Voice of Our Employees
Gathering the Voice of the Employee has always been a longstanding commitment of Xerox. From one-on-one conversations to full-blown employee engagement surveys – the two-way dialogue between employees and management has been a cornerstone of our way of doing business.
In the third quarter of 2009, we began the rollout of a new Voice of the Employee (VOE) Survey. This shortened survey gets to the heart of the day-to-day work experience – helping to generate a dialogue between managers and employees.
There are four categories in the survey and one write-in question:
- My Work: Questions about the job, feedback, learning opportunities, the ability to take informed risks and personal job satisfaction.
- My Manager: Questions about the manager’s behaviors, expectations, communication, team building and employees’ perception of his/her leadership.
- Our Team: Questions about how employees work together and collaborate.
- Our Company: Questions about Xerox’s strategy and direction.
In the past two years, we have surveyed over 97% of the global Xerox population in 48 countries and in 25 languages. We’ve received over 76,000 responses. And by the end of 2011, each employee will have had the opportunity to give feedback.
Managers’ reports are sent three days after the survey closes. The results give immediate insight into the things that are working well and opportunities for improvement. Highlights of the survey results include:
- There is a solid understanding of personal contribution to team goals.
- Managers make their expectations known and clear.
- Managers share the information needed for employees to do their job.
- Most employees feel personal accomplishment from their work contributions.
- The greatest area of opportunity lies in the questions about the company’s strategy. Employees want a clearer understanding of the company direction and more confidence in the Xerox strategy. In addition, they want to see a stronger link between the company’s objectives and everyday job and team efforts.
When we asked employees to tell us the one thing that would improve Xerox, we received over 30,000 responses, which were sorted into 33 distinct categories.
- Pay and Benefits were top of mind for most employees. These comments discuss valuing performance and rewarding those who are making the greatest contribution.
- The second major theme is communications, direction and strategy. People are generally aware of their role in their team’s success, but want more information about the alignment between organizations globally.
- Another key theme is reduction of bureaucracy and simplification of processes. Xerox is focusing on how to drive simplification in most business processes, especially the ones with direct customer impact.
- The last theme is about our people. Employees asked for more development, training and the right tools to complete their job deliverables.
Our Voice of the Employee Survey is a tool for managers to begin a dialogue with their employees to highlight where things are working well and to address areas of concern. The questions are arranged into four categories: My Work, My Team, My Manager and Our Company. Managers are expected to discuss and determine which actions can be put in place to make improvements where they are most needed.The four questions asked in the Our Company section are being reviewed by the company’s executive team, including the Chairman and CEO Ursula Burns. The executive team will work toward outlining an action plan by the end of 2011, once all employees have completed the survey. We expect to present some of the actions in next year’s report.