Without a doubt, recent events have changed the conventional workplace forever. As we navigate our way toward a new definition of normal work, knowing how your employees are feeling is critical to moving through and beyond this pandemic successfully.
In the past, the only formal mechanism for employee feedback was during the annual performance review. We know now that more frequent check-ins can have a significant impact on employee engagement and performance. Likewise, people rank meaningful work – where they feel recognised and respected – at the top of the list when it comes to what’s most important to their careers, per Workhuman research.
For companies to stay in-tune with the voice of their employees, and act accordingly, they need to be able to understand how employees are feeling and what their concerns are. Measuring the mood of your employees and getting their feedback is crucial to intelligent leadership – it empowers businesses to understand their workforces better, improve their culture, and achieve a higher level of employee engagement. In fact, agile management is all about continuous feedback and improvement.
Here are three key factors that companies should consider when implementing an employee feedback programme:
Avoid survey fatigue
While an annual survey may not be enough to gauge the sentiments of your workforce, it’s also important not to bombard employees with too many surveys and requests for feedback. Think quality over quantity. The same idea applies to the surveys themselves. If there are too many questions, or questions are complex, repetitive, or irrelevant, employees are likely to get bored, or even worse, annoyed.
Be smart about how often you survey employees, and who you survey. Different pools of employees will have differing priorities and perspectives. Make sure you are asking the appropriate sample pool of employees to complete surveys at a pace that makes sense, whether that’s each week or month.
Ask the right questions
A big part of avoiding survey fatigue is choosing the most targeted, productive questions. Rather than taking a haphazard, DIY approach, organisations can choose from a wide variety of technology solutions in formulating their employee feedback programme. But in addition to considering the nuts and bolts, like features and functionality, be sure to find out if the questions themselves are based in behavioural science, and backed by data analysis and experience. Carefully and purposefully worded text yields the best understanding of employees’ underlying feelings.
Keep it streamlined
Don’t overcomplicate your feedback programme. For feedback to be useful and actionable, it needs to be quick and easy to collect, and simple to understand. The easier it is for an organisation to implement their survey programme, the sooner that senior leadership and HR can act on the knowledge gained.
Streamlining the process allows you to get close-in-time feedback on topical matters – helping your organisation to be more responsive and productive. Having close-in-time feedback allows organisations to take the right actionable next steps, and address any specific issues that are identified swiftly.
Amazing work cultures and highly engaged workforces don’t just happen. They come from amplifying employee voices, asking questions relevant to today’s workforce, and then making the right changes. Particularly now, we need to keep humanity in the workplace – and hearing the voice of our employees is the first step.