The temperatures are cooling down and the leaves are falling… Halloween is upon us — the perfect time of year for a truly spooky story around the campfire, right?
Well, we’d like to tell you the scariest story — one about what happens when employee engagement isn’t a normal part of your business operations.
Though we have plenty of great examples of how companies are using employee feedback to drive meaningful change.
But we’ve also seen what happens when companies either don’t nurture a feedback culture or when they don’t use the feedback they’re given. Gather ‘round the campfire, friends…
Tales of Feedback Gone Wrong
You’ve probably heard the phrase “toxic work culture.” It’s been a spooky story all over the headlines in the last few years, shining a light on everything from poor hiring procedures to harassment in the workplace. It’s often cited as a key component of increasing levels of employee burnout.
Have you ever considered what makes a work environment ‘toxic’? In many cases, issues within the workplace could be prevented — or at least quickly mitigated — if businesses were asking for, receiving, and using feedback from their employees.
If you ask employees what they need and want, they will tell you. But we know sometimes that can seem scary in and of itself.
“If you’re concerned about negative feedback and having to deal with it, consider that your employees could be leaving that feedback anywhere — online, on social media, on recruiting pages,” says Katie Love, Marketing Manager at WorkHound. “Asking employees internally what can be changed helps make sure that feedback is coming to you, rather than going everywhere else.”
It’s vitally important to regularly ask your team for feedback about ways their experience can be improved, but it’s equally as important to make sure you’re actually listening to that feedback and taking action. Otherwise, you run the risk of your employees feeling like they’re not being heard.
“I’ve been an employee in an environment where I shared feedback that was just ignored,” Love says. “Asking for feedback in that case was just lip service — they wanted it to appear that they were listening, but then the feedback wasn’t acted upon. It felt like the leadership didn’t think my voice was important, and we’ve all been there. For me, I ultimately moved on to a place that valued my voice, and I wasn’t the only one.”
Giving your team members the perception that their voice isn’t valued can have scary consequences for both retention and hiring. You need to show that you’re thoughtfully considering and using feedback to build trust.
“We find that employees put a lot of thought into their feedback, and if they don’t see action taken, they will lose faith and feel like they’re not being heard,” Love says. “On the other hand, when companies ask for feedback and then they take action on it, they’re building trust with their team.”
Making Feedback Less Scary
Partnering with WorkHound takes some of the heavy lifting out of asking for feedback and putting it to good use. Using our feedback mechanism can help your company organize comments and concerns and determine where to prioritize.
“We use the question ‘Is it a signal or is it noise?’ in our work,” Love says. “Something like ‘Today is bad’ can be noise, because it doesn’t give us a guide to take action. On the other hand, something like ‘Today is bad because I don’t understand my benefits package’ is a signal, since it allows companies to take action.”
WorkHound helps you determine what is noise and what is a signal — and to respond accordingly.
“We help companies sift through signals vs. noise, seeing the top comments and which ones really require action to make quick changes,” Love says. “This can help you prioritize when the sheer amount of feedback seems overwhelming — and it allows your employees to see that you are listening.”
Want to avoid a spooky story when it comes to your company’s culture? Feedback plays a key role — and we can help. Contact us today to learn more!