Collecting and responding to 650 employees’ COVID-19 data in real time
In August of 2020, the State of New Hampshire required Service Credit Union to perform an ongoing daily Q&A with all its employees planning to work in person. The state was essentially demanding that Service CU, like most other NH businesses, discover any employees who might be COVID-compromised and stop them from working onsite until after a mandated quarantine period.
Needing to act fast to comply with the state's directive, the HR team at Service CU adopted SurveyMonkey Enterprise to create a highly-customizable digital research solution that could capture employees’ daily health status and projected work location in real time via SMS text and email.
“Using SurveyMonkey Enterprise, we had a custom and HIPAA-compliant COVID research form ready in literally 10 minutes,” said May Hatem, vice president of HR & training at Service CU. “Employees love how easy it is to complete, and the real-time data slices within Enterprise let us know our exact COVID data, by location, before 8 am every day.”
Service CU’s COVID readiness and response program via SurveyMonkey represents the financial institution’s longstanding mission of putting its members first.
Service CU is a not-for-profit, member-owned financial cooperative with 880 employees and 50 branch locations in the U.S. and on military installations in Germany. When the State of New Hampshire required daily COVID questioning of employees, Service CU management feared it would be an impossible undertaking to make all employees across its 34 branches and 3 corporate offices fill out a daily form. “When they said every day, we were taken aback,” said Hatem. “We were really skeptical and had many unanswered questions. How were we going to make sure our employees were actually filling out the information? How could we enforce it? How were we going to know who was going to which building?”
An initial paper form strategy proved highly ineffective. Hatem’s HR team asked branch managers to question staff and complete the forms for them. However, managers felt uncomfortable asking intimate details about their colleagues’ health. Meanwhile, at corporate offices, security guards were charged with questioning employees individually and could not do it fast enough or in a way that enabled tallies to be quickly shared with the HR & Risk departments who needed to triage all exposures.
“We needed to act super fast with a simple research tool that would allow us to collect and analyze employee COVID data quickly. Thankfully, we had used SurveyMonkey for a company event and knew it could handle the job,” explained Hatem. She also noted that the unprotected paper forms and verbal Q&A represented HIPAA violations. “We were ecstatic to learn that SurveyMonkey Enterprise has HIPAA-compliant features.”
Simplified research and response integrated with SMS and email
To gain rapid results, Service CU’s HR team created a 7-question COVID form in SurveyMonkey Enterprise and embedded the customizable survey link directly into the company's existing Ad Hoc Communications platform. Service CU’s Assistant VP of Risk created the research survey in just 10 minutes. When Hatem requested changes, they were completed within 2-3 minutes. According to Hatem, that speed was due to the platform’s flexible questionnaire design capabilities. “When our AVP was creating questions, she could think of how we wanted the data reported. So, she would use a Yes/No format for one response, a number ranking for another, and a dropdown with open text fields for others.”
Service CU's HR team took advantage of Enterprise’s flexible sharing mechanisms, auto-sending a daily embedded link via SMS text and/or email that asked employees if they planned to report to a work site that day. If an employee answered “Yes,” Enterprise intelligently opened the survey to them and they were required to complete it before being allowed onsite.
“SurveyMonkey Enterprise's integration to text and email makes it so fast. You just click the link and it brings you right to the questions. Boom, boom, boom, and done in literally 20 seconds.”
May Hatem, vice president of HR & training, Service Credit Union
The survey also used Enterprise's customizable logic, so the Service CU team could rapidly respond if a potential COVID case arose. If someone answered “Yes” to having a COVID symptom, the form automatically ended and told the employee not to come into work and to await a call from HR. At the same time, a workflow notified the AVP of HR so she could take action as soon as possible. And because the survey used Enterprise’s dropdown list feature for people to indicate which office they planned to visit, Hatem could quickly report who may have been exposed if a COVID case appeared at any location.
The risk department made a habit of sharing 4 distinct SurveyMonkey-based COVID data reports with executives and department heads: daily, 7-day, 30-day, and “Pandemic to Date” reports of employee quarantines, positive tests, and hospitalizations. All reports were broken down by department and included both overall and department-specific trends.
Continuously maintaining the safest workplaces possible
Hatem summed up her results of using SurveyMonkey Enterprise this way: “It totally saved us. Acting incredibly fast by using SurveyMonkey’s rapid research creation and data analysis, we have been able to greatly minimize COVID exposure among employees.” Service CU had just a single COVID hospitalization, and that person has recovered fully.
Hatem credited the SurveyMonkey data for preventing office closures and continuing to mitigate risk for Service CU. Employees have become so accustomed to SurveyMonkey forms that they all report by 7am each day. And even with only a single AVP reviewing the data, the company knows each branch location’s status by 7:30am.
Service CU’s members also appreciate the end results of the effort. It has allowed the credit union to communicate its COVID-screening process to people who continuously seek reassurance on branch safety. Service CU informs members that it screens every day and has done so from the beginning of the pandemic. “We would not have been able to keep so many people safe without triaging quickly and accurately based on SurveyMonkey data,” said Hatem. She added that when her HR peers from different credit unions ask how to collect data about employees and find meaning in it, she has a standard response: “Just call SurveyMonkey—your life will be so much easier.”
As a direct result of the success of its HR team, Service CU expanded its subscription to SurveyMonkey Enterprise twice within the first year. “Everyone is drawn to the rapid research to either do things better or prove results,” explained Hatem. “The Maintenance department wants to do post-repair surveys, Customer Service wants to take continuous pulse checks on its value add, and even Marketing wants to expand its market knowledge with SurveyMonkey Enterprise.”
Hatem, like many of her industry peers, is hopeful that the days of COVID-related lockdowns are over. Yet, she's confident that Service CU is prepared if they do return. “We’ll be in a position to get the health data we need and keep everyone as safe and happy as possible at the same time,” Hatem said.