Contact Center Solutions Featured Article

Medallia VP Offers Insight Into Using EFM for Employee Feedback

October 14, 2010

EFM is taking on another meaning in firm; it is expanding from referring to as Enterprise Feedback Management to Employee Feedback Management, and for good reason. The same tool can help organizations identify problems from its best source -- their staff -- and raise productivity and slice costs by spotting workplace issues that can lead to expensive turnover.

Nelson Pascua, vice president of client services for retail at Medallia, which devises EFM solutions, offers these key insights on how his firm’s clients have been using EFM to gather employee feedback:

Using EFM for employee feedback is a new and novel concept

Traditionally, EFM providers have solely focused on getting their clients to listen to customer opinion, said Pascua. Even at Medallia, the primary focus when the company first began was to get companies to incorporate customer insights into day-to-day operations.

However, over the last three years, Medallia has seen large companies want to explore and take advantage of the correlation between employee engagement and customer loyalty. EFM has proven a successful tool, said Pascua, to understand this relationship. After implementing employee-focused EFM programs, Medallia's clients have seen increases in the numbers of employees willing to recommend their job to someone else. Other metrics of success around employee-EFM vary client to client, but the full advantages of employee-EFM programs are still being explored.

Social media is one factor driving companies to use EFM for employees:

With the advent social media, many companies were quick to think about the negative effects of customers writing about bad experiences in a store or with a product, reported Pascua. Companies with a deeper understanding of their brand soon began to realize it has become very easy for a disgruntled employee to voice his opinion about his work environment and negatively tarnish a brand's image. Employees are blogging and tweeting in frequent iteration cycles.

Customers and employee feedback program work in tandem:

Companies truly striving for corporate excellence recognize that it is important to listen to all stakeholders, including customers, employees, and channel partners. If they are asking employees to take accountability for the customer experience, organizations have to be accountable to employees by ensuring they have provided the proper training, staffing, and tools.

“The one way to know if your employees are satisfied with your organizations' efforts in these areas is by collecting this feedback,” said Pascua.

Medallia's EFM customers initially target "voice of the customer" solutions, but there is seeing a growing trend that once clients establish traction in the customer channel, they target "voice of the employee" programs to entrench the same mentality into company culture. There is a natural progression for companies to extend their listening capability to include hearing out employees.

“Now more and more companies are realizing that for a customer-centric culture to take root, listening to customers and employees must be projects that are undertaken jointly,” Pascua points out.

Like with customers, EFM for employees is a continual process and has begun to show strong correlations between customer and employee net promoter scores:

Organizations realize the balance of power is shifting to those who are vocal, so it is ever more important to keep a channel open for ongoing real-time dialogue, explained Pascua. To run successful employee-EFM programs, Medallia has shown clients that monitoring and surveying employee sentiment must happen on a continual basis.

Pascua offers one example: a well-known computer company (and Medallia customer) expanded its EFM program to include employee feedback a year and a half ago in an effort to align employee engagement and customer expectation.

To this day, they stagger sending out bi-annual e-mail surveys to groups of employees within a retail location and use the continuous stream of employee feedback in tandem with the stream of customer feedback to make sure that the company is providing enough resources and training to meet high customer expectations. In the short time they've been using EFM this way it has seen a strong correlation between customer and employee net promoter scores.

“Maintaining an ongoing dialogue with employees is as important as the ongoing dialogue with customers,” said Pascua.

Brendan B. Read is ContactCenterSolutions’s Senior Contributing Editor. To read more of Brendan’s articles, please visit his columnist page.

Edited by Tammy Wolf