Building a Holistic Employee Experience: Highlights from MTMImpact’s Keynote Opener

Written by Christian Ehninger, Explorance.

A group of employees engaging in direct feedback

Reading Time: Less than 5 minutes

Synopsis: Lan Tran, Head of L&D Governance, Technology, and Operations at the Kraft Heinz Company recently delivered an insightful keynote session at Explorance’s MTMImpact VX 2021 Symposium – revealing how that major company has successfully built a holistic employee experience. This blog outlines the theory and details that Lan shared with attendees.

July’s MTMImpact VX 2021 Symposium was a vibrant online event that featured a host of informative sessions and insightful keynotes from the MTMImpact community. Opening the symposium, Lan Tran, Head of L&D Governance, Technology, and Operations at the Kraft Heinz Company, delivered an engaging keynote presentation on the core components that underpin a holistic Employee Experience strategy at that company.

Lan highlighted the importance of stimulating employee emotions as a stepping stone to action. By demonstrating to employees the crucial value they bring to the company, an organization will be better able to inspire the confidence needed to succeed.

Emotions Lead to Motion

Lan highlighted that when implementing new L&D regimes or any form of overall change, it is important to understand that you won’t make everyone happy. The first successful step in the process of change is to set a basis and clearly define what success means for you.

However, it can be difficult to measure success in terms of emotion.

An effective way to start to grasp what your employees are feeling and thinking is through employee surveys and assessments.

Beyond surveying however, Lan shared a tip for measuring emotion – also communicating with your employees in a direct fashion where possible. User focus groups and interviews can be employed as tools of measurement, but this method also engages with employees directly, allowing you to observe and ultimately identify the emotion you want be ignited within your employees.

Apart from user focus groups and interviews, there are diverse and effective ways to monitor and measure emotion, including:

  • Engagement surveys
  • Pulse surveys
  • Post event surveys
  • Performance assessments

Maintaining constant engagement and asking for feedback throughout the process is important when implementing change.

Additionally, it is important to act upon the feedback that you are receiving as it does not only improve the overall process, but also demonstrates to employees that their voices are being heard and valued.

Note that although surveys and assessments can measure “feeling” and “emotion” through graded scales and other quantitative data, a real gold mine for emotion can be found in open-text comments.

Lan noted that “numbers tell the overall arc of the story but not everything – (assessing) comments will help tell the whole story, bring the details, hear the feelings and emotion, knowing what is successful and what could be improved.”

Searching for Gold

Employing open-text comments gives employees the opportunity to share their genuine thoughts and opinions. Instead of the structured answers that are given through quantitative ratings, comments offer the chance to more precisely share feelings and emotions.

Additionally, we can pinpoint exactly what is working and what could be improved using comments. The question is, how can we sort through all these comments efficiently?

There are many different methods to analyze open-text comments, from human readers to AI Machine Learning technologies. Making use of sentiment analysis tools that incorporate Machine Learning is currently one of the most effective ways to sort and analyze open-text comments.

Explorance’s BlueML solution is currently the market leading sentiment analysis tool to measure and monitor the employee experience via open text comments.

Trained using real HR-related employee comments, BlueML is the first solution to specifically analyze the employee or student experience. Additionally, BlueML uses machine learning to continuously improve as it analyzes more comments and varying scenarios while providing data in real-time.

Strength in Numbers

The key to implementing any kind of successful change in the workplace is to work as a team.

In the end, improvements are intended to benefit everyone, therefore it is important to leverage the strengths of others. This includes collaborating across teams and departments to ensure widespread employee engagement.

As a last tip from Lan, she reminded attendees that “employees are busy!” Unfortunately, employees can experience “survey burnout”, therefore it is important to not overwhelm and bombard them with surveys and assessments. Equally, it is important to remind employees how they are helping by providing feedback, and the positives of voicing their opinion. Ideally, this can be communicated in the spirit of encouragement and participation.

By triggering emotions, action is stimulated.

The challenge comes when organizations have listened, and then seek to measure said emotions. Collaborating with peers and analyzing the emotions displayed are key components to building a holistic and engaging employee experience.

To end her keynote session, Lan left the audience with some highly-useful nuggets of wisdom to build a holistic engaging experience for your employees – what she likes to call ‘Party Favors’:

  • Employees will surprise you!
  • You won’t make everyone happy!
  • Define what success means for you!
  • Look at multiple datapoints and let all the data tell you the story.
  • Leverage the strength of others.
  • Read the comments!
  • Remember, employees are busy!


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