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How to build a collaborative culture to make company success a concerted effort

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"TINYpulse has a fantastic way to show the suggestions and the information that are coming through to support some of the initiatives that we're trying to push through to help the bank grow."
Heather Young, Founder and CEO
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Transcript

So, the challenges that Crescent ... We experienced before TINYpulse really had to do with not communicating well across the department. When it came down to it, we were just working very siloed versus more of a collaborative spirit. And then the suggestions that we've gotten since implementing TINYpulse, we just really ... They were getting stuck at the manager level. They weren't being pulled throughout the organization. So, somebody in accounting might've had a great suggestion that would improve processes for the talent development department or the HR department or even the loan servicing department, and that information wasn't carrying over, because they just didn't feel comfortable enough to go to that other department and share innovative ideas. So, TINYpulse really helped us break the barrier with that, for sure. We really just ... Managers collected it from managers who collected it from managers or supervisors who collected it from employees. We didn't have any sort of formal way to receive feedback from the employees themselves. So, it was what the managers chose to share with us that got through the door. I did not look for the solution. When it came down to it, our chief of staff at the time, it was probably a few months before the talent development and employee engagement department actually existed, started looking for a solution. And he started talking about employee engagement, was reading information, knew that we had to define our culture, who we were, really get involved as far as employee feedback, make sure that they were telling us how we were doing. And then all of a sudden TINYpulse appeared in his inbox and he happened to have a conversation and that led to one thing or another and we just felt like it was a really strong fit. So, really the format of keeping the suggestions anonymous was very, very important so that the employees could freely express themselves without any fear of retribution, was what we were looking for in a solution. But also the ability to track that information and create strategies behind it so that we can improve the overall performance of the organization was very important as well. Really, I'm not the one who can answer that, because Steven was the one who made that choice. But for him, there was definitely a connection between, I believe it was a VJ at the time, whom they had had a conversation and VJ really understood our challenges and what we were looking for to accomplish and it just ended up working. So, we are an organization. When we like something and we make a decision, we jump in and then sometimes we figure it out after the fact. So ... Well, once the senior team said, you know what? Yes, we all agree that this is important after a couple of months of conversation. We pulled the trigger and then from there we just started sending out those pulses and then looking for information to see how we could, what to do with it and how to implement those suggestions and give some shout outs. Yeah. So, TINYpulse has helped us with a lot. One of the major things that TINYpulse has helped the talent development department with is actually build stronger relationships with those departments that we work with to support. So, because we look at the suggestions, we respond to them, then we work with the C-Suite officer who's associated with that segment. We can take and build a relationship. We start to understand their challenges. We can ask some clarifying questions to get a better understanding and then we can help develop appropriate programs to help them accomplish whatever challenge they're faced with at that time. So, the training improves because of it. Program change management strategies have improved because of it. But overall from our department and as me as the director of talent development, it really has helped us build the relationship, which we think is so incredibly foundational to what we do for the bank. So, we have never for the organization to run an annual survey. So, the bank's 27 years old, and so we never ran annual surveys. It was the pulsing that we actually started with. So, we think that it gives us real-time data, which is really what we were looking for, which is another reason why we chose to go with pulsing versus going with an annual survey or every six months. Our strategy behind working TINYpulse and the insights that come from the employees is one, we try to be as transparent as possible. So, we are more than willing to stand behind, show an employee what TINYpulse looks like from an admin side. But we collect that data into a report and we share it on a monthly basis with our entire C-Suite. And that report can be filtered based off of whom we think the suggestion is tied to. So not where the suggestion came from as much as who the suggestion really should belong to. And then on a quarterly basis, what we've started is actually getting all of C-Suite together to review all the suggestions and the feedback together as a group. So, some big things like one of our suggestions is a no meeting on Monday. And so no meeting Monday, giving people more time to prep for the week. Just one day of letting me do my job and instead of being sucked into all these meetings, that decision really shouldn't be made by one person. It really needs to be a collaborative discussion amongst C-Suite. So, it's one of the ways that we're managing TINYpulse and getting C-Suite actively involved. TINYpulse has a fantastic way the suggestions and the information that is coming through to support some of the initiatives that we're trying to push through to help the bank grow. But for me, the TINYpulse, also the data and the reporting and the admin page being so easy to use and understand, I can very quickly before going into a meeting, get a good strong overview of what's going on with the organization and can talk about it intelligently for that meeting. So, it makes it really, really simple. Other way ... Without TINYpulse, we really wouldn't be able to pull that data and it would be so incredibly manual that it would just be hard to spend that time. I think organizations who are at the point in time when they're looking to listen to their employees and then actually do something about it. So, it only really works, employee engagement strategies, using TINYpulse is if the company is ready to hear the feedback, the good, the bad, and the ugly, and then act upon it. So, anybody who's ready to drive that change is very important. We handle the onboarding experience and a lot of the feedback that we receive from the staff in TINYpulse, both on the onboarding side from the questions and then employees who had been with us for a long period of time, is that we didn't have an orientation program. So, TINYpulse really helped us identify that and then build, we kind of call it a global or an orientation program is really more national. That basically secretary to CEO attends our orientation where we spend time really talking about the history of the bank, who we are, what we stand for as a company, how do we came about, how things work, and we set a standard in the orientation process. And so that feedback has been very, very positive and receptive. And if it wouldn't have been for the employees using TINYpulse to give us feedback on what was working, what wasn't working, the program wouldn't be as successful as it really is. There was pretty much a go and wait, we sign the contract and we went. So, as far as time frames go, I think really our chief of staff at the time, Steven spent a couple of months actually planting the seed in senior team meetings. But within a couple of months, we were there. We launched our first three questions and got a significant amount of information from that one question. So, if we did not respond to suggestions quickly, we got negative feedback. So ... And the other thing with employees to is setting a standard as to how long it would take to implement suggestions. So, it's important to respond, but it's important to take and share feedback on how a suggestion is actually progressing to becoming a Win. And then being very, very honest if that suggestion is never going to be implemented if it's a straight-up no. And so when we found our ebbs and flows was really, we weren't communicating that. But the biggest thing for us is somewhere along the line we concentrated on utilization and then we figured, you know what? The real win is actually concentrating on the wins. And so taking the suggestions, converting them to wins accurately and doing it a lot as far as sharing those wins in different ways, constantly reminding the team about those wins, is really where the magic is. Because we want it quality over quantity. So, yeah. They still sometimes question whether the surveys are anonymous to this day. So, they just truly feel that there's some dark way that we could dig down. And the truth is even though we can't tell exactly who made a suggestion. Sometimes the way suggestions are written, you go, oh, I wonder if that is, and as administrators and even as C-Suite, it took us a hot minute to get off that train as well, to not focus on who could have possibly written that, but then to actually concentrate more on what the content is, what the context behind the situation could be, and then if we could do something about it and then do something about it was really what it came down to. But yeah, there are still some employees out there who don't believe and therefore don't participate, but that's okay. It really is. It's a place for people to go if they need to. And then if they don't want to use TINYpulse, they always have the option to share it with other people, their manager or other managers within the organization to push a suggestion through. It's all about communication for us. So, not only taking in sharing what the wins are but sharing what the wins are in multiple different ways is how we keep that excitement level up. So, we make sure to share the wins on our TVs that are located in the offices. We share it in our magazines, we send it out via email, we post a wall of wins, we put it on our SharePoint for our internal system and then we talk to people. So, what's really important for us is that when we're having conversations in the talent development team that we're talking about TINYpulse and different suggestions that were implemented or where scores were. And then we use our magazine as another format to educate people on employee engagement. So, what does it mean to them? What does it mean for managers? And what're some ways in order to increase that engagement level? There are suggestions that we have implemented that we wouldn't have implemented. There are actually 53 suggestions that we've implemented over the last two years, which we are very, very proud of. And we feel like the bulk of those suggestions would have never been implemented without the tool of TINYpulse for sure. So, we've had everything from as small as, "Hey, we need a new location because we have no windows and this would be really positive to have a more modern and current facility" to, "You know what? Our titles don't accurately describe who we are and what we do, and we've had changes for that," all the way up to, "My incentive plan is you're not incenting me for the right things and these are some of those things that could be done.". So, we've had a significant amount of success as far as it goes because of TINYpulse. We have a talent development team that's just grown to six, and so we've had multiple ambassadors work different segments at different time. Right now we've reverted back to actually one person administering so that we can get this overview of what's going on from one perspective, make sure that we're not missing anything that's come from our segments. But everybody on our C-Suite has the ability and does go into TINYpulse monitor suggestions and feedback and results from the surveys. They respond. They ... Some managers have the ability to do so as well, which has been really, really positive, and different ways that not only do we pull that information from the reporting that TINYpulse offers us, but we have those monthly meetings to keep everybody in the loop as to what's going on as well.