How Peakon Helped WASH Develop Its Change Management Strategy

Ross Brooks
 

WASH began as a family owned business over 70 years ago and are a leading provider of laundry services across North America. After being acquired by the private equity company EQT, an important part of the transition was understanding how their employees were feeling in real time.

“It was really important to get a baseline on the pulse and emotion of the company prior to embarking on some pretty significant changes to our business model.” Mark Good CEO

With so many people working in the field, plus production plant employees without access to a computer or mobile phone, the challenge was finding a way to get feedback from everyone and uncover meaningful insights that could be implemented within the business immediately.

Even with people spread across North America, WASH were able to get a response rate of 71% from their first survey. Using the SMS and Kiosk features of Peakon they were able to make sure that the voices of employees were heard from all across the business.

WASH employee completing Peakon survey on a mobile phone

Making Sense of Data in Minutes, Not Months

Vivian Hung, Executive VP of Human Resources, found traditional employee engagement surveys ineffective. “Previous surveys that I’ve worked with take weeks and months to develop reports, and by that point in time things have changed.”

“There were very clear buckets of things that people were looking for – in every survey.” Vivian Hung Executive VP of Human Resources

The success of a change management process can often depend on your ability to react quickly to stress-points. Using Peakon, WASH initially identified three key themes:

  • Communication
  • Recognition
  • Talent development

Having such clearly defined themes made it easier for Vivian and her team to decide on the next steps. As she puts it, “This allows us the next day to really go into action.”

As a result, WASH were able to immediately implement three new initiatives as part of their change management strategy, including new communication channels, launching an employee recognition program and hiring a training and development manager.

“There were very clear buckets of things that people were looking for – in every survey,” adds
Vivian.

Identifying Priorities During Times of Change

In addition to identifying areas of concern within the business, Vivian has been able to make Peakon a part of her day-to-day workflow. While implementing the company’s change strategy, she was able to identify priority areas within her own team: “One was workload.”

After working with her team to address the issue, it quickly came off the list of concerns. As Vivian explains, “It was a great way for me to see almost instantaneously if what I’ve said, or what we’ve changed, had an impact on the team.”

“My advice would be to get a read on your employees, understand what’s of concern to them, look for common themes, so as you build your change strategy, you’re addressing those concerns.” Mark Good CEO

WASH prove that you have to look beyond the opinions of senior management when dealing with times of intense change and uncertainty. You need to understand how people are feeling across the entire business, and the best way to do that is through continuous employee feedback.

When asked what advice he would give to other businesses undergoing a change management process, CEO Mark Good said: “My advice would be to get a read on your employees, understand what’s of concern to them, look for common themes, so as you build your change strategy, you’re addressing those concerns.”

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