The pandemic has guided some NSCA members toward building even stronger teams. Now isn’t the time for talent leaders to sit back. Instead, it’s time to seize the moment.
Late last year, we joined Bill Fons, president at PTG; Betts Sanders, performance specialist at Insperity; and Julia Lyons-Ryle, performance specialist at Insperity to talk about talent management challenges and opportunities during this time unlike any other in the industry.
If you missed our talent management discussion in October 2021—Leadership and Talent Management in the Pandemic and Beyond—it’s worth listening to (you can do so here). During the webinar, Fons offered fantastic insight into some new best practices PTG put into place as a result of the pandemic. These changes have improved employee engagement and job satisfaction, and we wanted to share his ideas with you.
Because PTG specializes in technology integration for restaurants and retail environments, employees were understandably concerned when the pandemic hit in March 2020. What would happen to their jobs? Would PTG survive? What about the industry overall?
To quell these fears and ensure clear communication, Fons decided to start every week with a short meeting with all staff members to let everyone know how the business was doing—discussing both the good and the bad. They talked about everything from project wins to large customers going out of business due to loss of sales during COVID-19.
As the pandemic wore on, employees grew to rely on these meetings to stay informed, and Fons realized he was on to something. To keep employees engaged, the weekly meetings grew to include not only helpful company updates, but also what he calls “infotainment”: customers talking about the challenges they’ve faced, retail and restaurant experts weighing in on the state of their respective markets, and even healthcare providers talking candidly about wellness and COVID-19.
After several months of these meetings, once employees felt confident about job security and the future of the industry, Fons decided it was time to return to work as usual and discontinue the meetings. To his surprise, however, the employees pushed for the meetings to continue. (And how often does THAT happen?)
Instead of virtual meetings, Fons and his team now create a podcast each week. Onsite employees can visit the podcast studio and watch (and participate in) the podcast being recorded live; remote workers can join remotely.
PTG added another component to these Monday podcasts as well. Mid-week, employees receive a pulse survey to complete. It’s a series of quick-hitting questions that ask about things like:
- Work/life balance
- Job satisfaction
- Workflow and workload
Fons and his team track and score all the data (which remains anonymous) as they go through it during the podcast. This has not only helped PTG find successes to celebrate, but also identify areas that need improvement and uncover problems that employees aren’t comfortable talking to their managers about. In this environment, they’re able to share concerns with leadership—without having to worry about repercussions. If employees have suggestions about how things could be done differently, then they can share those ideas in the pulse surveys as well. Fons says the surveys have made a huge impact on employee engagement and job satisfaction.
Want to hear more about the podcasts and pulse surveys that Fons and his team put together each week? Listen to the archived webinar here for more details on how they rolled out this communication.
Our Essentials Online Library also has a template you can use to get started with your own pulse surveys.