4 Ways You Can Encourage Honest Employee Feedback

Learn 4 effective methods you can use to collect feedback from your team.

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If you want to develop and enhance your organisation, then you need to be encouraging employees to provide honest feedback because it's crucial for success. Feedback is often referred to as a gift and for a good reason because when employees feel comfortable enough to open up and provide candid feedback, the possibilities are endless. Every wise leader knows that employees are an organisation's greatest asset, so gaining a more in-depth understanding of their opinions, perspectives, and criticisms is the perfect way to make the organisation prosper.

When it comes to gaining feedback, there are many benefits such as enhanced productivity, increased retention rates and an improvement in employee satisfaction, all of these being key factors in creating a stable and profitable organisation. There are many challenges people face in the workplace, and so many organisations are failing to actively encourage feedback to help form a solution.

When it comes to collecting feedback, there's no denying that it can be a challenging task. Many people are hesitant to speak out in the workplace because of the fear of bias and consequences, with many employees feeling unmotivated to provide feedback if management doesn't do anything about it. We recognise that although this can seem like a tricky task, it’s an extremely rewarding and valuable process that all organisations should be taking part in. That’s why, in this article, we will be discussing 4 methods you can use to encourage feedback from your employees.

1. One-On-One Meetings

Everyone is different, some people are comfortable sharing feedback in a room full of people, whilst some want to provide feedback more discreetly. The best way to gather feedback from your employees is to construct an environment where employees feel relaxed sharing their thoughts without worry. If you have good management and leadership in place, then getting feedback should be straightforward because the employees should feel confident in having open conversations with their seniors.

One-on-one meetings are a great way to collect and share feedback and provide a great opportunity for managers to build rapport with their colleagues. These meetings are often in a more relaxed and friendly environment, helping motivate employees to speak up in the workplace, but only if there is a mutual level of trust between the two participants. These meetings are the ideal time for leadership to ask about the challenges their employees face in the workplace, employee engagement and all things business related.

Whilst one-on-one meetings in the traditional sense are between a manager and their employee, these meetings can also take place through mentoring sessions. Mentoring programs encourage your employees to share feedback because they feel more comfortable sharing the challenges they face with someone they trust. When feedback is shared, the mentor and mentee can work together to come up with solutions, this is particularly valuable in reverse mentoring programs to help bring awareness and improve diversity, equity, and inclusion within an organisation.

2. Ask For Relevant Feedback

When it comes to encouraging feedback, one of our top tips is to make sure you ask for clear and applicable feedback. When you simply ask your employees if they have any feedback, the likelihood is that your employees will either not know what to say or only say something optimistic. The key to getting feedback that can be beneficial to the organisation is asking for feedback on things that are existing issues, from employee retention to employee satisfaction there are many challenges encountered that feedback can help resolve.

When you provide your employees with some insight into the type of feedback you’re looking to receive, it means that they have something to think about. Instead of asking for random feedback, ask them questions relevant to the concerns faced, for example asking things such as ‘is there anything as an organisation we can do to make you feel happier?’ or ‘how can management improve?’ are better than just asking 'do you have any feedback?'.

3. Surveys and Reviews

One of the best ways to encourage and acquire employee feedback is through the use of surveys and reviews. From employee engagement surveys to onboarding reviews, there are many ways these methods can be used to effectively receive feedback from your team. Whilst we previously recommend opting for one-to-one meetings with your employees, we also acknowledge that not everyone has the time for this, especially those in leadership positions.

Having structured surveys and reviews once or twice a year allows for everyone in the workplace to get involved, also removing any bias that can be seen from management. Whilst some people may not feel comfortable taking part in these surveys, the good thing is that many tools can be used to ensure they are fully anonymous. When employees have the opportunity to supply feedback anonymously, the fears of judgement are completely erased.

As mentioned above, we also advise when designing these surveys and reviews to make sure that you ask the most suitable and specific questions, to ensure you’re getting the best answers. If you want to see success, then you need to try to understand where things can be improved through the perspectives of your employees.

4. Take Action and Give Updates

As the saying goes, actions speak louder than words. There's no point in even collecting employee feedback if you’re not going to act on it. When your employees feel their feedback is being heard and responded to, they are more likely to provide more feedback in the future, it also helps build an organisational culture that respects feedback and has trust in the management. When employees don’t see the feedback they provided being put to good use, not only can it be demotivating, but it can also mean they are less likely to expose their feelings in the future.

To get feedback from employees, make sure to actively listen to their concerns if you want to see success. We also suggest regularly updating the employee on how you’re responding to their feedback and providing insight to them with the latest changes you plan to make. These updates aren't just limited to the employee, if there is the feedback and updates that have been made that will directly impact the whole organisation, then make sure to host regular meetings with your team to share the latest insights. When you act on the feedback, you’re showing the workplace you are committed to making changes for the greater good of the organisation.

Final Thoughts

Employee feedback is essential if you want to continuously improve the employee experience within your workplace and build a better workforce. Not only does it improve the overall satisfaction of your employees, but when the feedback is put into action, it comes with many outstanding advantages. Whilst there are many ways employee feedback can be collected, make sure to utilise as many of the methods listed above if you want to gather honest and effective employee feedback.

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