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Employee Experience

Feedback is a gift – three stories of businesses pivoting their listening strategies with Qualtrics

One of the most important actions any business can take in response to challenges caused by the COVID-19 pandemic is to regularly listen to their customers and employees.

Listening to people to understand how they feel about today’s uncertain environments and identify what can be done to make them feel confident and comfortable in returning is proving to be critical at every stage of the pandemic - from the introduction of lockdown measures through to the reopening of businesses today.

For many human resource teams and people managers, this is a new approach to listening representing a significant change in the collection of employee feedback. In today’s fast changing environments, the insights afforded by quarterly or annual employee engagement surveys are not enough. Such is the rate of change all businesses are experiencing, teams need real-time insights into employee experience data to understand how sentiment is changing, and what they can do to make employees feel safe and supported.

The result of this new listening approach will be more engaged and productive teams, equipped with the tools and insights enabling them to better serve and meet the needs of customers.

To understand how businesses are working differently in today’s fast changing environments, Qualtrics explores how three of Thailand’s leading organizations are transforming the way they listen to employees to move forward with a real-time data-driven approach.

Bangkok Life Assurance

When lockdown restrictions came into force in mid-March, Bangkok Life Assurance introduced a working from home program for its 1,200+ employees. It was the first time the company offered a working from home program at this scale.

Listening to employees using the Qualtrics Remote + On-site Work Pulse ensured the shift to working from home was a success at Bangkok Life Assurance. The Qualtrics solution helped the company quickly identify and overcome common challenges teams were facing at home.

Qualtrics helped Bangkok Life Assurance identify and take action on gaps in our employee experience when people started working from home.

"Based on feedback, we provided office equipment - including devices - to help teams work smoothly. The business also introduced virtual Town Halls and individual team gatherings to keep teams connected during this time,” explained M.L. Jiraseth Sukhasvasti, President and Chief Executive Officer, Bangkok Life Assurance.

The insights captured by Qualtrics also uncovered some interesting insights into how working from home boosted productivity for some teams. This situation is common in businesses across the globe, demonstrating how the impacts of COVID-19 will be long-lasting.

“We identified certain departments were more productive and less stressed when they started working from home. As a result, Bangkok Life Assurance will consider a formal flexible working hour program into our future policy as we recognize it will help lift employee engagement and productivity. As part of this we are also reviewing what tools and systems we need to offer to support these processes.

“Listening to employees is critical as we transform and optimize our employee programs for today’s business challenges. There is more change ahead, and listening and taking action with Qualtrics ensures Bangkok Life Assurance moves forward in the most effective way,” said M.L. Jiraseth Sukhasvasti.

Star Petroleum Refining Public Company Limited

Another company that quickly pivoted to a work from home program for back-office employees in Thailand is one of the countries leading and most efficient Petroleum producers in the country Star Petroleum Refining Public Company Limited (“SPRC”).

With the company mantra “ONE Caring Family”, employee safety and wellbeing has long been at the heart of the company. Yet COVID-19 presented a number of new different challenges requiring the business to transform the way it listens to employees.

“In response to COVID-19, SPRC introduced Qualtrics to listen to our workforce and to understand the issues they are facing today. This allowed us to adapt, improve, and develop flexible guidelines and policies for people management to address the situation at each unique stage,” explained Mr. Timothy Alan Potter, Director and Chief Executive Officer, SPRC.

One area feedback helped was in the management of teams working on-site, where social distancing restrictions need to be adhered to.

"Using Qualtrics we were able to understand how these teams felt, and what measures they wanted to see us introduce to help them feel more comfortable.

“For off-site teams we introduced regular communication channels to keep people engaged, and offered technologies and processes to address some of the common challenges created by working from home. Qualtrics provides us with a view of how effective the actions SPRC is implementing are, as well as giving us information on how to effectively communicate these to the business,” added Mr. Potter.

The ease-of-use, integration, and flexibility of the Qualtrics Remote Work and Onsite Pulse has ensured SPRC’s transition to a new way of listening has been simple and engaging.

“The system integrates with our traditional annual engagement survey well because it accommodates the same methodologies, questionnaires, and reports. Coupled with the expertise Qualtrics has provided, it has removed all complexity this type of project can create. The feedback from our SPRC family members has been overwhelmingly positive, with the business delivering a 99% response rate in the first week,” said Mr. Potter.

As SPRC maps its journey forward in the COVID-19 pandemic, employee experience insights are guiding its strategy.

SPRC believes feedback is a gift. Listening to family members will help us keep them confident as they return to work

"Alongside this, the regular engagement we now have with teams has taught us what they value most from us, which is why we plan to introduce an online learning and development platform, and make changes to our people strategy to strengthen our aspiration as an Employer of Choice and a Best Place to Work.

“The past few months have changed the way SPRC operates, with Qualtrics essential to helping us listen, understand, and act on the things delivering the best outcomes for the business and our family members,” concluded by Mr. Potter.

Restaurants Development Company

Restaurants Development Company (RD) is one of Thailands’ fastest growing quick service restaurants, operating over 200 KFC restaurants with a 4,000+ strong workforce.

The company prides itself on the belief everyone makes a “Real Difference” to the business, restaurants, and community. Driven by this belief, RD quickly implemented a work from home program for non-customer facing staff during the COVID-19 crisis. The organization also implemented processes ensuring the safety and wellbeing of restaurant teams, and enabling regular, transparent communications.

At the heart of RD’s response was the Qualtrics Remote + On-site Work Pulse, giving the company’s leadership team regular insights into employee needs and concerns.

Using insights captured by Qualtrics, RD was able to implement a highly targeted response plan building on the things teams loved about working from home while addressing some of the challenges and things missed from the office environment.

"New initiatives RD has introduced include a flexible work plan, improved internet allowance, welcome back to office meals, and thank you meal-kits and personalized cards for thousands of our restaurant team members,” said Andrew Norton, CEO, RD.

While restrictions are now lifting in Thailand and people are returning to work, RD’s experiences and learnings from recent months are having a long-term impact on the way the company works.

Capturing regular employee insight has also given a new dimension to the company’s “Real Difference” belief.

“RD is committed to continuing to seek and respond to feedback from team members to build a better organization that can make a “Real Difference” to people’s lives in many positive ways. Employees can now come up with a working schedule that suits their needs and those of their teams.

“The business is also working on a number of other initiatives to make a “Real Difference” to team members and the communities they serve. This includes providing free chicken to community kitchens serving those in need, and a new program for employing individuals of retiree age who want to make a contribution to the workforce,” added Norton.

Find out how the Qualtrics Remote + On-site Work Pulse can help you understand and act on your employees' needs