The Voice of Employee (VoE) Market Research Process

voice of employee market researchVoice of Employee (VoE) market research is the process of researching your employees to understand loyalty, improvement opportunities, and areas of dissatisfaction with their employment. Employee market research is often a forgotten area of focus in the market research world. Many will claim in order to improve the customer experience (CX) you first need to improve the employee experience (EX).

When it come to employee research it is absolutely crucial to use a third-party expert to administer and analyze the findings. In order to get honest and truthful responses, employees must know there is an extra and protective layer built in so their feedback is not passed along. Using a third-party employee market research ensures this extra layer of confidentiality that is required.

To improve customer satisfaction perhaps companies should start by looking from the inside out. Employee surveys and Voice of Employee (VoE) market research can lend insight and feedback to correct internal procedures and loyalty before looking to do the same with customers.

Here is an example of how a Voice of Employee (VoE) market research study could work combining both quantitative and qualitative methodologies. It will use a fictitious company named Company ABC to walk you through the VoE approach. This is a theoretical example of what a market research proposal or scope of work would look like as presenting by an employee survey company.

What are the objectives of the Voice of Employee (VoE) market research?

Before getting started with a new customer experience (CX) program, Company ABC would like to survey its employees to better understand current areas that drive loyalty and satisfaction, areas of improvement, and touchpoints of the customer experience that should be prioritized in future research efforts.

To address the objectives at-hand, Company ABC would like to first contract with an independent third-party market research advisor to conduct a VoE study. The VoE study will further develop how employee satisfaction relates to customer satisfaction, identify ways increase and drive employee satisfaction upwards, as well as serve as a vehicle to introduce the new customer experience mentality and culture. Obtaining feedback from employees will assist with ownership of the customer experience program being launched in the future by Company ABC.

When launching a comprehensive CX program within an organization, it is recommended to start with addressing the needs and satisfaction of the employees which are critical to positive CX outcomes. Understanding what drives strong satisfaction among employees will help Company ABC better understand how to improve CX.

What is the Voice of Employee (VoE) approach?

It is recommended Company ABC use a two-step employee engagement approach including both (1) quantitative and (2) qualitative market research to address the objectives. The first step will be a quantitative online survey with all employees at Company ABC having an opportunity to voice their opinion. The second step will involve individual one-on-one interviews (phone and in-person) to acquire more-depth on responses as a follow-up from the survey. Responses from the online survey will not be specifically tied to individual responses from the online survey but will acquire more depth to themes which emerged.

These personal reach-outs will assist Company ABC and the employee research company in building relationships and developing ownership in the CX program through personalized reach-outs with a focus on listening and collecting research. Using an independent third-party consultant will ensure anonymity and confidentiality of responses. The project team at Company ABC will be updated on the progress of both steps of the project at least once a week. A full non-disclosure and confidentiality agreement (NDA) will be signed between the market research company and Company ABC prior to beginning the research.

Online surveys sent through email is the most cost-effective and anonymous way to collect and measure feedback from employees.

Step 1: Online Survey to Employees

Before starting the market research project, the VoE market research firm will meet with the client to review the specific objectives, process, and expectations from the research. The consultant will manage all portions of the project including design, fieldwork, analysis, and reporting. The market research company will draft a survey document for review, program the survey in the online software, and test the survey before launch.

It is recommended that the VoE firm work with Company ABC to obtain a database of employee contact information or emails for direct invitations. Direct invitations will eliminate chances of duplicate entries. Another option is to post the survey link on Company ABC's intranet with multiple notifications to encourage participation and engagement.

It is recommended that a pre-awareness email or notification be sent from the management team or owner which details why the study is important, how it will be conducted, and what to expect. The VoE company can pass Company ABC a template with suggested body text for this message. If the survey invitation is emailed, the advisor will send an initial invitation along with at least 2 reminder notifications.

Following the conclusion of fieldwork, the market research company will prepare a full PowerPoint report of findings, with dashboards, infographics, strategy recommendations, and an appendix of question-by-question results. The results will all be benchmarked against others who work in the industry across the United States to understand where Company ABC sits in relation to other like-companies.

Step 2: 1-on-1 and Group Interviews

Personal reach-outs to staff are essential in an employee engagement study. Although the online survey focuses on quantitative measurement, the qualitative portion in Step 2 aims at gathering in-depth feedback through a two-way research conversation. The VoE market research firm will use the findings from Step 1 to build a draft interview guide for this portion of the project.

A large focus of the interview script will be on next steps with CX and the examination of touchpoints with customers. This will be key in prioritizing and adding clarity for Company ABC as the company looks to identify the most important touchpoints to include in follow-up CX surveys.

The market research firm will work with Company ABC to schedule one-on-one in-depth interviews (IDIs) with stakeholders within certain departments. This can also include executive stakeholders. Similar to Step 1, the VoE company will prepare a full PowerPoint report on the findings with recommendations for implementation of CX. In addition to the data and feedback, by involving all levels of the organization in the EX and CX, it will help build cohesion and buy-in for adoption and growth.

Interested in Conducting VoE Market Research?

Drive Research is a Voice of Employee (VoE) and employee survey company located in Syracuse, NY. Questions about where to get started or need advice on best practices? We're always available to answer any questions you might have about your next employee research project.

Contact us at [email protected] or call us at 315-303-2040.

Looking for more information? Here are 10 benefits of an employee survey for your organization.

Employee Surveys