Getting honest feedback from employees can feel a bit like a treasure hunt – unless you have a clear plan. How does one create a feedback system that encourages constructive input? What are some effective strategies for catching the small problems before they grow into bigger ones?
Express Your Interest in Employee Feedback
First, employees need to know that you are interested in their feedback and ideas. Be honest with them about your interest so that they can be honest with you about their insights. No one wants to send their boss unsolicited complaints, criticism or suggestions. Let them know that you prefer hearing their input – that doing so is part of being a good employee. Just as you are free to be honest with your employees, let them know that you want honesty in return. Increase employee engagement through honest interaction that allows them to participate actively.
Be Proactive & Get Personal
Don’t wait for employees to come forward with feedback on their own. While some employees are eager and comfortable with feedback processes, it won’t come naturally to others. Integrate employee feedback into the culture of your company by hosting feedback-focused gatherings. Make yourself approachable and set a good example. Invite feedback with an open-minded, humble, and supportive attitude. Use discussions to build trust in the employee feedback process. Let them sense your interest and curiosity firsthand. Ask well-tailored questions that encourage employee engagement while
Create a Feedback Guide
Create a guide describing how and when to provide feedback. List the established methods and best practices at your organizations. This should include analog methods along with technological methods that are well-designed and user-friendly. Provide examples of well-written feedback submissions. Describe and demonstrate the differences between productive and unproductive feedback. Discuss when to share coworker names or situational details – and when it’s best to refrain. Train your employees to format constructive feedback in a productive and respectful manner. Describe how providing feedback can increase employee engagement and satisfaction – thus improving the work experience for everyone.
Integrate Feedback Technology
Consider using a live audience feedback system during these events to poll and survey your group. These are handy as well for allowing everyone present to submit questions and vote on what topics or questions they find most relevant. Consider browser-based systems that decrease barriers to participation. When employees have to download special apps or software, some may be left out of the process due to technical problems. Consider small and larger apps that can assist the gathering of employee feedback and queries both during meetings – or over longer periods of time via regular surveys or open calls for input.
Ensure your teams that there will be no negative repercussions for thoughtfully submitted employee feedback and that their information will be kept confidential. Set up a system that allows employees to feel safe about how their input will be processed and who will have access to it. Inform employees about the way their input will be used and describe the process that they are supporting through their personal sharing. Create a feedback system that works comfortably for everyone involved.
Address Privacy Concerns
While anonymous feedback can be helpful at times, sometimes it’s helpful to know who the feedback is from so that problems can be addressed. Anonymous feedback is better than none all, but do your best to encourage an overarching culture of healthy openness. Allow employees to provide detailed suggestions and feedback as needed without doubting the safety of the process in place at your organization.
Craft a Culture of Open Communication
This one takes time. By default, many people are afraid to speak up. But over time, if the leaders in your organization champion open communication, it will slowly but surely become an instilled part of your corporate culture. Constantly improve the feedback systems in place at your organization. Let employees know that their perspectives and concerns are truly valued. Most importantly, let them see and enjoy the fruits of their labor. Clearly present the results of a shared process and highlight the benefits of honesty and cooperation. When everyone understand that healthy communication is a win-win, the barriers to proactive participation will fall away naturally over time.
At MeetingPulse, we encourage open corporate communication and transparency. We provide easy-to-use interactive tools that support healthy corporate culture for employees and administration alike. If you want to know more about your employees’ thoughts, ideas, and preferences, get more involved in organizational feedback by trying out our browser-based response system. We provide real-time survey and polling software via any device, so your audience will never need to download an app. Contact us for more information or click on ‘Keep Me Posted’ on our blog page to receive blog updates and our free ebook.