The advantages of employee feedback in the workplace

Learn more about the importance of knowing what your employees think and feel about your workplace & how to use the feedback to improve your company culture.
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In today’s market, more and more employees are looking to work for employers who are consistently aspiring to develop and evolve to remain relevant in the workforce. According to Deloitte research, employees value culture and career growth almost twice as much as they value compensation and benefits when selecting an employer. Deloitte’s research notes that ideal work cultures focus on an environment of listening. As employers, how can we make sure that our employees are being heard?

Employee feedback can be the most valuable research and development tool for organizations. By adopting consistent feedback, companies can understand the current levels of satisfaction and the needs of their employees.

What are some benefits of employee feedback?

Encouraging your team to provide their honest opinions of the workplace can truly help to ascertain where potential points of development for the business may lie. In turn, prompt action can not only show improvement in the internal business operations but has a positive effect on individual and team performance, productivity, as well as employee morale.

Below are additional benefits of employee feedback:

  • Businesses have seen an increase in staff retention when employees feel their opinions and ideas are valued.
  • Mid and upper-level managers have an improved awareness of the morale throughout the organization.
  • Receiving employee feedback helps to understand organization and cultural changes, allowing a business to adapt as they move forward.
  • Employers can assess overall employee knowledge gaps, which can lead to opportunities to address training and talent development.
  • Employees can often feel a sense of ease when they feel engaged, which in turn leads to reduced stress levels in the workplace.

 

How and when to get feedback

There are many tools available to managers to give effective feedback. Many companies conduct pulse surveys, which are quick opportunities to gather feedback from employees. Pulse surveys tend to receive an average response rate of 85%. The increased participation is mainly due to the short number of targeted questions. A typical pulse survey will contain 5 to 15 questions.

Annual or bi-annual engagement surveys tend to be less popular, as they can prove to be extensive with 40-50 questions on average. Compared to the shorter pulse survey, employee engagement surveys will receive a 30 to 40% response rate, which makes it very difficult to yield reliable results with less than half of the company providing feedback.

Other means of acquiring feedback can be done through check-ins by managers, or even anonymous social tools. Generally, employers find that confidential surveys encourage employees to provide more open and honest feedback.

There are many online tools that will allow you to obtain feedback in various ways. A business should consider the following when selecting:

  • The tool should allow for both anonymous and/or identifiable answering
  • Clear and concise reporting features to allow for an easy understanding of the results
  • The tool should have a user-friendly interface
  • A customizable tool that allows for varying questions and a number of questions.

 

Regardless of the format used to acquire feedback, it is imperative that a business is consistent with the frequency of surveys. For example, the shorter pulse surveys can be administered on a quarterly basis, while employee engagement surveys can be administered annually or bi-annually. Maintaining these consistent evaluations allows employers to compare previous feedback to the most recent. By doing so, businesses can track recurring or developing concerns, as well as compare the progress of targeted matters which have been the focus of development from previous feedback received.

How employers should use feedback

Just as it is important for employees to provide feedback to their employers, it is equally important for managers to stand down and listen. At times, leaders may find this difficult to do when they are generally the ones speaking and being heard.

Upon establishing the results of the feedback provided, employers should share the results by giving a general overview of the findings. Employees are assured that the message was clearly heard, and employers can communicate what the company will work toward rectifying or developing.

Seeing action taken will result in a win-win for the employees and the employers. Companies increase trust in their teams which encourages honest feedback in the future.

The benefits of a company culture that values employee feedback are too great to ignore. With the steps outlined above companies can outline their business objectives, improve employee performance and nurture a loyal engaged workforce.

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