How to Take Care of Your Employees
(with Robert Brown)
Robert Brown is an experienced executive and the CEO of the SaaS company, Olumo, which is focused on helping organizations get real time human sentiment data and insights to drive decision making. In today’s episode, we’re going to discuss how we can use data and insights to take better care of our employees.
- The experience that we deliver to our people is often the same type of experience they give to our customers.
- In order for our business to survive, scale and succeed we should create systems.
- To improve the employee experience we should ask questions, analyze data, follow-up, and then take action.
The Importance of Taking Care of Our People
While most organizations have good financial metrics, it’s our employees and team members’ mindset and beliefs that drive what they think and feel, which drives what they do, which drives our business results. If we want better business results, we need to better understand our people.
“The experience that you deliver to your people is the exact experience that they turn around and give to your customers and clients,” Robert said. “If you want to improve your customer success and all of those components of your business, you’ve got to focus on the experience that your people are having.”
At Olumo, Robert helps companies use data to measure real time sentiment. Our employees should want to be part of our organization and company culture. We want them to want to be a part of what we have built. But if we don’t understand our people, how can we create a great work experience?
“I am trying to create workplace experiences that people want to be part of,” John said. “Every company I talked to is struggling to attract and retain talent. And in order to grow your organizations, you’ve got to have top talent. . . . How do we solve this problem? . . . If you want better business results, we need to understand the mindsets and beliefs of your people.”
Many times we are making guesses. People leave our organization and we try to guess why and what to do to prevent it. Maybe we increase wages, maybe we start to schedule one-on-ones, but we won’t truly know what to do unless we start measuring real time data that tells us the right moves to make.
As we begin to understand our customers, listen to their feedback, and take action, our employees will likely become more efficient and effective which makes everything else run smoother. By simply taking care of our people, we can improve every aspect of our business.
In order for our business to survive and maintain some level of success, we need to create systems. If we want a strong marketing strategy, we should create a system to run it effectively. If we want to gain referrals, we should create a system we can use to get them. If we want to improve our employee experience, we should systemize a way to gather data and feedback, and then take action.
For many companies, the best practice they implement to improve the employee experience is an annual survey. However, in most cases, these companies don’t make any changes based on the feedback. When they give out surveys but don’t make any changes based on the responses, they actually disengage their employees.
If we ask for feedback, but don’t do anything about it, people will stop responding. If we ask for feedback and take action, people will want to give us more feedback and we can continually improve. This is why we should create a system for gathering data, interpreting data, gaining insights, and then implementing data. We can’t simply send out a survey.
Robert explained, “Listen, engage in conversations to make sure we understand it, take action based on that, and then follow up and see if our actions actually worked. . . . We call it our illumination cycle, where we help organizations do that in a live active, systematic way of gathering feedback in real time. That’s really been the magic.”
As we gather data from our employees, we will start to understand how we can improve. They will tell us what we need to do better and what we should stop doing altogether. As we listen to our people, we build relationships and improve the workplace. This is the power of gathering real time feedback in a systematic way.
“If you can attach feedback to action, that’s the catalyst for driving amazing insight. Now you’ve created an organization where people want to provide feedback [and] they feel engaged,” Robert said. “That engagement means that it’s us and our people working together to solve problems.”
Real Time Data and Conversations
When Robert and his team send out surveys, they text their employees. Instead of using email or directing their employees to go through an app, they make the process as easy and fast as possible. Our employees and team members will be more likely to answer a few questions if we make the experience as simple as possible.
Because they use text, Robert and his team get participation rates as high as 97%. And because the survey is so easy, employees also respond very quickly. This allows our companies to get sentimental data quickly so it is as accurate as possible.
Once we have the data, the next important step is to find the why behind the numbers. This is where we should follow-up and have a conversation. Robert explained, “If you’re not asking your people and engaging them for feedback and what actions should be taken, then you’re missing the whole boat.” He continued, “The best way to talk to humans is with other humans. In order for me to understand you and the experience that you’re having at your organization, we actually need to have a conversation.”
At Olumo, they have conversations over text. After they ask an initial question and get an answer, they try to find the why. Instead of using AI, their team talks with the employee directly. This is how they find really important insights. As we ask questions, analyze data, follow-up, and take action, we will create a much better experience for our people. The data is key and a great first start, but then we need to have a conversation to find the why.
Connect with Robert
Thank you so much Robert for sharing your stories and insights with us today. To learn more about or connect with Robert: