Unlike the Lord of the Ring’s “one ring to rule them all,” there is never one message that will resonate with all of your customers. This is true for your own employees as well. With the rise of the COVID-19 pandemic, many companies have turned the lens on themselves. This has largely taken the form of gathering opinions on remote work and maintaining team collaboration, but some companies have sought input from their employees on how to keep not only themselves, but also their customers safe. In today’s political and social climate, addressing the safety concerns of your employees is another area where one message is not going to get through to everyone.
In a recent New York Times article, author Abby Goodnough spoke with Tina Sandri, the chief executive of Forest Hills, a nursing home in Washington, DC.
Even though the vaccination was being offered to all staff members, many at Forest Hills were reluctant to receive the vaccination, which put the residents in danger as all were at high risk due to age and medical conditions. Ms. Sandri identified this issue and spent much of her personal time sitting down with individual staff members and then used that feedback to understand the primary areas of concern that existed within the home. She was then able to craft messages based on these concerns to reach each group of unvaccinated employees. However, this approach is very time consuming, and therefore not practical at larger organizations.
This is just one area where market research techniques can be used inside a company or organization. Surveys allow employees to provide anonymous, detailed feedback that allows you to identify the various opinions within your company and which groups are most likely to hold them. In the case of Forest Hills where these employee concerns also existed in the general population, a survey can also be launched to an external panel that is weighted towards the demographics of your company. Not only is this a low-cost way to gather even more information, but you can also test potential messages before you use them internally as well as find out which sources of information people in different groups trust most. Do they listen to friends and family, industry/medical/etc. experts, or do they seek out information on particular websites, pod casts, or mass media?
One of Vennli’s specialties is conducting internal research to help managers and owners of both companies as well as organizations better understand their employees and members. The information gained has influenced decisions ranging from remote work arrangements to the right internal messaging.