully, you will be able to truly better understand your organization’s story and have the power to rewrite the ending. To learn more about how to uncover your organization’s story through employee comments, join Sara Weiner’s webinar on January 25 at 1pm ET / 10am PT.