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HRU: Reinventing the Employee Engagement Survey


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Every business wants engaged employees, people who like their job and want to perform to the best of their abilities, but factoring and measuring engagement is a challenge. Is employee engagement about talent mobility? Is it having an outreach program? Is it about making work “meaningful?” Or do you just need a ping pong table and an Xbox in the office?

Pixelz ambition is to be on the cutting edge not just of post-production, but the business of running a business. And that includes how we interact with, provide voice to, and empower our staff.

In order to improve engagement, we needed to make it easier to voice opinions, workplace struggles, and suggestions for improvement. To do this, we developed the “How R U” (HRU) survey.

19 staff in purple Pixelz polos for a ring for a photo shot from above.

Pixelz staff posing for a group photo.

HRU is a one question flash survey: “How did you feel during your shift today?” Before logging out to go home, staff selects one of three options (smiley, so-so, and sad) and can leave additional feedback in a comment box.

Those daily few seconds of survey time provide us with up-to-date data about our staff’s feelings, and gives us direction on how to improve their experience at work. We are trying to give our most important resource, our staff, a direct channel to those who can help them enjoy their work time as much as possible.

Comments and results are sent to our Human Resources department in a weekly report, and HR then uses the information to make any feasible improvements. Additionally, any staff member that reports over 40% unhappy faces over a two week time period is contacted to learn if HR can help. Staff have the option of sharing thoughts with HR via email, or setting up a face-to-face meeting.

back-end screen of HRU survey showing grid of smiley faces and totals for individual staff on specific days and aggregate data

A demo image of HRU survey results, without real employee data or real survey responses.

Pixelz Human Resource Executive Đỗ Thị Thu Hà explained our staff’s reaction to HRU. “Staff have been really receptive to HRU and they have expressed in our one-on-one meetings that they really appreciate their voices and concern being heard and feeling like we are really caring for them.”

We see HRU helping in a few ways. For example, we hope it reduces turnover: instead of people leaving before we know they are experiencing problems, we can identify unhappy staff and address issues in order to retain talent we may have otherwise lost. In fact, since its implementation in May of 2016, we now only see around 2% of reports during our two week reporting period with unhappy smiley faces, down from 16% when we started.

“Success in Human Resource can be difficult to measure,” explained Ha, “so, as a data-driven company, this gives us some reliable data about how our staff are feeling and how we are improving their work experience.”

group of staff gathered around a computer and Pixelz trainer at a Pixelz training session.

A Pixelz trainer with recruits at a partner session.

We also see it boosting staff engagement and morale: asking staff to reflect on their shift everyday is a healthy practice to get into, and because we eliminate issues as they arise we expect them to be looking back positively on a greater and greater percentage of their shifts. Leaving the office after a positive reflection of their day over weeks and months should result in a staff that continues to have a positive attitude about coming to work.

HRU in the end is really about empowering our staff. We are offering an opportunity to reflect on both good and bad days, and let us know exactly what we can do to improve the workplace experience. You are not faceless: you have a voice that we value and hope to use to improve staff experience at Pixelz as a whole.

Pixelz team supervisor helps a photo editor at her computer with an image

A supervisor assists a photo editor at her computer.

Our staff is our most important resource. We want to empower everyone to help us drive in the happiest and most productive direction possible.