How NextRoll is Supporting Our Rollers During the COVID-19 Pandemic

Our Rollers (employees) are the most essential “ingredient” to our success and culture. This pandemic is like nothing any of us have been through before. So, as we navigate this time with our Rollers, we want to ensure they are being supported… but we can’t read their minds! The best way to understand their needs and concerns is to ask them via a survey, understand the results, and then to take action. That’s just what we did and will continue to do.

Ask the Right Questions

It’s important to ask the right questions to get Rollers’ sentiment and feedback. Since 2013, we have used Culture Amp, an employee engagement platform, for almost all of our internal surveys. They have a library of research-backed surveys designed by organizational psychologists and data scientists. Think onboarding, exit, engagement, and diversity & inclusion. Recently, they have added surveys to support our current challenging environment, such as a COVID-19 response survey and return to the workplace survey. We use their off-the-shelf survey templates as a starting point and tailor them to include questions we want to ask. Our recent sentiment survey focused on how to best support Rollers through the changing environment, their sentiment on the future of remote work, and their return to workplace readiness.

We always include a few open-ended questions too. They are important because they lead to longer, more insightful responses and not just one-word answers. Open-ended questions are great to use to gain understanding of the sentiments of employees as they tend to give more context and information on their thoughts and concerns. 

Understand the Results

For our COVID-19 Sentiment Survey, we had a participation rate of 83% with almost 1,800 comments to read. Culture Amp’s platform helps to easily review and navigate the quantitative data. We were able to drill down by specific demographics like location and department. This was especially helpful when reviewing the return to workplace readiness questions. We found our US offices had a 50% or higher sentiment of not wanting to return to the office until a vaccine or therapeutic becomes available. 

It’s important to understand that in reviewing results, the data and bubbled up themes are from a point in time (and we know things will change yet again), therefore we took action on the most immediate short-term areas, and will spend more time gathering insights externally and internally on the longer-term policies and programs. We care a great deal about the employee experience for all of our Rollers and will continue to bring employee sentiment into the equation.

Summary of Themes From Roller Feedback

  • Continue to support employees by:

    • Sending timely communications about company updates

    • Leaders being visible/accessible

  • Opportunities to enhance support to employees by:

    • Providing a work from home stipend

    • Helping manage/provide resources for the increased cognitive load due to this challenging time, and overall mental health and wellness

  • Return to workplace insights for consideration:

    • International locations have larger percentages of employees who are feeling more ready to return to the workplace in 2020 than other locations

    • All US offices have 50% or higher sentiment of not returning to the workplace until a vaccine/therapeutic is available

    • Do not pressure employees to return

Take Action

Based on the results of the survey and the themes that bubbled up, we were able to take action on the following areas right away:

  • Communication: Live stream was the most popular communication method being used to share company updates. Based on Roller feedback, we will continue with our weekly Town Hall meetings. We are also committed to providing regular updates through email, video, and Slack as we navigate through these challenging times.

  • Work From Home (“WFH”) Stipend: Rollers will receive a monthly stipend to offset WFH expenses through the end of 2020.

  • Summer Recharge Days: We heard from many Rollers that they are experiencing an increased cognitive load as they navigate extended WFH conditions, health and safety concerns, and feel they need further time off to recover and/or avoid burnout, and boost productivity. Given the uniqueness of this time, we decided to provide one Friday off during the months of June – September. 

These are just some of the immediate actions we were able to take. The more feedback we collect, the more perspectives we will receive to help us better understand the varied experiences Rollers are having, and come up with inclusive solutions during this time. It’s a top priority for us to help everyone navigate this situation with the information, resources, tools, and flexibility that we’re able to offer. 

Surveys are the fastest way to see where our current resources and programs are effective, and where we might need to lean in more. It’s important that we support our Rollers through these unprecedented times so we will continue to survey them and ask for continuous feedback.