Are you providing authentic employee feedback?
Constructive feedback is vital to employees’ ongoing development as it clarifies expectations, builds confidence, and provides many other benefits to the workforce. It is thought that many managers may need to update their mindset with regard to employee feedback, as it often does not hold as much value as it should.
It is human nature to put off difficult conversations if an employee is performing below required standard, but this only prolongs the issue, which in turn could eventually lead to having to deal with a much bigger problem.
In addition, many managers may find that difficult conversation more daunting than facing it as something that may radically improve the workplace. Many organisations don’t have a feedback programme and employees are not asked to contribute their ideas or opinions at work. So, considering a mindset shift around employee feedback may prevent the loss of employees as a result of issues that could have been prevented.
The goal is to gather authentic, detailed, and actionable feedback around employees’ experiences in the workplace. Asking for employee input can show employees that they’re trusted, help gather intelligence about how the business could be more productive or efficient and uncover any engagement issues or problems before they become worse. Seeking this feedback should be continuous and input received should be acted upon.
Challenges can often arise with regard to gathering the information – organisations shy away from time consuming processes or even changing processes that they’ve always used to make them more worthwhile. In addition, organisations are often afraid of anonymous feedback as they tend to see it as “non actionable” and are equally concerned that if they do share anonymous feedback, it will flood a department and create every feedback piece imaginable.
The first step is recognising the value of employee feedback and below are some easy processes that can be implemented in the workforce to help:
- Conduct regular surveys, such as:
- New employee surveys
- Engagement surveys
- Exit surveys
- Anonymous surveys for perhaps more personal opinions relating to the workforce
- Pulse surveys (getting quick feedback on a regular, frequent basis)
- Implement a suggestion box
- Consider offering incentives for ideas that improve efficiency
- Offer online feedback forms.
What is important is that managers regularly ask employees questions about how things are going, how things could be improved, what tools employees need, and what the organization can do better. Managers should be trained on how to manage negative emotions because difficult conversations, if managed well, can actually be a great way to get valuable feedback and insights.
When employees do offer suggestions, be sure to act on them as often as possible and communicate about what actions are being taken or why action cannot be taken.