Remote Work Pulse by Qualtrics was made available at no cost by SAP since March to support companies and employees as they transition to working remotely in the time of COVID-19.
Not too long ago, remote working is a privilege to a few and unconventional to many. Now, with the COVID-19 pandemic shaking not only the global health system but also the global economy, most companies, regardless of size, have been compelled to switch gears and transition to the new norm of working remotely. Thanks to technology, the challenges of working in a non-traditional environment such as productivity issues, time management, isolation, and connectivity to the real world are made less complicated.
One of the many organisations worldwide that have determinately adapted to the new normal of effectively working remotely is the Sydney-based St. John Ambulance (SJA) Granville, a not-for-profit organisation that provides first aid training, products, and first aid services at events. The organisation is one of the earliest use cases of Qualtrics’ Remote Work Pulse, an automated pre-built survey that enables employers to connect with its employees, gather vital information, and get real-time feedback.
The regional division of the iconic St. John Ambulance leverages the Remote Work Pulse solution to keep its 130-strong team of volunteers engaged and ready to support the community. This group of volunteers plays a key part in its community in delivering first aid support and services and plays a critical role in major incidents such as COVID-19 where they will work alongside emergency services.
Needless to say, St. John Ambulance needs to stay connected with its team at these uncertain times to be able to respond accordingly when called upon by health services.
Didier Moutia from St. John Ambulance said:
“With the COVID-19 situation changing daily, one thing is clear – nothing is certain. As an organisation we need to be prepared for what will be a significant period where divisions are effectively closed.”
St. John Ambulance’s strategy for the COVID-19 challenge is to integrate Qualtrics Remote Work Pulse with leadership and informal meet-ups.
“Our strategy for keeping connected with volunteers during this time is simple. We send out a weekly survey using Qualtrics, which asks three questions – how are you feeling, what is making you feel this way, and what can we do to help,” said Moutia.
“In the first round of feedback volunteers told us they were missing the social aspect which our Division provides them with. We know this is a critical driver to engagement at St. John Ambulance and so have worked to take rapid action in the form of a weekly virtual catch-up,” he disclosed.
Moutia shared how the Qualtrics solution worked in their environment. He said:
“Qualtrics Remote Work pulse has helped the Granville Division of St John Ambulance create a system of action. The responses we receive from volunteers give us an opportunity to quickly fix problems.”
The Listening Platform
Remote Work Pulse was opened for employees to share their concerns, about working remotely. It has free ready-made tools to help any organisation understand how COVID-19 is impacting employees, customers, and healthcare workers among others. St. John Ambulance utilises the solution to ensure all volunteers have an opportunity to give feedback and be listened to without the pressure of speaking up.
“In open conversations, few people are going to let you know the extent to which they might be struggling. However, in private conversations like those enabled with Qualtrics, they are more likely to be open and honest with you. This is a very important feature given current circumstances,” explained Moutia.
Despite the physical training limitations with regards to adapting to the technology plus the much complex demand needed from the volunteers recently, St. John Ambulance was able to pivot with ease and speed with Remote Work Pulse.
“St John Ambulance has successfully gone live with and got this solution working with absolutely no training. It’s not a difficult technology to use – for ourselves or volunteers. And yet, the capabilities it is enabling are so incredibly powerful and important,” said Moutia.
“Our volunteers are juggling multiple priorities right now, so the last thing we’d want to do is add more to their list. Using the Qualtrics solution we are able to keep our ask on them to a minimum – it takes no more than 2-3 minutes and can be completed in a way that best meets the needs of our team,” Moutia explained.
St. John Ambulance leverages Remote Work Pulse in engaging its members not only at these challenging times but also to be connected with them as soon as the community transition to recovery and returns to normal.
“As a result of COVID-19 our community has had to postpone and move a lot of events – from local shows right up to major sporting events. We have an important role ensuring the safety of these events, and it means we need a strong team of ready and willing volunteers to call upon when they are re-arranged. It means keeping volunteers engaged now will help us meet demands in the future – and we are certain they’ll be some excellent celebrations,” said Moutia.
A Word of Advice
In St. John Ambulance’s spirit of “no one gets left behind”, Moutia offered his advice for other people leaders navigating the challenge of keeping connected with teams at these tough times. He said:
“Listen and communicate as early as you can, and more than you think you need to. Right now your teams want to be heard and they want to know what you are doing. We’ve shown how quickly and easily this can be achieved, and are already sharing our learnings with others at St John Ambulance.”
Steve Bennetts, Head of EX for Qualtrics in APJ, stressed that listening is at the heart of each successful strategy especially at this time when businesses are taking all the necessary steps to run best despite uncertainties.
“St. John of Ambulance is a great example of the speed, scale, and ease at which businesses can react right now to support their employees. My conversations with various businesses reinforce the fact now is the time for businesses to listen and act on feedback. Those that respond to feedback now will be best prepared to move forward as we begin to move on from the current situation,” said Bennetts.
Qualtrics has launched several free-to-access solutions helping organisations stay connected with their employees, to ensure their safety and well-being, to deliver a good working from home experience, and to help them remain productive in our new normal. In just 3 weeks, over 6,500 instances of Qualtrics’ free technology has been put to use across the globe, helping businesses of all sizes transform with minimal disruption to the workforce.