We spoke with Kristine Minter, HR Director of the commission-free restaurant ordering platform, ChowNow, to find out how they find employee experience success with Delighted eNPS feedback.
Tell us about ChowNow’s mission and how you differentiate yourself from your competitors.
Our mission is to help local restaurants thrive. We give them the tools they need to make the profits they deserve for all of their hard work.
What sets us apart from competitors, especially during COVID-19, is that our platform doesn’t take the average 30% commission from any restaurant. The commission that third-party ordering platforms require can oftentimes put restaurants in the red, and that isn’t sustainable for most restaurants right now. Our service is entirely commission-free.
Can you tell us about your role?
I am the Director of HR and part of our People and Culture Team.
Our team is split in two – the recruiting side and the HR side. On recruiting, we have a very rigorous hiring process. We are particular with who we hire and want to make sure that the candidates align with our mission.
If you ask any of our employees what the best part of ChowNow is, they’ll say, “The people.” So, recruiting does an awesome job at making sure we attract great talent, and then it’s my team’s job to keep the employees engaged, to keep them growing, and of course, maintain HR compliance.
"With employee feedback, we make sure we're moving the needle in the right direction and catching employee problems or concerns early.”
Why is capturing employee feedback important for ChowNow?
We’re a big employee-centric company. In order for our clients to thrive and survive, we also have to have thriving employees.
We love to hear feedback from our employees when making company-wide decisions. Instead of saying as an HR team, “We think this is what we should do, we think this change will be very important,” we like to ask our employees directly, “What do you want? What do you need?”
We can’t always give the employees what they ask for 100% of the time, but with employee feedback, we can definitely make sure we’re moving the needle in the right direction and catching employee problems or concerns early.
People like to know that they’ve been heard – that’s just a big part of who we are and why we prioritize employee feedback.
Can you tell us about why you started measuring eNPS with Delighted?
Typically, employee engagement surveys can take hours for employees to fill out, and just as long for HR to digest the information. These types of surveys aren’t sustainable to do quarterly. We found that Delighted’s eNPS surveys are a good way of having a recurring pulse on the team and for quickly figuring out who our promoters and detractors are.
Our customer support team had been using NPS with Delighted for a while and we were happy to piggyback off of them for our own feedback tracking.
“We track the data over time. The survey data has been great for figuring out [employee] trends.”
Can you tell us about how your Delighted program is set up – timing, distribution channel?
We send our eNPS surveys via email and have recurring eNPS surveys every quarter.
However, we’re a big feedback-oriented company and are constantly asking for and acting upon feedback outside of the normal quarterly cadence.
Our employees know the process and anticipate the quarterly eNPS survey, but we encourage them to give feedback at any time.
What is your process for responding to promoters and detractors?
With promoters, we make sure to double-down on the qualities that they attribute to making ChowNow a great place to work and use their feedback to continue to do the internal things they are excited about. With detractors, we really want to get to the bottom of what’s causing someone to be a detractor and why they would not recommend ChowNow. That’s why we have a very structured process with detractors.
Can you describe your detractor follow-up process in detail?
First, we let the employees know that their responses will not be completely anonymous. In fact, with the Delighted Admin user role I have as HR Director, I have specific access to all of the employee names in case we receive an extreme survey response that needs to be addressed immediately. Then, I release the pulse information to the managers – the survey scores and verbatim comments – from the promoters, passives, and detractors. I also send a list of detractor names to the manager but I do not associate the names with the comments.
From there, in some cases, we will have the detractors do a “stay interview” with their manager. It’s a very specialized one-on-one meeting, where the employees are asked: What’s keeping you motivated? What do you want to see more of with ChowNow? What do you need to see less of?
And then, of course, we track the data over time. Tracking feedback data helps us answer questions like: Is this person a new detractor? Was this person previously a detractor who is now a promoter due to improvements made? Has this person consistently been a detractor and yet stayed at ChowNow? The survey data has been great for figuring out trends as well as identifying and addressing employee issues quickly.
“Delighted eNPS surveys gave us a better grasp of remote employee engagement.”
Is eNPS taken into consideration for manager performance?
We don’t tie it directly because what an employee may be unsatisfied with, such as a benefit offering, can be out of the manager’s control. But, the score is an indicator that we look at and monitor for trends. If a manager consistently has detractors, we want to know why.
I will say that eNPS has made our managers more conscious about employee experience in a positive way. Managers are tasked with relaying action items back to their teams based on their eNPS feedback, so the anticipation of the score keeps the employee experience at the front of their minds.
How important is it to collect feedback during these times (COVID-19)?
It’s definitely important. When our first eNPS survey went out after COVID-19 hit, we were very interested to get the answers to: Do our employees feel they have the tools and the resources to continue to be successful? Is our communication still working now that employees are working from home? Are employees still feeling engaged with their coworkers?
Out of all the data, we found that employee engagement has been harder to balance more than anything. We were and are a tech-heavy organization. We have Slack, Zoom, Google Drive – so there wasn’t a huge learning curve for technology when employees started working remotely. What employees struggled with is not being able to have conversations face-to-face with their coworkers – not so much working conversations, but casual water cooler talk.
Delighted eNPS surveys gave us a better grasp on remote employee engagement and the data has shown that engagement has actually remained pretty steady over time.
Can you share some feedback-driven successes?
Yes. From a company-wide perspective, feedback plays a big role. For example, in HR, we get a lot of employee suggestions through eNPS open-ended feedback that help us make decisions with our benefit options. We use these data points over the year to present why X benefit offering decision would be significant for our employees in the next enrollment cycle.
Are you guys seeing close to a 100% response rate? Are people actively providing this feedback?
100% is always our goal, but it depends on the quarter (especially in Q4 when employees may be out of the office for the holidays). We usually get about 85% response rate with eNPS.
“The amount of employees who respond to our eNPS surveys tells a lot about their trust with our company and the success of our survey feedback program.”
How do you measure the success of your feedback program?
The amount of employees who respond to our eNPS surveys tells a lot about their trust with our company and the success of our survey feedback program. Employees feel safe to voice their concerns in the open-ended feedback. I’ve even had employees ask when the next eNPS survey is coming out so they can share information that they may not be ready to communicate to their direct manager.
Employees continue to complete the survey at a high response rate and we’ve been able to maintain an above-average eNPS score as a company.
How has Delighted been helpful in building your system of action processes?
With Delighted, we lean on its ease of use, the ability to simply upload our employee data, and with a click of a button – survey our entire team. Delighted has eliminated a lot of administrative heavy-lifting.
Also, we’ve liked having the ability to segment our survey information in so many different ways and across specific time periods. We’re heavy on diversity and with Delighted, we are able to look at our data from so many different perspectives. This has been very helpful.
What advice would you give someone who’s starting an employee experience program?
My biggest advice is to be prepared to act on the feedback you’re surveying for. There’s nothing worse than having your employees go through the process of spending time to provide valuable feedback, only for them to not know what you, as an organization, are going to do with that feedback.
If your employees keep saying the same things over and over again and nothing has changed, this could cause a loss of trust and a negative effect on your team. Make sure you have laid out your plans for acting on feedback before you start surveying your employees.
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