In the early stages of the coronavirus pandemic, with organisations forced to make a rapid shift to home-based and hybrid working, we recognised an urgent need for our clients to keep in touch with support their staff. While this unexpected brought many positives and helped to accelerate plans for digital transformation and agile methods, it also made it more important than ever to know how employees were and to design communications and systems that met their needs.
To help clients do this we drew on our knowledge of online engagement and behavioural science to design and run a series of confidential Working Well surveys to gauge morale, motivation, efficiency and productivity. The surveys also specifically explored which communications channels worked best and how else employers could support their people working from home.
A group of longstanding clients (a mix of public service and commercial providers) signed up to take part in the programme, which involved regular update surveys over a period of several months as virus controls and working practices evolved. The questions we asked were based on proven psychological predictors of how to support staff, with a strong emphasis on personal resilience and wellbeing. After each survey, we reported the results with recommendations for change and analysis of common issues and trends across all participants.
The project was run at cost, based on a fixed fee per organisation. For us, it was a practical expression of our mission and values, and a practical step we could take to help clients through a difficult period of unprecedented change. For the organisations taking part, Working Wellhelped them to target their resources more effectively and fast-track new systems and methods of working that might otherwise have taken much longer to develop.
Staff across all of the participating organisations said that they thought the surveys reflected well on their employer’s commitment to supporting their wellbeing. The surveys opened up a safe, direct and powerful way for colleagues to raise concerns and make their priorities known. The organisations taking part included Widgit, Futures Housing Group and Teign Housing.