As unbelievable as it might sound, many large corporations still use the old annual survey to gauge employee engagement.

The process goes something like this: Hire a consultant to administer the employee survey. Wait four to six weeks for the firm to compile the data. And finally, dig through a 90-page PDF trying to figure out what you’re supposed to act on.

To help leaders and managers move away from this static, annual process and instead, turn employee engagement into a real-time environment, Redwood City, Calif.-based Glint has announced its new iOS mobile app

Founded in September 2013, Glint raised $15.5 raised million in venture capital funding in three rounds ahead of the public release of its employee engagement platform earlier this year. The platform offers monthly surveys of six questions intended to take about 90 seconds to complete, and three-minute quarterly ones of 15 questions. A standard group of two dozen questions are available, which companies can edit and customize. 

Today's release makes it easier for employees to respond on the go.

CMSWire talked to Jim Bell, CMO at Glint, who gave us his thoughts about the new app, as well as some tips on how companies can get more frequent feedback from their employees.

“A mobile app has always part of the plan. We have a mobile first design,” said Bell. “If we want engagement to be furthered and improved by leaders and managers within an organization, we thought a mobile dashboard and mobile information was important to have at their fingertips, instead of waiting for the annual process to come around.”

Glint iOS

Employee Engagement Year-Round

Glint's Jim Bell

According to Bell, the mobile app was designed to help keep employee engagement top of mind, allowing managers to use engagement data in everything they do to ensure they’re conscious of how employees are feeling, or what motivates them to stay with the company.

With the Glint iOS app, users can keep up with employee pulse (or survey) progress and respondent rates so managers can course-correct in real time, he said. The app, available today in the App Store, also displays engagement levels, team scores and driver scores such as growth, creativity, rewards, culture and recognition.

Increasing Feedback

For companies interested in ditching the annual process, Bell shared the following tips for how to gather more frequent feedback from your employees:

1. Don’t ask every question every time

“When you send out a survey, you need to respect your employees’ time,” said Bell. “Shorten up the survey.”

Bell recommends that if you survey employees on a quarterly basis, limit it to 15 questions, which should take about three minutes to complete. For monthly surveys, top it at seven questions, which will take about one and a half minutes to complete.

2. Let employees know you’re listening

“If you can’t communicate results and show some progress between pulses, then you shouldn’t administer them too frequently,” said Bell. “If you pulse every month, and employees don’t see any action or response, they’ll be less likely to fill out the survey the next month.”

Bell advised having a communication process in place to tell employees what you’ve heard and let them know that you’re listening so that they’ll continue to provide you with open, honest, confidential feedback.

3. Involve managers and leaders in the process

“A lot of employee engagement initiatives fail because they’re lead and managed at the top, or only from the HR team,” said Bell.

Because employee engagement drivers are different for each team and manager, it’s important to involve leaders from across the organization, he added.

4.  Don’t fear your data

“Some organizations are a bit reluctant to get more frequent data because they’re afraid of what they’ll hear, and some are afraid that they can’t take action,” said Bell.

For example, a company might get a low score in the rewards category, but may not be able to provide raises. However, according to Bell, playing ignorant is not an option.

“You’re competing with other companies that are looking at this data and attuned to what keeps their employees happy and successful,” he said. “You really don’t have a choice. You either get the data during exit interviews, or get in front of it.”

Bell recommends identifying key focus areas from survey results and putting together employee teams to focus on those areas. Have your teams look at the data, brainstorm ideas and present ideas to executives so they can take action, he said.

By involving employees, he continued, feedback becomes less about “dinging” the company, and more about making it a great place to work.

“Don’t be afraid to let employees be part of the solution,” he concluded. “They’re the ones with the best insight, and the ones who are going to make the biggest difference.”

Creative Commons Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic License  Title image by jesus-leon.