5 Ways Executives Are Harnessing Employee Feedback from Social Media
Employee feedback is critical for any organization, but employees are often reluctant to provide candid opinions that leaders need to make informed decisions. Now innovative executives are looking outside the enterprise for a new source of employee voices—one that’s authentic, honest, and happening in real time.
What can today’s business leaders learn about their organization from employee social media posts? The Aware data scientists decided to find out by analyzing anonymous posts on employee Reddit forums where frontline workers congregate.
Using the Aware data platform for employee listening, powered by proprietary natural language processing (NLP) and industry-leading sentiment analysis, they uncovered the trending topics and themes having the biggest impact on employees today.
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From a tangled dataset of thousands of conversations came a series of real-world use cases that are transforming the ways executives interact with their employees and make decisions that drive real change for the organization. Here’s just five ways that leaders are using Aware to harness the outside voice of the employee.
Take the pulse of organizational sentiment over time
Taking a long term, linear view of the shifting mood of employees at large can help leaders to identify trends and anomalies and react appropriately to defend their brand reputation. Retroactively understanding how sentiment has changed can be challenging without an available data source of employee voices. That source can exist beyond the walls of the company, within social media platforms like Reddit, Glassdoor, and Fishbowl, and the data it contains can go back years.
By using Aware to analyze the sentiment of aggregate employee social media messages over time, leaders gain the big picture overview they need to understand how their employees really feel.
Track the success of initiatives and benefits
Social media comments are powerful for helping leaders see the big picture, but they can also pinpoint specific issues within the organization. Discussions about compensation and benefits are common, as are conversations surrounding new company initiatives. From the roll-out of a new product or service to changes in company structure and more, leaders can explore what changes create the most buzz or disruption and understand where employees think they hit or missed the mark.
Tracking these conversations at large is especially valuable for ensuring that executives hear majority opinions, which can often be drowned out internally by a loud minority.
Understand failures of equipment, processes, and training
How much time is the business losing each year to equipment outages or breakdowns? Sometimes failures are so common that they stop getting reported, especially if employees discover a workaround that lets the get their jobs done faster than going through approved channels. This can result in widespread or systemic issues going unnoticed, creating frustration among employees and costing the company time and money.
When faced with an ongoing problem and no solution, employees will often turn to their peers for support. Using Aware to surface these social media conversations gives leaders a new way to identify issues on the front line and understand how they are impacting the workforce.
Get authentic employee perspective on leadership and top-down messaging
What do your people really think about the company and the people in charge? Aware analysis of front line social media messages on Reddit found that many workers care deeply about the vision and direction executives have for the organization. The opinions of rank-and-file employees who lack influence within the organization shouldn’t be overlooked, because often these are the people who interact most closely with customers and products and have the best insight and intuition when it comes to how the company is perceived.
Asking these employees to speak freely about leadership via internal surveys and feedback processes rarely produces the kind of honest, critical feedback that builds better companies. By looking outside traditional channels to employee social comments, executives can finally hear the unvarnished truth.
Proactively protect company culture
The post-pandemic Great Resignation demonstrated that many company leaders had no idea how badly they were failing their employees until they quit. Both blue- and white-collar sectors suffered similar losses, and workplace culture emerged as the driving factor behind employee attrition.
By the time employees are thinking of leaving a company because of a toxic workplace culture, they’ve typically checked out and aren’t interested in giving leadership a chance to improve. To get ahead of “quiet quitting,” voluntary turnover, and a worsening reputation, executives need a new source of authentic feedback about what life is really like as an employee. Aware research shows that even when workers are disinterested in working with the company to improve conditions, they’ll still take to social media to vent their frustrations, giving leaders an opportunity to surface and address complaints before it's too late.
Get 360-degree insight into the voice of the employee
Employee feedback is essential for informing successful leadership decisions, but employees don’t always feel secure raising problems and complaints with executives, even anonymously. This creates gaps where leaders can miss the mark, risking being branded out-of-touch and tone-deaf. Aware closes those gaps and gives executives the ability to take a holistic overview of employee sentiment by listening authentically to all the places where their people talk.
Start listening authentically to your employees today. Schedule a call to learn more