How to be ready for employee feedback

Most business owners and managers want more employee engagement, but they don’t always know the best way to reach that goal.

In 2013, Harvard Business Review surveyed 550 executives about the impact of employee engagement on business performance. The study found that 71 percent of respondents rank it as very important to success, yet many had not found good ways to accomplish it.

Employee feedback programs have a solid track record of closing this gap. Anonymous feedback helps develop operational intelligence, identify trends, and open lines of communication with the people who see your business from the bottom up.

But launching a feedback program is hard. There are pitfalls to consider, and it requires a manager who is clear-eyed about building trust with his or her employees.

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WorkHound tracked feedback for tens of thousands of professional drivers across the country.

With this in mind, we’ve put together five questions to consider while deciding to implement a feedback program.

Why do you want feedback?

It’s important for companies to understand the value of anonymous employee feedback. If you hope to sniff out complainers or take advantage of employees’ trust, a feedback program likely won’t prove successful.

With WorkHound, you’ll be able to identify the root causes of turnover and dissatisfaction. Think of it this way: Anyone can fill a car tire that’s always losing air. But if you want to know what’s causing the leak and how best to fix it, you go to a professional. Using feedback to solve issues that improve employee retention works very much the same way.

After all, your employees are your company’s eyes and ears as we mentioned in the three benefits of anonymous feedback.

What do you think of your workers?

Managers have to respect their employees to get the most success from a feedback program. When there’s a divide between the office and employees out in the field, the employer-employee relationship suffers. In that situation, managerial assumptions become the norm where clear communication is needed.

Showing respect for your employees will signal to them that their feedback will be taken seriously and acted upon.

Are you open to what your workers have to say?

Trust goes both ways.

There’s a tendency for managers to adopt an “out of sight, out of mind” attitude toward remote workers. They might make assumptions about how their employees feel or how they’ll react to a given situation.

It’s true that anonymous employee feedback can be brutally honest. But being open to the good and the bad feedback you receive and taking criticism seriously are the first steps to establishing trust with your employees.

Do you care how your workers feel?

In many industries with distributed workforces, companies tend to view employees as numbers on a spreadsheet — but they are more than that. They have families and interests. They may be physically on the road or in remote locations, but they are dealing with the same struggles as team members with whom you have direct interaction. The difference is that these remote team members have less of an opportunity to share both issues and goals.

Managers who understand the value of prompting team members to share this type of information will be able to make decisions that improve their team’s quality of life. Ultimately, this leads to a happier, more productive workforce.

Are you willing to make changes for your employees?

Reading feedback is not enough. You have to act on it.

Employees want to know their concerns are respected and being addressed. This can be a pitfall for companies who launch an engagement program but aren’t willing to give anything in return for that trust.

Management has to take stock of all that can be changed, and then reward an employee’s good faith by doing it.

If you’re ready to begin a feedback program, WorkHound can start you on a path to enhanced transparency. Contact us today to learn more or schedule a demo today.