As much as you probably don’t like to admit it, you can’t always be right.
It makes business sense to listen to employees. They are the heartbeat of your business – they are the ones that are facing your customers, carrying out your core functions, using the equipment and tools you provide and who deal with complaints. This makes them best placed to tell you what you are doing right and what needs some attention.
The power of feedback for your business’ success
An employee feedback policy can work wonders for your business. Whether you conduct an annual survey, hold regular one-to-one meetings, look at intranet discussions, carry out exit interviews or encourage an open door policy, feedback from your employees can help transform your business in a number of ways including
- Giving you a new perspective about work practices and procedures
- Highlighting areas of concerns, allowing you to step in and fix problems quickly
- Providing you with a more thorough understanding of management and team dynamics
- Ensuring employees’ views are in line with company values and business objectives
- Determining how employees are dealing with organisational change
- Pinpointing the reasons why people are leaving the company
- Identifying training and development needs
- Re-evaluating the workplace culture
All of this feedback can help define your business decisions and future strategy.
It can also have a positive effect on your employees:
- It drives their performance.
- It makes employees feel listened to and valued.
- It strengthens their commitment and loyalty to their employer.
- It can even lower absenteeism.
All of these things boost employee engagement and can have a positive knock-on effect on the business’ productivity and service delivery.
Honesty is key
For your employee feedback policy to have real value, it must be honest.
Employees may fudge the truth or go along with the company narrative because they are afraid of being rebuked for their opinions or are worried that they would face some form of negative treatment. They are others who feel that there is just no point in providing feedback because nothing will change.
If you are carrying out a survey for example, you can make it anonymous so people will be more inclined to provide honest feedback. Or in group meetings, employees will be encouraged to speak up if managers actively try and get people’s opinions and take it all on board.
Be ready for some good and some bad
It can be hard to hear criticism and you may need to develop a bit of a thick skin, but remember that a policy of constructive employee feedback can be extremely beneficial.
For instance, if you have picked up in exit interviews that many employees are leaving due to work-related stress, you can take steps to remedy this. Likewise if employees are complaining about some clunky software, you can see what can be done to make it easier and less cumbersome for employees to carry out their professional duties.
Analyse the results and take action
It is not enough to just collect the feedback, you need to take time to analyse the results and take action based on your findings. Their feedback can be used to celebrate successes, make the relevant changes and shape your business decisions and future goals.
Do you need a helping hand?
At Ellis Whittam, an experienced and qualified HR Consultant can carry out a full audit of your current people management practices and policies and the impact on employees, managers and organisational performance. They can conduct an employee opinion survey and recommend options for changed approaches and practices, tailored specifically to your organisational context and resources.
Contact us to explore more about what the wide range of services we can offer you.