Employees interact with customers, understand internal processes, and have a truly unique perspective on how everything occurs. Understanding employee feedback is a huge advantage, both in terms of company and product growth, as well as in individual employee happiness. Unfortunately, gaining genuine feedback can be difficult. Even if you ask for it, employees are hesitant, afraid that being too straightforward might have negative implications on their job. Besides decreasing employee productivity, the “not my problem” approach of a disengaged employee often makes them unwilling to share insights. So how can you encourage employees to actually share honest feedback on company issues?
5 Ways To Encourage Employee Feedback:
Encourage More Engagement
The first step in encouraging employees to share their opinion, is to make sure that they actually want to share. When employees are engaged, invested, and involved in the organization, they want to see it do well. They naturally strive to fix problems and overcome obstacles. The most important thing to remember is employee need to feel safe, understood, challenged, and invested. When they appreciate and enjoy their work environment, they naturally become more engaged. Check out this article to recognize the early signs of decreasing employee engagement.
Make Sharing Opinions Easy
Once you have confirmed that your employees want to share, the next step becomes providing them a platform to do so. It should be easy for employees to share thoughts and suggestions. One example of this, are traditional employee suggestion boxes. These boxes are straightforward for employees, but lack the order and simplicity needed to sort through ideas. Similarly, detailed spreadsheets with color-coded KPI might be great for leaders, but it just looks like a confusing mess to the average employee. Thankfully, with today’s technology and collaboration tools, sharing ideas and analyzing workplace insights is easier than ever. With an transparent and communicative workforce, you can boost employee productivity.
Offer Anonymous Feedback
No matter how confident and comfortable employees are, it’s always a little scary to give company critiques. You never know exactly how your honest feedback is going to be received. Give employees the confidence they need by providing anonymous feedback options. Help employees understand that your greatest interest is in improving everyone’s experience. Whether that means employees, customers, investors, or whoever else it may be. And while it might seem obvious, respect and honor the trust of your employees and truly offer anonymous suggestions. If you have the ability to discover the identity of employees giving anonymous feedback, don’t do it. Your workers are trusting you to honor your word and respect their right to privacy. You violate that trust at the expense of your entire company culture and corporate reputation.
Create Open Communication
Facilitate trust by showing employees that communication isn’t just a one-way experience. If you expect workers to be open and honest with you than they need to receive the same treatment. While obviously, every business decision can’t be shared and some information must be kept confidential, prepare and inform employees about issues whenever possible. This not only helps employees feel connected and engaged in the organization but also shows the confidence you have in your workforce. When people feel trusted they are much more likely to offer it in return. Being open with employees means including them in both the positive and negative experiences. While it can feel safer to hold onto bad news as long as possible, being blindsided by a layoff, a lost client, an organizational rearrangement, or any other kind of setback is always a worse experience.
Actually Follow Through
Collecting information and honest feedback is ultimately useless if you don’t do anything with it. In fact, asking employees for their opinions and then disregarding their input is probably worse than not asking at all. While you can’t fulfill every request of course, honestly acknowledging their input and thanking employees for their contributions goes a long way. Employees need to know that their concerns are being heard, that their insight matters, and that they make a lasting difference. Following through is especially important when you do decide to make changes based on employee feedback. Let employees know about changes and then keep your word to the best of your abilities. It can be easy to let plans fall through the cracks but make an effort to stay organized, follow up often, and ensure changes actually happen.
At MangoApps, we know the importance of listening to employees. With surveys, quizzes, and detailed employee recognition tools, we make it easy for employees to share and leaders to analyze, assess, and act on input.
To learn more about MangoApps or see how it can work for your own company, contact us or schedule a personalized demo today.