We listen, we care: How deep employee listening during COVID-19 boosted engagement in Coca-Cola Brazil

Coca-Cola, a soft drink brand, demonstrated to its employees in Brazil during the COVID-19 pandemic that it was not only listening to their opinions but that it was also taking what they said on board and taking action to improve their experience.

Introduction

We commonly call research a listening tool, but do respondents feel listened to and cared for after participating in a survey? We believe that is not always the case. Paying attention to it matters, and can drive better results.

Our submission is inspired by what happened at during the first months of the Covid-19 pandemic in Q2 2020, when a comprehensive multi-touch-point employee listening initiative contributed to extraordinary results in terms of engagement, positively impacting business results. This project goes beyond the public where we developed it, which was the internal public of the company. It is a simple project; i.e. it does not have any methodological or technological novelty. However, it serves to bring to the table a reflection—albeit not new—that must not be put aside in these times of pandemic and its aftermath. The reflection we propose is on the importance of listening with empathy: to connect from a human side with what and whom we want to investigate. This is not only in order to understand them better, but to also capitalise on the transformative power of listening, both for the researcher and for the target.

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