Rob Hogeweg is HR Director at ICT Group, a public listed company with about 650 employees in the Netherlands alone that, spread over 7 locations, works on ICT solutions for projects in healthcare, infrastructure, logistics and energy. Rob was looking for a modern tool for employee feedback. He deliberately doesn’t call it an employee satisfaction survey, as this refers to the traditional way employee surveys work: implying lots of questions and the expected answer already loaded in the way the question is asked. According to him, this raises the expectation that everything will change after the survey is conducted and everybody should be happy afterwards. An outdated approach: We were looking for a modern tool that would ask a minimum amount of time and effort of our employees but would still bring any employee issues to light. We needed a modern tool that requires minimal time of our staff and show the issues they have nonetheless. This creates the basis to engage with your employees and create a clear perspective on how the comments should be interpreted. And, of course, especially how we as an organisation should act on this feedback.”
“It is important to know how employees experience their organisation”
On the question what type of employer ICT Group is, Rob says: ICT is a company with true engineers. Its like a family, in a good way. This means that everyone wishes the best for their colleagues. We are a company with both our feet on the ground. We grow steadily, also through acquisitions, which adds an extra challenge when merging different company cultures. Our culture is making a shift from only servicing our customers to becoming true partners in our business relations, meaning also challenging our clients. This requires more leadership of our employees, taking ownership of their client relations. Ultimately, our goal is to have successful ICT professionals; employees who are aware of their talent and passion, wanting to get the best out of themselves. To achieve this, it is important to know how employees experience their organisation so we can facilitate this as much as we can.
Rob explains how the insights from Starred help them in achieving this: Because we can create cross selections for each business unit in the feedback, we can compare the business units and benchmark them. We look at differences and identify areas that a unit manager and the team can work on. For example, one of the questions was on the companys strategy: to what extent is the employee aware of ICT Groups strategy. Some business units scored clearly higher than others.”, Rob mentions. “The first thing that comes to mind is that perhaps senior management should better communicate the company strategy. But it appeared to be a difference in the way unit managers dealt with the company strategy. The business units that scored higher on this aspect used the company strategy to explain and connect all daily activities. This was a great learning point for others.
“We shared all the results and insights with our employees”
Regarding the next steps in sharing the feedback, Rob is really open: We have been completely transparent with our employees and shared all the results and insights. In addition, we shared the results with our executive board and supervisory board. The business unit managers have access to the tool and can compare their results with other business units or benchmark with the entire company.
“The response rate was super high, 78%. We have never had such a high response rate before, Rob says. “Starred helped us well to go live with the solution. The contact with the Customer Happiness Manager literally always makes us happy, which is great! The fact that business unit managers now have access to the tool themselves, is really refreshing. This way, instead of having to push information, one can access results anytime.”
Finally, says Rob: “ICT Group also collects customer feedback with the use of Starred. In the future, we want to investigate the relationship between the happiness of our employees and the satisfaction of our customers.
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