Employee experience survey: Unlocking insights with contextual feedback

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Have you ever received a super long customer survey, like 25-30 questions about a purchase you made a year ago?


Didn't think so.

Why then do we expect our employees to fill out long, time-consuming employee experience  surveys and be able to give insightful feedback on everything that happened over the last 365 days?!

Asking for employee feedback is a huge ask in itself. Even if the said feedback is aimed at improving that employee’s experience and alleviating their pain points, let’s understand that everyone is preoccupied - with their work and other life responsibilities.

Unless annual employee experience surveys are one of those things you want to tick off your to-do list, waiting for an entire year to get feedback and then improve your employee experience is a terrible idea.

Well, this is not to say that you should stop collecting employee feedback altogether. Rather, it is to point out that there is a better way to collect employee feedback, one that makes feedback more actionable and drives real results.

Contextual feedback: Improving employee experience surveys

As customers, we get asked for our feedback in a million different ways.

An email hits our inbox within an hour of a flight journey asking for our experience. We receive a phone call the moment we leave a resort asking us to rate our stay. And sometimes, we get an SMS from some businesses requesting us to rate their customer service, immediately after having gotten off a customer support call.

In all of these situations, you’ll notice that the feedback is asked for within minutes or a few hours of the interaction. It is brief and very much to the point, and most importantly, reaches us when our experience with the brand is still fresh with all the emotions we felt at that point.

Now that’s what contextual feedback is.

In terms of customer experience, contextual feedback is collecting feedback at every touchpoint in the customer's journey, in the immediate aftermath of that experience.

The same goes for employee experience.

Contextual employee feedback is when a short employee experience survey is pushed out to employees immediately after their interaction at a specific employee touchpoint.

A new hire sharing feedback about the hiring experience within 5-10 days of joining is contextual feedback. An employee rating the training program on the last day of the workshop is, again, contextual feedback. But an employee sharing feedback about their hiring or training program after a year, 6 months, or 3 months is not contextual. The emotions around the experience would have ebbed away. The relevance is lost. And the feedback may not be as rich in insights as you would want it to be - especially if you are hoping to improve your HR practices based on them.

Why contextual feedback enhances the effectiveness of employee experience surveys?

We briefly touched upon why contextual feedback is better than any other form of gathering feedback in the previous section. Here’s giving you a little more context.

1. Contextual feedback captures real-time trends

Once employee experience surveys is embedded into different touchpoints of an employee lifecycle, you’ll have a steady stream of real-time data that will help you understand how your employee experience strategy is performing over time and at different points in an employee lifecycle.

For instance, if you have an employee experience survey that captures employee feedback on their onboarding experience within 10 days of their joining, you’ll continuously know how employees perceive your onboarding strategy and make necessary improvements on the go.

2. Contextual feedback is more relevant

Contextual feedback helps you learn firsthand what is important to your employees when their experience is still fresh and relevant. This will then let you focus your efforts on improving things that matter to employees, and spend less time on things that may not be as important to them.

3. Speeds up the employee feedback loop

Administering an employee experience survey in the immediate aftermath of an experience lets you analyze and act on employee feedback faster. 

So, if the overall feedback on the delivery of a training program is below average, you’ll be able to improve it before the start of the next training program. 

4. Simpler, user-friendly feedback methodology

Imagine collecting feedback across different touchpoints once or twice a year and trying to act on all that feedback at once? It is both challenging and futile, in a lot of ways.

Conversely, contextual employee experience surveys of 2-3 questions answered immediately after an experience is convenient not just for the employees but for the teams that are expected to act on that feedback.

If you’re convinced about shifting to contextual employee feedback, then read on for the answer to, what could possibly be, your next question.

How can you capture contextual feedback?

Contextual feedback sounds great! But gathering feedback from different touchpoints of an employee lifecycle and then analyzing it to gather insights can seem daunting, from an operations perspective. Serving an employee experience questionnaire to employees at different stages of their lifecycle manually is simply not possible.

How then can you go about collecting contextual feedback? 

Here’s what you can do.

Step 1: Identify crucial HR touchpoints in an employee lifecycle

What are some of the key employee needs and expectations around which you want to improve the employee experience?

It could be their onboarding, first 30 days of joining, developing a sense of belonging in the organization, and so on.

List out these touchpoints that are important to your organization and the ones you particularly want to get employee feedback on.

>>> Bonus: Not sure which touchpoints to focus on? Check out our blog that highlights the four key needs of employees that every employee experience strategy must focus on for inspiration.

Step 2: Prepare a short employee experience survey to capture employee feedback specific to the touchpoint

Now that you have the touchpoints finalized, prepare an employee experience survey of not more than 2-3 questions to capture employee feedback specific to that touchpoint.

Ensure the questions seek feedback relevant to the employee’s experience, which is actionable and the data for which can be analyzed too.

Thanks to technology, you have NLP software that can help analyze text and emotions in employee feedback like never before.

And that brings us to the last step…

Step 3: Use software to automate the collection and analysis of the feedback

Manually designing and administering employee experience surveys for all the touchpoints isn’t possible. Thankfully, there are several tools in the market that can enable you to design and run contextual employee experience surveys.

Platforms like Culture Amp, Quantum Workplace and CultureMonkey can help you automate employee experience surveys throughout the employee lifecycle.

Leena.ai, Senseforth, and Infeedo enable two-way employee communication through conversational chatbots, of which employee feedback is also an option.

With Tydy, you can create and manage your end-to-end employee experience journey and automate contextual feedback collection at every step. You can run regular pulse checks and employee experience surveys across different processes, and then generate multiple reports based on the extensive data collected each time. This lets you create a continuous improvement loop for your entire EX strategy.

>>> P.S: If that sounds interesting to you, we would love to tell you more. You can drop us your details here and we’ll book a one-on-one customized demo for you and your team.

Conclusion: Real-time insights with contextual employee experience surveys 

Employee feedback helps you understand and deliver what your employees want - which is great!

But what is greater is that contextual feedback captured through employee experience surveys also makes HR's job better by helping them make intelligent decisions based on data and insights and that too, in real-time.

>>> Sitting down to create your Employee Experience strategy? Here’s a step-by-step guide to building a consumer-grade employee experience strategy that you may find useful.

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