ArticleJanuary 3, 2022 · 3 min read time
Most employers are interested in the well-being of their employees. Usually, HR asks employees to evaluate their own job satisfaction. At Nitor, in addition to the more traditional surveys, we’ve tried to look a bit further with our Homefront questionnaire, a survey directed at the close ones of Nitoreans.
“Pauliina, will you conduct the Homefront questionnaire this year?”, somebody asked me quite soon after I started my internship in our People Operations team. “The Homefront questionnaire? What’s that all about?”, I wondered.
I then learned that Nitor has a tradition of asking the employees’ home fronts how Nitor appears as an employer to the close ones and on what kind of things Nitor could improve. And by homefront, we mean anyone close to a Nitorean, whether it is a partner, child, parent, grandparent, sibling, or a friend.
Our practice of conducting the Homefront questionnaire dates back to 2015. Since then, it has proven to provide excellent access to information that is typically not available. Especially during the pandemic, when work has been more visible at home, we felt the Homefront questionnaire makes more sense than ever before.
I haven’t come across this type of survey anywhere else. So, one could say it is a pretty unique way to gain more understanding of the employee experience and company image.
What did we ask?
The survey specifically probes Nitorean’s work-life balance and the overall sustainability of work pace. This is where the homefront offers a wider view on the life side of things, as opposed to just work.
The survey covers the following topics:
Nitor’s flexibility as an employer
Work-life balance and spare time of Nitorean
Support for remote work
Company events including the homefront (many of our events are plus one/family events)
The general opinion and feeling of the homefront about Nitor as an employer.
The questionnaire consists of survey questions on a scale of 1 to 10 and an open comments section. Answering is fully anonymous for everyone. After the survey, each participant gets a link to the lottery with a chance of winning tickets to the zoo in Helsinki or Stockholm for the whole homefront. Making responding easily accessible and encouraging is always a crucial factor for any survey we conduct.
What did we learn?
Throughout the years, we have got very good scores on the survey. This year was no different – even amidst the pandemic, the homefront thinks that Nitor takes good care of its employees. We are very pleased to hear that.
However, a few respondents raised concerns about workdays ending up being too long or lack of breaks during the day. This is a well-known hazard for knowledge workers, especially now in remote work when the borders between the workplace and home have blurred. Providing the employees with ergonomic office equipment, like furniture, at home is important, but unfortunately, it doesn’t help in keeping a sustainable pace at work.
I realised that the homefront really appreciates that Nitor is interested in their thoughts and hears what they have to say. It’s perhaps not that important for them to be able to give feedback, just that they are asked.
“Thank you so much for taking good care of your employees and for caring about the Homefront too.”
“A modern workplace where the employees are taken care of. Also, the families of the employees are well-considered at various events.”
Nitoreans themselves also value this kind of approach. Including the homefront as an active participant creates a sense of humanity. To quote one of the freeform answers from the questionnaire: “A good employer and a healthy work community are worth gold. Stay sensitive to the good things.”
This is the type of HR work I want to do in my career!