Connection in Crisis — What the Pulse Survey Has Shown Us

April 15, 2020 in People Analytics



Connection in Crisis — What the Pulse Survey Has Shown Us

We’re closing in on two months of social distancing and, for some, a shelter-in-place order.

 It has been a roller coaster of emotions — uncertainty being at the forefront. Now, with many team members operating remotely, we’ve been hyper-focused on how we can stay connected to our teams. Even before the crisis, connection was certainly the foundation of our business, but now it seems to tip the highlight reel of every blog post and article we see on social media. At BU, we are fortunate enough to have a team that lives this value out with immense purpose and pride. Since the banning of social gatherings, our team has grown stronger, connected deeper, and become more intentional with our interactions. As a whole, we are more bonded.

When the pandemic hit, we wanted to provide a tool for organizations to check-in with their people and ensure they were providing their teams with the support they needed. So, we built a pulse survey.

The survey was designed to be sent out multiple times — to check the pulse of an organization. The first round of results are rolling in from over 50 companies, representing most major industries. Here’s what we’re seeing:

The vast majority of responses are positive and optimistic.

  • 90% of respondents said they feel connected to their team while working remotely

  • 82% felt confident their job was secure

  • 95% felt their manager was communicating regularly, and with the right amount of information

  • 93% had the proper support and resources to work remotely

The initial results show most people are feeling connected to their teams as they work remotely. This isn’t surprising to us since many organizations have made a point to support their team members through transitioning to a new normal, investing in video conference software platforms, and rolling out connection activities to keep engagement high and face-to-face interactions intact.

Early results only tell a portion of the story, but we see some common themes of optimism and hope from the organizations that were already leading with connection.

BU is going to keep this blog updated as data continues to roll in on how teams are continuing to adjust to the new normal.

If you’re curious to know how your teams are feeling and how you can help them stay connected in these uncertain times, you can access our free pulse survey here.

Already using the survey? Don’t forget to send out your second link. Getting continued results will help inform your people strategy while giving your teams the confidence they need to keep moving forward with you.


 

 

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Anecdotally, the comments that have come in through the pulse survey are filled with gems. There’s a ton of positive feedback for leaders who are communicating regularly with their teams, ideas for innovation once the danger has passed, and transparent, honest requests for the kind of support needed.

Leaders ought to be asking themselves a few questions.

  • Why haven’t we done these types of surveys more often? There is so much good information here that’s relevant in times of crisis and in “normal” times.

  • What are we doing to keep the positivity, optimism, and connectivity going?

So far, these survey results suggest that leaders are kicking butt at helping their people as much as possible. With no certain end in sight, it is essential that the focus remains on keeping our people feeling safe, informed, and empowered to keep working and caring for their families.

While teams are feeling strong at the beginning of this transition, this will be more of a marathon than a sprint. It’s going to be important for leaders to continue to check in with their teams and repeat things like pulse surveys. As time goes on, it will be easy for teams to feel less and less connected. So remember to #StayCalmStayConnected.

Keep up the good work, leaders!

Connection in Crisis

As we balance work, homeschooling kids, and self-care, how do we continue to measure accountability and progress within our work teams?  How have we adapted and shifted to support each other in these uncertain times while keeping our success measures top of mind? Not only do accountability exercises help keep teams focused on day-to-day tasks but they also help propel business forward.

As you’re acclimating to your new environment, you’ve probably experienced a shift in focus, purpose, or responsibility. What was once a daily task has morphed into responsibilities that you didn’t sign up for when you took the job.

We’re all developing talents we didn’t know we had. As your organization works to navigate change, take time to focus on the human side of your business, too. Here are a few tips:

  • The challenge we face is to create ways for our teams to connect in meaningful ways around our daily or weekly responsibilities.

  • Focus on supporting each other as you come up with news way to reach your team success measures.

  • Schedule a daily call to talk about the progress you’ve made and the challenges you’re facing as individuals.

  • Finally, celebrate! Celebrate the small things, the big things and all the things that you’ve done to make it this far. How we show up in times of adversity can make all the difference.

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What makes these companies so different? Why are they talking about how well everything is going?

As we dug into the comments section of the surveys, we found a couple of common threads:

  1. Gratitude – Employees at these organizations have sincere gratitude for the work their leaders are doing – a cultural value that is undoubtedly supported by leadership.

  2. Strong leadership – One employee commented, “I am very thankful for a company that remains employee-centered.” Organizations that were employee-centric before the crisis are seeing the payoff in this resiliency.

  3. Two-way communication is key – Employees made sure to mention their appreciation for their leaders checking-in during the transition. Sometimes providing a listening ear or a way for teams to voice their feedback is enough to make a difference.