Benchmark for COVID-19 Pandemic response survey

Since we launched our COVID-19 Pandemic Response survey, we’ve had over 700 customers be proactive in seeking feedback from their employees with regards to their organizational response.  In fact, while we received sufficient data from early adopters by early April to provide benchmark information at our full benchmark level (this requires a minimum of 20 companies, and 20,000 responses), we have now been able to update and supplement this with additional data collected by organizations. 

The insights we share below now reflect all data collected from the launch of this survey to date (up until Early June).  Initially, we had considered releasing benchmark data in separate time interval snapshots, however upon inspection of the data, since themes have stayed true, with a modest downward trend, we have created a single benchmark by merging all of the data. Therefore, the following data and insights cover the whole time period. 


Before we get into the valuable benchmark insights, we wanted to pause and outline some limitations to keep in mind in reference to this data set.  

  • Self-selection bias: given the nature of the impact of this pandemic, organizations who have been able to pivot their organization quickly to the circumstances are far more likely to have felt ready to get feedback from their employees on the effectiveness of their organizational response.  As such, the high scores seen in this benchmark might not be an accurate reflection of ‘typical’ companies but instead represent a cohort of companies who feel confident enough in their response to seek feedback.
  • Profile and diversity of the organizations who have launched: almost 40% of the data collected comes from North America, 27% from Europe, and 21% from Oceania. Finally, 10% of organizations represented are from Asia, with much less data coming from other parts of the world currently. We know that geographical regions are in different phases of COVID-19 and as such the stage of organizational response will also differ. Asia for example is already starting the transition back to work while in North America organizations are still adapting to new ways of working. The industry make up of the benchmark is also skewed towards Computer Software and IT, with these industries likely able to pivot faster in their response and ability to work remotely. Therefore, for organizations from other industries the challenges may well look different. 

How to use this benchmark

You can load this benchmark as a source of comparison within the platform. While interpreting keep in mind the limitations that we mentioned above. Our hope is the benchmark gives you additional context for how your response compares to other organizations, but shouldn’t be seen as a target to hit. 

Especially during this time, each company’s experience will be unique. While some organizations have been teleworking for years, others are unable to complete their roles from home. Some businesses are growing 10x while others have seen their business slow to a trickle. In these times it’s even more important to use yourself as a benchmark. That means seeing where you are scoring relatively low compared to your other questions, and how your results change over time. 

Trends we're seeing

Overall, we are seeing favorability scores for this survey trend much higher than we would for a typical engagement survey. This is likely because the nature of the questions differ markedly from our other templates.  Given the extreme demands of the pandemic, we created our question set to focus on making sure employees’ most basic needs are being supported. When considering Maslow’s hierarchy of needs these include physiological needs, safety, and belonging.  Given the context, assessing higher order needs around self-esteem and self-actualization are unlikely to i) be sensitive or sensible to ask employees around, and ii) be within scope for most organizations to influence right now. 

We're also seeing participation is lower than for other surveys with the median rate being 78% (almost 10 points lower than for Engagement surveys). This is unsurprising given what is on employees' plates right now, and that the emergency response survey is often open for a shorter amount of time to get quick feedback. 


The outcome index - company confidence

Company confidence is defined using these three questions, getting at the heart of employee perceptions of organizational support and adaptability from the survey template

  • I have confidence in my company's response to the COVID-19 Pandemic 
  • My company is making sufficient adjustments to deal with COVID-19 Pandemic
  • My company is supporting employees during the COVID-19 Pandemic

We’ve found company confidence is exceptionally high at 92% suggesting for companies that are surveying, employees are highly satisfied with their organization’s response. 


Top drivers

We look at which questions most drive our desired outcome of Company Confidence in the organization's COVID-19 response.

  1. I believe the leaders at Hooli are making effective decisions regarding the COVID-19 Pandemic
  2. The leaders at Hooli are providing a sense of stability during the COVID-19 Pandemic
  3. We are receiving timely communications from %ACCOUNT_NAME% in relation to the COVID-19 Pandemic
  4. The leaders at Hooli are appropriately visible/accessible during the COVID-19 Pandemic
  5. I am confident in Hooli's ability to support our customers throughout the COVID-19 Pandemic

What our data tells us is that Leadership is highly important, with all 3 items being in the top drivers. In addition, the strength of timely communications and how companies are supporting their customers are key to employees feeling confident in the company's response.

CHANGE: Interestingly comparing our full benchmark to data collected in March and early April, while Leadership and Communications have stayed in the top 5 across the pandemic, the ability to support customers has only inched into the top 5 in June. 


Most favorable items

  1. I know what I need to do to keep safe and healthy during the COVID-19 Pandemic (97%)
  2. I am being treated fairly by my colleagues during the COVID-19 Pandemic (94%)
  3. I am able to access the work systems/technology I need to do my role from home (94%)

From this we can see that organizations are demonstrating strength in how they equip their people with regards to keeping safe and healthy, and having access to systems and tech to work from home.  Kudos to the HR and IT teams who have likely pivoted quickly to respond on this front. And despite reports of increased xenophobia across the globe, employees are being treated fairly in their organizations. 


Least favorable items

  1. I feel equipped to manage both personal and work life demands right now (74%)
  2. I feel equipped to look after family/dependents should I need to (82%)
  3. I know where to find Hooli's most up-to-date COVID-19 Pandemic policy (84%)

Our newest item is now the lowest scoring, which is unsurprising considering feeling equipped to look after family and dependents, which had been the lowest scoring, is a component of  personal demands. Additionally, companies are struggling to keep employees up to date on changes to policies. 

Regional Benchmarks

We have two regional benchmarks available: North America and Oceania. 



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