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Covid-19: Podium's response to the Covid-19 crisis

Productivity, Onboarding, Neuroscience

Introducing Pulse: Well-being survey [Updated 08/04/2020]

Remote working is not a new concept and many progressive organisations already support it. However, the Covid-19 pandemic has transplanted many employees from the office to the home for the first time without the usual transitional planning. This unanticipated change brings a whole new set of challenges for employees and employers alike.

Problem solving requires a clear and objective understanding of the issues. As work psychologists, Podium have reviewed the available research which informs the impact homeworking can have for individuals, teams and organisations and used that information to develop our Pulse Survey. It defines the issues staff face while working remotely and helps organisations navigate and manage this unexpected challenge. We think it’s so important that we’re giving it away for free.

The survey is designed to focus on employee well-being and in doing so probes aspects of remote work where organisations can have a direct impact on employee well-being. The survey seeks to answer the following questions.

  • Well-being: What is the general well-being, life satisfaction and quality of life of your employees during this forced change?
  • Work-life Balance: Are your employees able to switch off after work and maintain a healthy work-life balance?
  • Focus: Are your employees able to ignore distractions in the environment and focus on work in their new environment?
  • Work Achievement: Do your employees feel engaged in their work and motivated to do their best given their new situation?
  • Communication: What are your employees’ perceptions of organisational and leadership communication during this period?
  • Connectedness: How connected do your employees feel to their colleagues and the organisation when at a distance?
  • Support: What are your employees’ perceptions of support (both emotional and material) and recognition of their work undertaken remotely?
  • Security: Do your employees feel stable and secure and have trust in their organisation's ability to deal with these unexpected challenges?

The survey provides anonymised group reporting in the form of scale and item (question) responses as well as dashboard-style breakdowns for each scale with participant comments. Clients can use this feedback to manage any issues revealed. This can include refining internal communication strategies, providing opportunities for remote social interaction or establishing more regular check-ins, among other possible interventions depending on survey results.

Pulse survey dashboard example

As noted, the Pulse Survey builds upon previous research into remote working, job satisfaction, and engagement. Research also tells us many employee engagement and satisfaction surveys can be perceived as invasive and not as a genuine concern for the employee. A major design consideration for us was to ensure that content supports employee buy-in. The essence of this survey is “what can we do for you, your well-being, your engagement, and your work when working remotely”?

We at Podium have long facilitated homeworking. This decision has helped shape our organisational culture around being the best that we can while giving colleagues the freedom to work on their own time and schedule. We at Podium have experienced the benefits of remote working though we understand it isn’t something that comes naturally to everyone. Even introverts need human contact, time to collaborate with others, and work on ideas. As excited as we are to share the benefits of homeworking with others, the circumstances we find ourselves in with Covid-19 make this more challenging than usual. We anticipate that given this forced transition, in the emerging ‘new normal’, more organisations can realise the benefits of remote work as we have and that something positive can come from the challenges faced today. We hope the Pulse Survey can help you and your organisation manage that change to achieve greatest employee and organisational benefit.

Covid-19: Podium's Response [Updated 24/03/2020]

With coronavirus sending the world into a tailspin, we at Podium wanted to assure you that we are committed to responding to the crisis positively.

We’re going to help people adapt to the changing world.

We’ve only just started, but here’s some of what’s going on so far:

  • We’re continuing all our usual services.
  • We’ve helped a major client who previously tested face-to-face only to be able to test remotely, including transitioning them to a new assessment that was better suited to internet testing.
  • We are ramping up our development of facial validation during remote testing to give people greater confidence that candidates are “following the rules” when they can’t be tested in an office. (This will be ready in a few weeks.)
  • We are ensuring that our video interviewing capability can be readily deployed to those who need it so that we can help people cut down on unnecessary face-to-face contact. (Social distancing works!)
  • We are considering making available a wellness-check survey. This could help employees who are working from home and dealing with social isolation and disconnection.
  • And we’re going to do more. We’re pulling together ideas for how Podium can help, and we’re going to put the best of them into action. Over the forthcoming weeks, we will be providing further updates.

Until then, stay safe and look out for one another.

For more information about working from home in these times please see: Podium's tips for working from home.

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