EX Roundup: How companies are driving employee experience during the Pandemic

May 21, 2020by Katie WagnerThe EX RoundupInternal Communications

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Our hand-curated Employee Experience roundup features articles and resources, guidance, and inspiration for those who have a role and responsibility in shaping the employee experience. We include a variety of sources and topics ranging from internal communications, employer branding, content, employee communications & campaigns, HR trends, and workplace culture.

April Employee Experience Roundup

COVID-19 has forced companies and their employees to change how they work. Many companies now have a remote workforce and with that comes challenges and changes on how to keep them engaged and productive. Companies are scrambling to find new ways to both communicate and connect with employees and many are trying to do this through the lens of keeping their values front and center.

Key Takeaways

In this edition of The Employee Experience Roundup, learn about how COVID-19 is disrupting the employee experience. During this time it is imperative that companies find new ways to connect, engage and support their employees. One company is building morale by hosting weekly employee contests, another is training managers on how best to communicate about the current business environment with their own teams. Now is the time for companies to take the time to ensure their values are being activated. Studies have shown that employees who see their company’s values in action are more engaged and during this time, engagement is mission critical.

Coronavirus fallout and the future of work. We ask the experts… — Poppulo Katie Wagner, Liquid’s VP, employee experience weighs in on the future of work:
“COVID-19 has taught us that it is possible for many people to work from home. While not ideal, we will see a more distributed workforce that makes employee communications and channels more important than ever. Companies will invest heavily into developing truly “consumer-grade” communications to better connect with their workforce —both in the new normal and in potential future disruptions.”

How Your Values Come To Life During Uncertain Times Webinar Recap — BlueBoard, Sophia Lee @blueboard
“Celebrate obsessions: To help teams stay connected, Ellenos is hosting weekly employee contests and encouraging employees to share their obsessions – including a virtual potluck where employees showcase their favorite foods (their founder is a big believer in “breaking bread” together). For manufacturing staff not regularly on their phones, Ellenos’ team prints out photos of the “obsessions” so all teams can equally connect”.

Build Your Team’s Resilience From Home — Harvard Business Review, David Sluss, Edward Powley @HarvardBiz “Another thing you can do is help your direct reports recognize special talents or skills that might be especially useful during the crisis. For example, as your team moves to telecommuting, do you have a particular member who is superb at dealing with distraction? You could have that person provide virtual training to the others. As each member sees how his or her special skills contribute to the good of the team, the group’s confidence and social support will grow.”

How to Keep Company Values on Track While People Work Remotely in Quarantine — FastCompany, Paul Pellman @FastCompany
“A recent Gallup survey found that only 27% of employees strongly believe in their company’s values. Even though many organizations have identified their beliefs, they’ve fallen short in their implementation—a crucial step in gaining employee buy-in and ensuring your core values are embraced across the company. Strong core beliefs contribute to a positive company culture, which is linked to new talent acquisition and higher employee engagement.”

Gartner Identifies Six Initiatives HR Can Undertake to Help Managers Maintain Employee Performance and Engagement During the Coronavirus Pandemic — Gartner @Gartner_inc
“Managers need to recognize signs of distress among their people, both directly through conversations and indirectly through observation. To facilitate regular conversations between managers and employees, HR should provide managers with guidance on how best to broach sensitive subjects arising from the COVID-19 pandemic, including alternative work models, job security and prospects, impact to staffing, and tension in the workplace. This guidance can include discussion guides, training or email reminders with the latest updates on the situation and general principles for how to deal with it.”

The Coronavirus Pandemic: A Defining Moment for Employee Experience — Mercer @Mercer
“Employee experience is not about perks — it’s a mindset shift that puts your people at the heart of what you do. This is not only important in a prosperous, employee-led economy, but also during times of crisis or economic stress. By continuing to commit to EX, you will help to drive better engagement, productivity and commitment of your workforce, and build reserves of good will that will benefit your employer brand long after this crisis is over.”

How Coronavirus Will Change the “Next Normal” Workplace — Gallup,  Jim Harter @Gallup
“About six in 10 managers currently report that the people they manage are allowed to work from home. Among those six in 10, 55% say that once government restrictions are lifted and kids are back in school, the experience of COVID-19 will change their remote work policy. Few managers (7%) say the experience will result in them allowing their employees to work remotely less often, while a slight majority (52%) say they will allow their employees to work remotely more often as a result of this experience. Greater remote work could become the ‘next normal’.”

This is an excerpt from Dispatch X, from Liquid: where brand experience, customer experience and employee experience come together in one consolidated hub. In this month’s edition we’re exploring how brands are adapting to address the ever-changing needs of their customers and employees. You’ll discover who’s doing it right (think DoorDash) and who’s missing the mark by not staying true to their brand.

If your company needs help with quick-turn communications to your customers and/or employees during the COVID-19 crisis, or you’d like to discuss longer-term strategies for your brand, we’re here to help. Contact us here.

Katie Wagner

Katie’s passion and experience in building authentic brands has enabled her to serve in a trusted agency-side role as part practice lead, part agency team leader and overall strategic advisor. She draws on her diverse background to ensure that the agency is doing the right work in support of culture design and employee experience, so that it resonates with her clients’ brand objectives and positively impacts their employees, customers and business.