In today’s working environment, especially with the increased number of remote workers, managers and business owners know the importance of collecting employee feedback. Productivity and company direction are contingent on the ability of your teams to perform their duties efficiently. When there are breakdowns in these efforts that go unnoticed or unimproved, teams can begin to isolate and lose interest. Employee feedback is essential for cultivating a positive culture and growth. Today, we’ll cover three tips and best practices to ensure your organization makes the most of employee feedback.
1. Make Sure You’re Collecting the Best Feedback
In order to leverage the maximum benefits of employee feedback, you should first be sure you’re collecting it. There are several methods for soliciting opinions and staff sentiments. Changing things up and using different channels will ensure everyone can find a comfortable way to contribute. Take a look at how your company is encouraging feedback and consider incorporating additional methods.
New Employee Surveys
These are great tools that managers and Human Resources professionals can use to gauge the effectiveness of a new hire onboarding process. Get feedback from new employees about their first few weeks or months on the job, as well. You can learn about potential areas of improvement, including training and company policy review steps. And conducting a pulse check on the most recent hires will allow managers to identify any additional needed areas of support.
Employee Suggestion Boxes
Employee suggestion boxes are effective ways to encourage team feedback with anonymity. Some members of the group may be hesitant to point out issues for fear of retaliation. And others may not be comfortable sharing new ideas out in the open. Having a general box available demonstrates that you stress the value of employee feedback, as well.
Some managers have mixed feelings about conducting exit interviews. But many realize the benefits of such conversations. Leaders can discover if there is a breakdown in communication among the ranks. Or it can inspire companies to invest more in employee benefits and training. Not every exiting employee will be disgruntled, and there could be valuable feedback available. Make sure you’re collecting it by performing exit interviews.
2. Have a Process for Sharing Data & Disseminating Information
What you do with your employee feedback is another critical step in maximizing benefits. Collecting suggestions won’t improve the workplace, operations, or culture unless you have a process for sharing the information with key decision-makers. Put the employee sentiments into action by disseminating critical details to those who can effect change. Allowing employee feedback to essentially fall on deaf ears is a disservice to the process.
Top-down feedback is the flow of ideas from management down the ranks. So any department management staff or leadership positions will be able to offer feedback to the teams and direct reports. Employees won’t know what to do differently if their supervisors don’t communicate constructive suggestions. Ensure your company has a positive method in place that allows those top managers to inspire change and improvement below them effectively.
When employees offer feedback about upper management or the overall company objectives, it’s critical that an organization has a process in place to receive it. Maybe a staff member has a suggestion for better company software or sees an opportunity to streamline an operational process. He or she needs to have a place to share these insights. And those receiving the information need to have a clear path to those department decision-makers who can do something with the suggestions.
Peer-to-peer feedback is often great when there are senior employees offering tips to newer hires. It’s also an effective way for team building since helping and supporting others within the same space is encouraged. Make sure your company outlines a clear policy for how this kind of feedback is encouraged and shared through a lens of professionalism and constructiveness.
3. Enact Change Policies & Efforts to Improve
Collecting employee feedback and giving it to the right change-makers is only half the battle. To really make the most of employee feedback, companies need to be able to turn ideas into action. Suggestions become improvements. And employees at every level become empowered.
A Continuous Flow of Feedback
Leaders who provide and collect feedback ongoing are already effecting change. Some sources suggest in these types of free-flowing idea environments that employees are 5.1 times more likely to receive feedback. Teams are also 3.2 times more likely to agree they are more motivated to perform their best work. And the staff is 2.7 times more likely to feel engaged with their company and their workplace.
Developing Great Listeners at Every Level
When a company decides it’s going to actively listen to employee feedback, a few other benefits arise. Listening at the top of the company sets the pace for middle management to do the same. And developing these trust-building and active listening objectives will enhance engagement at every level of the company organizational chart. When people feel heard and see their feedback effect change, they will continue to offer their sentiments, as well.
Improving the Company, One Idea at a Time
Opening the floodgate to allow a continuous flow of feedback and communication will improve the organization as a whole. Not all intel will be actionable. However, if your business is able to take one new suggestion each month and enact improvements as a result, you’ll likely see a return in morale and ROI. Those companies that are able to continue to improve, whether it be in core offerings or operational efficiencies, will grow and adapt.
You hired your employees for a reason. Maybe it was to perform a task or manage a process. But they can also bring invaluable solutions and insights to your bottom line. Take advantage of these tips to make sure you make the most of the employee feedback you collect.