WEST JORDAN, Utah -- The concerns aired by employees through the new feedback system at Cyprus Credit Union weren't particularly a surprise, but the compliments were.
The $450 million CU has been using the EmployeeVoice anonymous feedback management solution for about a year, garnering eight to 10 inputs a month from the workforce of about 260 people.
"I think the biggest gain for us has been the employees having a medium they feel they can use to truly be able to share their concerns, pose questions and make suggestions about the organization," says Mike Walters, director of human resources and training.
"Interestingly enough, we've received a fair number of compliments about things employees like, which was a welcome surprise," he says. EmployeeVoice is one of the offerings in the Web-based Active Listening System of feedback solutions from Allegiance Inc. in Salt Lake City. The company was created in 2000 to put technology to the employee and customer satisfaction and feedback expertise that co-founder Gary Rhoads had developed in 30 years of consulting.
Currently about 100 credit unions and banks are among Allegiance's client list of more than 1,400 organizations, according to Jason Tripp, the company's vice president of corporate sales.
The various Active Listening System solutions combine surveys and feedback tools with an eye, in the case of EmployeeVoice, toward "assessing how engaged and loyal employees are as well as to provide an open channel for feedback," Tripp says.
"We measure satisfaction, too, but we find at the end of the day, loyalty has more impact and is more predictive in nature," Tripp says. "Satisfaction tends to focus on task results or task transaction, whereas loyalty looks at things like, 'Would an employee recommend working here?' It gives us a deeper sense of what the employee would do in the future."
While executives often think they have an open door policy, the employees often don't feel that way. "It can be intimidating," says Walters at Cyprus CU. "What I like about this system is that it allows our employees to go right to a member of our executive management team and really have a direct dialogue."
There have been direct results. Walters says, for example, the CU instituted a new policy that will provide employees who are military reservists called up for active duty a portion of their civilian pay.
"We'd been meeting the legal requirements, of course, but until an employee suggested we do that, too, we'd never considered it," Walters says.
In addition to providing an avenue for anonymous input and feedback, the system provides warning reports about trends, collective feedback to help identify employee motivators, and a statistical basis for making management decisions, the company says.
Tripp calls his company's solutions affordable and scalable for institutions of 100 employees to several thousand, but concedes that the return on this kind of investment can be hard to quantify.
At Allegiance's customer Cyprus CU, "we've really come to believe the ROI is in human capital," says Walters, the HR and training director. "I can't give you a dollar figure for it, but what I can tell you is that the results from our surveys have shown us going from employees feeling like they had zero ability to communicate with upper management to feeling like they have a voice with upper management.
"So in terms of loyalty and allegiance to the organization, that should certainly translate into lower turnover, more productivity and happier employees, which in turn means happier members." --firstname.lastname@example.org