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Checking in with remote employees during COVID-19

Apr 02, 2020

Working from home – even when it’s mandatory – has a lot of advantages: no commute, the ability to work in silence (for some), pets to keep you company… But when remote working becomes the standard instead of the exception, there are quite a few drawbacks as well. One of the main issues is the lack of connection between company and employee. How are workers feeling? What tools and support measures do they need to do their jobs? Luckily, setting up a short remote survey to gather insights and make informed decisions has never been easier.

“Most people with desk jobs can work from home pretty easily,” says Christoph Bogaerts, who leads the Customer Experience team at delaware. “But the lack of in-person interaction can be challenging as well. Many companies who are suddenly forced to allow fulltime remote working, are now confronted with a lack of oversight and don’t really have an idea about the mental states of their workers: how they are feeling, what their concerns are, if they are adequately informed – and even simple things, like whether they have all the tools they need to do a good job.” 


Remote working via Teams: 3 best practices

The long and the short of remote surveys

Christoph and his team got to work to find a way to overcome this challenge and help companies to get in touch with their employees again. “We immediately thought of Qualtrics, an SAP-owned software company that specializes in customized surveys for businesses,” Christoph says. “We had worked with them for many years and were convinced that their expertise in setting up surveys could come in handy right now.”

As it turns out, Qualtrics had a solution that addresses the current issue: Remote Work Pulse. With Remote Work Pulse, companies can build surveys to find out how employees are dealing with the new remote working reality, and whether they have all the information and tools they need. “We decided to use the platform to develop two survey templates,” Christoph explains. “One is just a quick, 5-second questionnaire that allows employees to give feedback on their current mood. The other one is a longer survey that dives deeper into their sentiment, but also into their informational and organizational needs.”

Screenshot from survey

Happy employees = happy customers

Keeping in touch with employee wellbeing and needs is, of course, a commendable goal in itself. But there’s more to it. Long before the current pandemic and the surge in remote working, Christoph’s team has been looking into the impact of employee sentiment and wellbeing on operations and customer satisfaction

“Businesses have to realize that the way people feel has a real impact on the company’s bottom line,”  he explains. “In a recent initiative, we mapped employee sentiment onto operational data, or what SAP itself calls O and X data. What we found is that the impact of the former on the latter is much higher than anticipated. With these remote surveys, companies can monitor the situation and take proactive measures to ensure that everyone stays on the right track. And because we believe it to be such a valuable tool in these times, we are offering clients the chance to use our Qualtrics licenses to get started right away.” (See below)

Screenshot from survey report

More pandemic-fighting potential

Qualtrics’ survey tools could play a significant role in fighting the worst effects of the pandemic beyond the home office as well. Christoph: “We are currently looking to build templates for use in hospitals and testing facilities. This could give them an idea of the typical symptoms that cause people to seek medical attention, which could help optimize the patient flow.”

“Another example is enhancing communication in retirement homes. A lot of these facilities are under extreme pressure right now. If these people could indicate exactly what they need in a structured way, it could help the personnel in these places to better accommodate them without getting overworked.”

Get in touch with your remote workforce via Qualtrics: during the pandemic, delaware is offering its licenses to customers who want to get started with remote employee surveys. Reach out to our team for more information.

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