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Now more than ever, business owners need to be conscientious about what their employees need, prefer, and want. Ignoring or mismanaging critical employee feedback will only erode your company’s productivity and success trajectory.

Today’s employees need different experiences from their employers and their career values have shifted. Once you start actively listening to what your staff suggests, the faster you’ll see just how easy it is to adjust your policies, procedures, and engagement efforts to align with those shifts. Here are three ways to effectively make the most of your teams’ feedback so you can keep your company operating as a well-oiled machine.

1. Understanding What an Employee Feedback Culture Is

Creating a feedback culture means fostering an environment that is open and supportive of varying ideas and suggestions. It’s more than just an employee suggestion box, and it goes beyond the annual HR review conversation.

The flow of feedback should be ongoing and acknowledged. This means you should offer a variety of feedback channels for employees to use without fear of retaliation. Some companies establish anonymous hotlines, not just for whistleblowing or behavior reporting, but for improvement ideas too. Others develop a process of idea and improvement submission by form or email. Department-level managers can be great resources for collecting and sharing feedback.

Improving Problem-Solving Abilities

One of the benefits of feedback culture is its ability to solve issues. It’s usually preferable to evaluate the effort on a regular basis and identify what works and what doesn’t rather than going through the project first and then analyzing what worked. You can quickly identify small issues before they transform into bigger, more costly ones.

Companies that stagnate at any level fall behind. Your employees are usually the best source of knowledge about your company’s operations, and an engaged employee base makes it simpler to identify areas for improvement. In fact, firms with a strong feedback culture have more successful growth trajectories and financial outcomes.

2. Employee Feedback Transforms into Improvement

There are benefits and company advantages to consider with any form of employee feedback. Look to your teams, from the front line to the top echelon, for their perspectives. Positive, negative, and constructive feedback can all have incredibly positive impacts on a company.

Supporting a Continuous Flow of Feedback

It’s important for the top of the organization to set the tone for middle management to follow. Establishing trust-building and active listening goals will help improve engagement throughout the company’s organizational hierarchy. Employees will continue to voice their opinions when they feel understood and see their ideas come to life in the form of change.

Every Suggestion Is Acknowledged

Opening the floodgates for a continuous flow of feedback and communication can benefit the entire organization in other ways, too. Not all information will be actionable. However, if your firm can accept one new idea every month and implement improvements, as a result, you’ll likely see a boost in morale and ROI. Even the worst ideas can become springboard conversations for positive change. Reinforce a willingness to address every suggestion that comes to light.

3. Why Employees Love Employee Feedback Culture

Transforming your company into a feedback culture will be music to your employees’ ears. People feel more appreciated and validated when they feel heard. More importantly, they’ll respect leadership, peers, and subordinates more when they’re able to actively listen and implement improvements across the daily grind.

One-third of Americans are “engaged” at work and contribute to their organizations in a constructive way, according to the Harvard Business Review. Teams that utilize this information to establish development goals, keep feedback up as a regular practice and seek various kinds of input see better outcomes.

They Get the Support They Need to Improve

Your employees want to do better. They want to grow and excel in their roles. The second they feel they can’t, they’ll look elsewhere for employment. Developing a robust feedback culture that coaches everyone to flex that feedback muscle means workers become more open to suggestions and constructive criticism that helps them improve. And feedback isn’t always top-down. Encourage strong bottom-up feedback and peer-to-peer feedback for lateral learning and vertical insights ongoing.

As you evaluate potential improvement for your company, consider looking at ways to make the most of your employee feedback. And, of course, if your employees are looking for better health insurance options, W3LL can certainly help with all the support you and your employees need, from ICHRAs to ACA Marketplace enrollment.