Employee Feedback: Why You Need It & How to Get It

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Although you may feel as though you have a handle on your business, you may be in the dark regarding your employees’ satisfaction with the company as a whole, your policies or the way employees are treated. Without having this knowledge, you cannot successfully increase employee morale and loyalty to the company, nor can you fully meet your employees’ needs. There are also several personnel benefits to surveying employees.

According to the Employment Times, employees are more productive, have fewer work-related accidents, file less workers’ compensation claims, are less likely to steal from their employers, are less likely to quit and are more likely to recommend the company to a friend when they feel as though they are cared about at work. So, even if you survey your customers or clients regarding your services, you should also survey your employees to determine how you can improve.

Types of Surveys

Employee surveys can foster further discussions concerning how to increase employee satisfaction with an organization. The type of survey executed will depend heavily on the needs of the organization and the type of information sought after.

  • Employee Satisfaction Surveys. Theses ask questions about workplace issues (benefits, diversity, effective communications, etc.). The data from these surveys gives an overall sense of employee attitudes about the organization. They are particularly useful in conjunction with layoffs, acquisitions or when making management changes that are drastic in nature. These surveys also effectively identify the root of persistent headaches, such as high expenses.

  • Exit Surveys. Serve as a way to solicit honest responses from individuals choosing to leave an organization. The data from these surveys can be used to create new procedures for increasing job satisfaction and lowering turnover.

  • Surveys of a Specific Nature. When creating new policies or making significant changes, it is important to survey employees to determine their level of support, acceptance or resistance to the proposed changes. These surveys allow employees to give their input, which gives employers the opportunity to make modifications to the changes before implementing them.

Conducting an Effective Survey

  • Let employees know well ahead of time that you will be conducting a survey. Use emails, bulletin boards and company newsletter in order to communicate the upcoming survey to your employees.

  • Ensure that all responses will be kept anonymous to receive honest feedback from your employees. Do not ask demographic questions (age, race, etc.) so that employees feel as though they may be identified by that information.

  • Establish clear expectations for your employees regarding their responses. Do not assure that you can make all the changes they suggest, but insist that you will make earnest efforts to accommodate their requests if they are feasible.

  • Ask for specific examples when questioning employees. This will help you get to the root of problems or concerns.

  • Do not get offended by off-putting comments. Instead, use this information to make positive changes to your organization.

  • If you have multiple employees making the same recommendation, it’s time to look closely at that issue and make some changes.

  • Provide employees with a timeline of when the data will be calculated and recorded. If you fall behind on this schedule, update employees and report back when you have finished tabulating the results.

  • Provide the results of the survey to your employees. Also explain how the company will respond to the results, what suggestions you will act on and what suggestions are not feasible. Ask for more clarification for suggestions that you do not understand. Conduct a follow-up survey a few months after the changes have been made. Ask questions about the changes to see if employees have responded well, or if they have further concerns.

Keeping the lines of communication open between you and your employees is crucial for a prosperous working environment. By engaging your employees through feedback, you are allowing them to assist in implementing necessary changes for the benefit of everyone at your organization.