During the recent CMO Club roundtable, Happy Employee = Happy Customer: Creating Employee Experiences and Customer Growth, Libby Loskota, Vice President of Marketing at TaskUs, a business process outsourcing company, shared what worked for TaskUs as they set about improving employee satisfaction, at the same time knowing that would result in their customers seeing benefits as well.
Loskota pointed to what she calls the “Virtuous Up Cycle Market” – a five-step process to get results: Invest in the employee experience -> Attract the industry’s best talent -> Talent delivers results to customers -> Customers buy more services -> Shareholders make more money.
The Roundtable discussion focused on that first step – investing in the employee experience. When they embarked on their journey, their Q1 2014 employee surveys showed employee satisfaction was very low.
“We knew we had a lot of work to do,” Loskota said.
The organization examined the areas they thought would make a difference. They explored management, compensation, office space, benefits and gourmet lunches as possible contributors. They found that all but compensation and gourmet lunches were large impactors and then implemented a series of goals and initiatives, Loskota said.
- Management: they knew that employees who have higher opinions of their managers have higher retention and higher satisfaction scores, and thus made coaching a central part of their approach. Managers went from being supervisors to being able to cultivate relationships with employees, she said.
- Benefits: TaskUs hired life coaches to help its employees outside of their day-to-day jobs. They addressed important benefits, housing on-site gyms at all of their locations and implementing extended maternity leave. “We were focusing on quality benefits, not just ‘sprinkled on top’ benefits,” Loskota said.
- Office spaces: She shared photos from various office sites, showing themes at each location that made them bright, inviting, innovative places to work. For example, one brought the outdoors inside with living greenery and laptops to allow employees to get up and move around. “By bringing in some life, it helps people to just continue to be energized throughout the day,” she said.
- Other additions. While they found offering gourmet lunches didn’t make a huge impact on employee satisfaction, Loskota said they did find access and quality were important to employees. So instead, they implemented their “Food Forward” program, a highly subsidized plan offering healthy alternatives to going out for fast food. Any employee can participate for a small donation, and those donations are then contributed back to the local community.
For those considering a similar approach, Loskota said to first focus first on deciding on a metric to use, and tracking that metric through surveys. Make sure you can drive results that are qualitative and quantitative, which only happens when you conduct surveys and when you’re actively listening to your employees, she said. They’ve used a variety of options from CultureIQ to Survey Monkey in their endeavors and Loskota said it’s doesn’t need to be fancy to work.
When it comes to surveys be sure to drive participation, she said. A handful of respondents won’t provide the real picture. TaskUs has done so in creative ways. For example, one year when they felt there was survey fatigue, they threw a “puppy party” – bringing puppies to their Santa Monica office – when participation rates reached 90 percent.
“Keep it fun, and keep it creative,” she said.
Then, get actionable with your data. Develop smart goals from the results and actively share those out to the team.
Finally, hold everyone accountable. At the end of each survey, TaskUs provides its employees with clearly defined goals and areas they’ll focus on, while at the same time, putting their money where their mouth is: the executive team’s compensation is directly correlated to employee satisfaction scores, Loskota said.
“Everyone has to be personally accountable,” she said.