Drive Results with These Employee Feedback Methods

Building a good working relationship with employees is crucial for a successful employee feedback program. When teams are widely dispersed teams this can be challenging, but focusing on building those relationships pays off in the long run.

The trick to staying aligned is to keep communication lines open between employees as well as up and down the chain. This continuous open dialogue creates an environment where employees are able to discuss issues and concerns encountered while on the job. Armed with this information, management can make real-time improvements that help the business and make employees feel valued.

The following employee feedback methods will help you get honest, actionable feedback.

1. Be transparent in the feedback process

Employees need to feel comfortable giving honest feedback and know that there won’t be ramifications if it’s not positive. The people on the front lines working with customers have some of the best ideas on how to improve processes and maximize effectiveness. But if there’s no trust between the employer and employee, employees will be less likely to share honest feedback.

Pursuing a mix of in-person and anonymous feedback sessions allows employees to share their insights in the way that is most comfortable for them. To get employees thinking about what feedback they can give, provide examples and explain what happens with all of the feedback. By being transparent during the feedback process, employees will be more comfortable sharing their opinions in the hopes of improving the business.

In some cases, employees sharing openly and honestly can shine new light on areas not adequately covered during onboarding and training. For example, you may find that employees need better enablement on new products and services before they are able to sell them to customers.

2. Make it easy for employees to give feedback

Use a few different methods for collecting feedback. Anonymous employee feedback surveys with multiple choice questions make it easy to analyze responses from thousands of employees. Open-ended surveys allow for thoughtful, more detailed responses. Additionally, managers should keep open dialogues with their teams and make note of the concerns and feedback that are discussed in person.

The more specific the feedback, the easier to it will be to make those suggestions a reality. Be prepared with specific questions like the ones below in order to elicit actionable feedback:

  • If you were in my shoes, what would you change? Why?
  • What have you heard customers say about our business?
  • What do you enjoy most about your job? Least?
  • How can I help you be more successful?
Iphone showing Zinc broadcast; employee feedback methods, employee feedback survey, employee feedback programs

Employee Feedback Methods: Get a high response rate.

To limit employees from focusing on negative issues, focus on problem-solving type questions. For example, ask employees to identify the top three challenges they face and suggest specific solutions or recommendations.

To get an ideal number of responses, focus on reducing the overall noise level so that employees don’t tune out company communications. Information overload happens too often which causes employees to switch off and only scan the information or ignore it altogether.

Zinc’s one-to-many Broadcast feature enables a user to send a specific update to the exact group of employees who should receive it. For example, you could send a Broadcast to employees who just completed a product training session that asks them to review the training session in a linked survey. When employees have a quick, easy way to engage that comes directly to their mobile device, they are more likely to engage and take the time to send feedback, thoughts and comments.

3. Follow up to show appreciation

When it comes to getting feedback from employees, the greatest motivator is to show employees that their feedback is being considered or, even better, applied. Be sure to thank employees so they know their feedback is appreciated and encouraged, and always highlight when their feedback has been incorporated into the business. In larger organizations, it can take months to years to effect system and process changes and you don’t want to leave employees wondering if their feedback was ever taken into consideration.

In addition to following up with employees, leaders must be transparent with their employee base and own up when mistakes are made or decisions don’t turn out exactly as planned. Asking for feedback and owning up to mistakes is all part of the improvement process.

The Best Employee Feedback Programs

We know that the best ideas often come from the employees doing the job day in and out. If you aren’t checking in with those employees to understand their viewpoints and ideas for improvement, it will be hard for the company to reach its full potential.

When it comes to effective feedback methods in the workplace, be open and honest with employees, ask specific questions, cut through the noise to get a significant response rate, and follow up to ensure employees will continue to provide actionable feedback.

ABOUT Kristen Wells

Kristen is the senior manager of corporate communications at PTC and editor of Field Service Digital. She is passionate about elevating the stories of women in field service and improving communication between the field and the office. Prior to ServiceMax, Kristen held content marketing roles at startups such as Zinc and cielo24. Kristen holds a B.A. in Communication with an emphasis on Professional Writing from the University of California, Santa Barbara.