Employees with a big key

By Nils Reisen on 10.06.2020 | 3 minutes reading time

The Coronavirus lockdown made it considerably more difficult to do our jobs. With many people working from home, keeping in touch and collaborating with coworkers was a challenge. Our survey tool Pulse helped our customers and us to cope with this extraordinary situation. Here is what we have learned along the way.

Learning #1: Regular reflection is key

What worked perfectly a few weeks ago, suddenly wasn’t adequate any more. The rapidly changing circumstances called for constantly adapting our assumptions, collaboration and processes to the new reality.

With Pulse, we were able to animate a collective reflection in teams across the company: which activities and projects were now critical, which had less priority? What was on everyone’s mind? How could practical problems such as childcare be solved? These reflections enabled teams to come up with individual responses to their current challenges – in real-time.

For example, at Creaholic, we doubled the frequency of our all-hands meetings so that everyone could stay up to date and share learnings. We also introduced a daily virtual coffee break to make sure that informal exchanges were still happening. That being said, regular reflection is also instrumental in less extreme situations. For instance, in our Pulse team at Creaholic, we review our roles, our meeting setup and how we share information every few months to make sure that we are still operating in the best way possible. We are always struck by how much has changed in such a short time – and how important it is to adapt to that change.

Learning #2: Radical change is possible

The lockdown made it impossible for many of us to work in the same way as before. However, even things we thought to be impossible, turned out to be manageable. For example, we felt that running creative workshops online wouldn’t work, at least not to a satisfying degree. And indeed, the feedback in Pulse showed that we were struggling with running workshops remotely. As the feedback was available to everyone at the company, people quickly jumped in to provide support. They shared links with tips on how to run better online workshops and generated ideas of how we could apply this at Creaholic. This allowed us to rethink and adapt the way we ran workshops online quickly.

Interestingly, the switch from offline to online implied quite significant changes. Running online workshops in the same way as offline workshops didn’t work. We had to modify our approach significantly to fit the new circumstances. Using tools such as Mural was only half the battle. Equally important was adapting the timing (e.g. distribute the workshop over several days instead of having one long slot) as well as the way people collaborated during the workshop (e.g. splitting up the group depending on the task).

Learning #3: Asking employees for feedback is a relief and not a burden for them

Particular circumstances are often – and not only during the Coronavirus lockdown – used as a reason to stop or postpone certain projects. “We’ve got no time for this now” or “Let’s wait until things have gotten back to normal” is something that we hear often. However, times are never really regular as organisational transformations, leadership changes, or simply the introduction of new software tools and processes are constantly happening. We have just learned that for many of us, (business) life goes on – even in extreme cases. We have also seen businesses stopping their employee surveys due to the Coronavirus or at least questioning them, wondering whether they might be an unnecessary burden in these already challenging times. We find this puzzling. Shouldn’t companies increase communication and feedback loops especially when circumstances are challenging? Shouldn’t teams reflect on how to best adapt to the new situation so that they are still able to keep the chickens in check? Wouldn’t that be a relief rather than a burden? Our customers' and our own experiences clearly speak in favour of keeping the feedback loop alive in difficult times.

Please get in touch if you would like to learn more about our experiences and how we used Pulse to bring our team closer together. Sign up for our newsletter by dropping us a line if you would like to be informed about our future publications.

Stay safe and healthy out there!

Creaholic Corona Pulse

During the Covid-19 lockdown, we ran a short survey using these four questions:

  • Work situation. I currently have everything I need to do a good job.
  • Communication. I feel well informed about what the Corona crisis means for me in my daily work.
  • Customer projects. Currently, the impact of the Corona crisis on customer projects is low.
  • Personal resilience. I have been able to handle all personal challenges caused by the Corona crisis.
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