Leaders Who Listen Put People First
This blog shares how leaders are listening to their employees by launching the Waggl COVID-19 program. This program is helping them connect with their people quickly to navigate their new workplace together.
The Impact of COVID-19
Today COVID-19 is impacting individuals across every organization. We are all struggling to understand our new world. Right now we are shifting how and where we get our work done. We are trying to be safe and prevent the spread of the virus. We are also struggling to stay connected with colleagues, family, and friends.
How Leaders Put People First
Leaders are trying to understand what employees need right now to move forward. Many leaders are reaching out through Waggl’s employee engagement platform. As a complimentary offering, leaders are launching our Waggl COVID-19 program. This helps them ask employees a few simple and meaningful questions. The question sets are designed to sustain connection, co-define the next steps and ultimately shape an organization’s future. They help employees and leaders listen faster and navigate change together.
Listening Brings Answers
As healthcare and non-healthcare organizations launch this program, they are learning what to do now, what to do later and what not to do at all. One Fortune 250 financial services company has just launched the program to over 18,000 employees. Within 6 hours, 72% of them responded.
This Starts a Conversation
With Waggl pulses, responses are anonymous. Also, organizations can choose their level of transparency. The financial services company chose full transparency. Therefore every participant can view and vote on each others’ responses, for the duration of the pulse. They can also see the top-voted answers to date. They chose full transparency to start an immediate conversation about how to work together in this new workplace reality.
These Questions Connect and Inform
Right now organizations launching this program are asking questions like:
- What is one question you have about the impact of COVID-19 that we can help answer?
- What is the most important thing you need right now to work effectively?
This Is What Leaders Are Hearing
As their people respond, we are learning that many employees are:
- Appreciating straightforward, regular updates on how COVID-19 will impact their business
- Wanting to keep experimenting with new ways of collaborating virtually
- Eager to help their teams most impacted by COVID-19
And This Is What They Are Doing
In many cases, leaders are addressing these findings with clear, frequent communication. For example, many employees at another Fortune 250 corporation requested information about how COVID-19 will affect their roles, revenues, and budgets, as well as remote work protocol. In less than a week, the organization drafted and shared an FAQ with the headings: Here’s what you said, Here’s what we know now, and Here’s what you can do.
These Actions Matter Too
These leaders are listening to their employees and acting on what they learn. However, sometimes leaders can’t address the most pressing concerns raised in a Waggl pulse. In this case, they can openly communicate this back to the organization. In a recent white paper, the head of communications at an aerospace company describes how their CEO reviews pulse results via webcast. He states: “Our CEO talks about the top 3 to 5 responses and how we’re going to address them. There may be things we can do, and things we can’t do immediately. In either case, he will explain why. This is action.” This action generates far more trust than not responding at all.
How Do We Keep Moving Forward?
As leaders continue reaching out through the program, we will share more findings and best practices. The question set is designed to help organizations prepare for a marathon, not just a sprint. Putting people first is an ongoing practice of inquiry, empathy and kindness. And now more than ever, we are all being called to “Be Kind, Because Everyone You Meet is Fighting a Hard Battle.”
Learn more about putting people first with the Waggl COVID-19 program.