With annual employee evaluations going the way of extinction, service industry businesses are turning to more frequent, “pulse” surveys to help drive their corporate objectives. Instead of waiting an entire year to hear from employees on the frontline, employers are realizing the value of consistently connecting with employees to identify what’s working and what needs improvement. Pulse surveys also encourage more contact between store managers and their employees, strengthening workforce engagement and retention rates.
As the service industry landscape grows increasingly competitive, managers and corporate leaders alike need to embrace this new survey approach in order to make crucial adjustments that improve employee morale, customer satisfaction, and profitability.
How Pulse Surveys Spark Business Growth
The most valuable information a store manager or head office team can use comes straight from hourly employees themselves. Unlike sales figures, your frontline people offer direct insight into customer sentiment, and know better than anyone what happens in your stores on a day-to-day basis. Capturing this feedback regularly and in real time creates a strong flow of quality data that can inform decision-making on various fronts, from marketing and operations to HR.
When implemented properly, recurring employee surveys do more than boost staff productivity and provide executives with a glance into store activities. Armed with the right digital workplace platform, employers can create a culture of feedback and avoid inducing survey fatigue.
Here are four ways pulse surveys help managers and head office leaders grow their business’ bottom line without disrupting day-to-day operations:
- Faster data collection: Frontline employees can provide a wealth of time-sensitive, comprehensive information about in-store operations and the customer experience. Short, periodic polls capture this data while it’s still fresh in the minds of employees, taking no more than a couple of minutes and a few taps on a mobile device. Pulse surveys are also more cost-effective than annual benchmark studies, requiring less time and money to analyze results. The faster employers can interpret the feedback they receive, the sooner they can act on the data from an operational standpoint.
- Continuous feedback cycles: Collecting real-time input means managers get an instant view into employee performance and customer satisfaction. Employers can’t wait a year to learn whether customers loved or hated an in-store marketing campaign. Similarly, employees don’t want to wait for biannual evaluations when they have concerns that need to be addressed immediately. With continuous check-ins, managers can get a pulse on pressing issues like new product launches, employees’ satisfaction with shift assignments, and other activities that can’t be inferred from sales data alone.
- Open communication: Giving your team a voice to share their feedback on a regular basis tells employees that managers and corporate leaders value what they have to say. This can go far toward improving workforce relations and boosting morale and motivation, making them much more likely to have a positive impact on the business (not to mention stay on board longer). An open dialogue between employers and hourly staff increases knowledge sharing across organizations and creates a culture where employees feel listened to. With the right tool, managers can also share survey results across the company, inspiring corporate transparency and serving as a way for employees to hold their employers accountable for any future changes.
- Real-time analytics: The constant flow of data from pulse surveys helps employers pinpoint where they are struggling and what key indicators (e.g., store locations and staffing inefficiencies) may be the culprit. Frequent surveying lets managers compare things like store performance metrics from week-to-week and identify problem areas as soon as they arise. For example, if managers want to measure the success of an in-store sale, they can survey their hourly workforce about how often customers take advantage of the new promotion. If employees report being unaware of any special promotions, companies may need to build out additional training courses to improve the effectiveness and awareness of their campaigns.
Pulse surveys simplify the process of providing feedback while giving employees a voice to influence change within their companies. Instead of relying on annual or bi-monthly touchpoints, businesses have an opportunity to embrace the priceless information coming directly from their employees on a more frequent basis. With pulse surveys, employers can be more responsive to staff and customer needs – and, as a result, more proactive about bolstering their bottom line.