Employee feedback is vital for a company to work seamlessly, as it lets employers understand how their decisions influence their workers and what could possibly be changed to improve morale, productivity, and profit.
For many, employee feedback may not be very high on their priority list, usually because of other things like managing finances and providing good customer service taking the forefront. However, a good level of communication within a company is a key aspect of a healthy workplace, and so managers and HR should try their best to establish that.
Below are some examples of the advantages that employee feedback can bring and the ways that employees should be able to communicate with their companies.
Importance Of Employee Feedback
Communication within the workplace is a huge contributing factor to how happy and motivated employees feel. If workers feel like their managers are going to ignore them when they mention any issue, whether it’s related to the actual work or something that has happened within the company, they’ll begin to think that their opinion and wellbeing don’t really matter. They’ll internalize any problems they may be facing, allowing them to build up over time and weigh them down. This is a horrible scenario - everybody deserves to feel happy and safe, especially in their place of work.
Giving your workers a chance to communicate with their managers will also increase productivity and profit. Any issues that arise with, for example, work that needs to be submitted by a certain deadline, or an online system that the whole company relies on can be detected and reported far quicker if employees have a direct line of communication to their superiors. Furthermore, any mistakes or misconceptions on either end can be corrected much quicker, decreasing the risks of losing profit.
Another great advantage of employees providing feedback to their manager is that their comments can be used to significantly improve the way the company is run. Those working at the low to mid-levels of a company are often most affected by any changes to company practices or policies, while those higher up may not even notice any difference. So, asking your employees to provide regular feedback about the way things are run can really help put each aspect of the business into perspective; seeing changes from somebody else’s point of view can help managers, HR, and even CEOs truly understand what happens down the line of command after a decision is made.
Finally, communication always involves at least two sides, meaning that, as a manager, you’ll be able to communicate your expectations better with your employees. Having an already established line of communication will decrease any feelings of being targeted if the feedback is in any way negative, and favoritism if the feedback is positive - getting feedback from higher up in the company will be something that’s expected, and even wanted by your employees rather than something that only happens when someone really messes up or does incredibly well.
Examples Of Employee Feedback
Obviously, getting direct feedback from your employees about their work, their colleagues, how any policies or changes have affected them, and so on is the best option. Let everyone in the workplace know that they can, and should, feel free to bring up any issues they may have at any moment, and give them some sort of email or contact number that they can use. They should also be able to come and speak to you, or any other authority figure in the company directly face to face.
Some people may feel a bit embarrassed about the things they want to bring up, or may not know if they’re supposed to bring them up and so will stay silent. You can solve this problem by setting up an anonymous way to report any problems, such as a hotline or an online form. The key here is in the anonymity of it all - it’s absolutely vital that no identifying information is in any way associated or collected when employees submit their issues or questions. This method has been used in thousands of businesses with great success - many people are more likely to express how they feel if they know they can’t be judged or identified.
However, simply telling your employees that they can get in touch with someone to provide feedback does not guarantee that anyone will actually do that. This is particularly true for individuals who prefer to get things done alone - they will almost never speak up about anything, even if they may be seriously struggling, so that they don’t seem like a burden to anyone. Try initiating a new policy of weekly or monthly employee check-ins, where your employees let you, or someone else in the company that they trust, how they’re feeling and coping with their work. This will ensure that everyone has an equal opportunity to receive support within the workplace and that people aren’t struggling in silence. It will also give you a great overview of how the company is doing, not only morale-wise amongst the employees, but also profit-wise when it comes to the company’s productivity levels.
Another great example of initiating employee feedback is implementing something called peer feedback. Now, this isn’t just a clever way to get your employees to snitch on each other for every mistake or miscommunication. Instead, it should give them an opportunity to talk things out amongst each other before escalating them further to include managers or HR. You can do this by organizing meeting sessions between colleagues that managers won’t be present for, to allow them to vent and discuss issues without an authority figure watching over them. If the issues aren’t solved by the end of the meeting, someone that can handle it can be asked to become involved.
Of course, you can’t exactly make employee feedback compulsory. If someone truly doesn’t want to talk to anyone about how they’re doing at the company, none of these methods will change their mind. However, if you implement these communication methods, you can safely say that you’re providing your workers with all available options to make their careers a lot easier.