EVEN before the current coronavirus crisis, more firms than ever were recognising the commercial and social benefits of being a responsive employer that listens to staff.

Now, in the midst of this unprecedented challenge for businesses big and small, these insights have never been more important. Indeed, for some companies understanding and acting upon staff feedback will be the crucial factor in determining whether they survive at all.

James Anderson has spent the last seven years helping businesses engage with their employees with the Peachy Mondays platform, an innovative cloud-based survey tool that delivers insights in real time. 

And with Covid-19 changing the way every business works – and perhaps putting a strain on internal relationships – the Lanarkshire-based outfit, which has a global customer base, is committed to helping firms communicate with employees in a constructive and responsive manner now, while preparing them for the aftermath of the global pandemic.      

“Home-working has suddenly become normal, and it’s a massive challenge for lots of people”, says Mr Anderson, Peachy Mondays’ co-founder. 

“One of the big questions for HR leaders right now is ‘How do we sustain the engagement and wellbeing of our staff when they’re all working remotely, or on the front line’?

“At some point there will be a return to a ‘new normal’. How can organisations prepare for that? We’ve never been in this exact situation before, but we can take one lesson from the global financial crisis a decade ago. The organisations that continued to invest in and engage with their workforce bounced back faster 
and higher.”

To help companies do that, Peachy Mondays is putting its money where its mouth is by offering a free employee “pulse-check”.

“I don’t think it’s ever been more important to engage with and listen to employees, to show that we care,” says Mr Anderson, a former professional musician who moved into tech.

“We know HR directors are flat out and may be struggling for budget, so I’m really proud of the fact that we’re offering a free Covid-19 employee survey that gets to the heart of wellbeing, enablement and communication needs, literally within minutes. 

“The uptake has been great so far and we’re happy to help any organisation who gets in touch.

“One of the core strengths of our product is the ability to ask targeted follow-up questions whilst preserving the anonymity of the participants. 

“If you can get behind the initial responses you can action them much more successfully. 

“This democratisation of insights is really taking hold. These tools are no longer just for HR, they are for all people who contribute to a business. It’s about empowering staff and allowing managers to perform better.”

Managers and frontline workers alike will have to find new ways to be collaborative and productive across every sector in the weeks and months to come. And Mr Anderson is hopeful that the “inspirational” Scottish entrepreneurship scene will recover and rebuild. An important element of this, he says, will be the networking.

“When you are scaling up a business, there is a lot of good advice to be had from your peers, no matter what sector they are in,” he explains. “In the tech sector it’s also vital to talk to customers before you build your platform.”

Mr Anderson adds that interacting with business peers is one of the great strengths of the RBS Accelerator programme.

“Being an entrepreneur can sometimes be lonely experience,” he says. “The Accelerator gives you a cohort of like-minded people you can bounce things off. 

“The coaching is hugely helpful too, especially in terms of giving you a different perspective on your business.”


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