Government jobs are not known for lucrative salaries so it’s important that employees feel valued in their positions. The Government of Canada measures this satisfaction through a Public Service Employee Survey (PSES) taken every three years.
The survey administered revealed several problem areas that needed to be addressed in the Pacific region, and administrators turned to Ethelo to help them do that. By using cutting-edge technology and the power of data, the government was able to quickly delve into problem areas and develop an action plan for addressing them.
Not only that, but employees felt more comfortable and more engaged using Ethelo and were able to engage with each other throughout the feedback collection process.
Sound too good to be true? We promise you it’s not. Here’s how it worked:
The Old World
Before engaging Ethelo, the government responded to PSES results by conducting focus groups with employees to gain more insight into their responses. If you’ve ever organized a focus group, you know that they take time to plan and even more time to compile findings after they are complete.
The result of those sessions was a long and unmanageable list of action items and frustration among employees that few of them would be addressed before it was time for the next PSES. This created a vicious cycle of workplace wellness issues that left employees feeling like they were voicing the same concerns year after year with little action from management.
Not only did the focus group process take a long time, it also discouraged employees from being truly open about their feelings. In those settings, the loudest voices in the room are always going to win, leaving some concerns unvoiced and some employees even more frustrated.
Ethelo brought a truly democratic framework to this process. Every employee had the opportunity to log in and provide feedback, and that feedback was weighted equally by Ethelo’s algorithm. As you’ll see, this lead to better results than a focus group could have ever provided.
The process of setting up Ethelo in the Pacific region began with asking managers to define goals and set parameters for achieving them. Those goals included:
- Promote staff idea exchange and information sharing
- Integrate new ideas into the final action plans
- Build trust through transparency
- Gain insight into the viability of proposed options
- Increase collaboration between employees and management
The team came up with a list of 31 action items that could be combined to create an action plan for addressing employee workplace wellness issues. Those items could be combined into more than 2 billion potential combinations, which is far too many to result in meaningful staff input.
Ethelo’s algorithm kicked into action early in the process before any staff members provided input. It analyzed more than 2 billion combinations of those items to create 7,000 viable scenarios that would provide the most benefit and be the most feasible to implement.
The final product presented to employees simply asked them to rate the 31 action plan items, rather than sifting through all 7,000 options. Ethelo then balanced the options chosen by participants against those that are most feasible to create the optimal action plan.
The Employee Experience
Participants had ten days to complete their evaluations within Ethelo and could return throughout that period to add comments or reply to comments others had made. Feedback was given anonymously to encourage honesty and open dialogue throughout the evaluation.
The Ethelo process was an overwhelming success, with an average completion rate of 87 percent and average time spent on the platform of 45 minutes — more than double the required 20 minutes. The overall tone of the discussion was positive, and there were no requests for moderator intervention.
Modeling the discussion after social media also proved successful. Participants posted an average of seven comments and “liked” more than 1,000 comments, with two likes per comment on average. Ethelo updated the results every hour so participants could check in as the discussion progressed.
Analysis and Implementation
Unlike the focus groups of the past, managers had nearly immediate access to results once the employee engagement period was complete. Ethelo automatically generated basic results about the best action plans to implement and created a spreadsheet with more detailed analysis.
This data made the final selections easy for stakeholders. Based on the data Ethelo provided, they could clearly see which action plan items were rated most favorably and which made the most sense to implement together in an action plan.
The Ethelo approach was presented to government sponsors in fall 2016, and the action plans were subsequently implemented across the Pacific region. The Director General responsible for overseeing the process had this to say about the experience;
The staff engagement process was successful in creating optimal action plans. Using Ethelo brought transparency and inclusivity to the process. One of the major contributions of the platform was to enable joint plan ownership between management employees and management.
And this comment to make about using Ethelo;
Ethelo is far more powerful than crowdsourcing. The sophisticated algorithm paired with the social media interface is unique in the marketplace.
Put Ethelo to Work for Your Organization
This approach can easily be scaled to a variety of government and public-serving organizations. Anyone who seeks to collect employee input in service of the greater public good can benefit from using Ethelo.
You are likely being asked to do more with less each day, so stop wasting your resources on focus groups and other evaluation methods that take valuable time and money. Learn more about how Ethelo helped the Government of Canada by reading our white paper or case study.
If you are ready to take the next step, contact us to learn more about how Ethelo can help your organization.