“Employees come to tell me why they press red” (Zerorez part 2)
Here’s the 2nd story of how Scott brought employee engagement levels to their Weekly Balanced Scorecard at Zerorez.
Scott Oremland had finally found a way to get him a daily pulse on employee engagement levels, in order to complement the company’s weekly balanced scorecard.
It took him a few minutes to install their free device himself next to the time clock and voila: The Minnesota based company was set to start their new journey.
They wanted to improve their workplace by having employees pressing red or green at the exit door, answering How Was Your Day?
Checking the results the first day:
Scott recalls having a great feeling of anticipation when he logged on to the online dashboard: “I was really excited, I reeeally wanted to see how things were going.”
“I didn’t know what the number would be. People had their ideas and so did I of course. I didn’t think we we’re going to get a top-notch score, but when I saw that we had almost the same number of people pressing green as red … that hit me hard” Scott pauses. “Really hard.”
“I knew we had stuff we needed to fix, but I had sooo many conversations with people that love working here. The result was disappointing but at the same time it was good to have that reality check. It was good for people to see that maybe we need to be even better and hey, there’s work to do. The results also rose as the days went by”.
89% green yesterday!
“We always start with good news at our leadership meetings” says Scott. At the last one it was so great when I could say hey, 89% of our employees pressed green yesterday! In the management team we’re all excited about this. But the first days were a bit rough…” he says and shrugs his shoulders.
I love the simplicity
“Even with the simplicity of the Daily Pulse you still get a lot of info, that’s very attractive. There’s no survey, no link to follow, employees just press green or red, says the COO. I sent out an all company email after the first week so people would know where we were. I’ve talked to a lot of our employees about how they’re doing as the current results simply isn’t where we want to be.”
“We need to show we’re doing something with the results”
“We’re still learning what makes our people press green or red. The owners talked about our Daily Pulse yesterday in the all-staff meeting and about why we want it. We recently rolled out our new vision, values, and new employee benefits. We want to be clear about the things we are doing thanks to what we have seen on our Daily Pulse.
I think there might be some skepticism here too as I heard “I don’t think my feedback is going to go anywhere based on what happened in the past.” People should never have the feeling that we’re not going to do anything with the results; we need them to keep pressing.
“People come to talk to me”
“Just having the button here has been a switch, people come to talk to me.
One guy came up and told me that his day in the field was green until he came back to the office and found trash buried in his truck, left by the driver from the day before – that changed his day from green to red”, Scott says and points to the area where the Zerorez vehicles used by the cleaning technicians are parked.
Why no yellow button?
“One employee mentioned that it would be helpful to do a survey to identify all things that cause us to feel red… I looked at him and said “we don’t need to find a way, you’re telling me right now! We’re having a conversation we wouldn’t have had otherwise! It’s already working!” the COO says, clearly enthusiastic.
“I’ve identified a good list of issues already”
“Our message is that we’re making some changes, and we want to make more! We want to talk to people and find out what´s going on.
I’ve identified a good list of issues from our employees in this short time, now I want to get some feedback from more of our managers from the different departments. I want to make sure that all our managers feel comfortable about the Daily Pulse”.
Highest revenue ever
“We had the highest revenue ever in June” says Scott with a thoughtful tone. “But we have a very red mood! Although yesterday we held an All-Staff meeting and got a nice green score”, he says with a happy face.
“We have some operational problems we’re not happy about and a lot of the red is from how we operate. We’re looking into schedules, the state of our vehicles when you start your shift, workloads, employee benefits, etc.
A huge part of measuring our employee engagement in real-time is to check how we’re doing against our core values. We will keep an eye on our Employee Mood KPI. We’re making progress but we want to make more.”
“Scott, I had a green day today!”
“I had a conversation at our company barbeque the other day, this guy had had a string of horrible days and he identified a lot of things that made him have a red day.
Last night he came back from his route and said “Scott, I had a green day today”! That’s awesome! I said and asked “what made it green? And he told me the things. So two days later he comes back to me again to tell me!” says Scott.
“Just having the box opens the conversations”
“I don’t expect him to have green days ever after but having that conversation… just having the box on the wall opens the conversations, it´s easier for employees to open the door and say I had a red day… or green.
It’s a more casual way of being able to open conversations – it becomes part of the language. When you talk about red or green you know what’s going on” concludes Scott.
The Daily Pulse makes it easy for me
“We get that daily pulse now and see our employee mood day by day, and the aggregated, of how we’re moving.
This system is much easier for me than a pulse survey would have been, over time survey analyzes would have been time consuming. The Daily Pulse dashboard makes it easy for me.”
“Sometimes we remind people and say don’t forget to press red or green when you leave, we can still make it more part of our daily routine to press. We had a barbeque where people had a lot of fun, people were literally thinking of running over to press the green button!”
After 45 days of measuring Zerorez will unlock their Employee Mood KPI, which complements their weekly balanced scorecard.