How to Build Trust with a Feedback Program

feedback program

You’re probably familiar with the “Pandora’s box” fable. Because of it, “Opening up Pandora’s box” has become shorthand for opening up a door and letting in troubles. 

Occasionally we come across the concern that starting up a feedback program for your business can have a similar effect — opening up your company for all sorts of negative feedback and repercussions. 

But the truth is: whether or not you open up the so-called “Pandora’s Box,” the feedback already exists. In other words, you can either ignore the feedback and give power to the rumor mill, or you can ask for the feedback directly and use it for good.

By utilizing a continuous feedback program, you’re much more likely to discover a pathway to solutions and a mechanism for building employee trust.

That’s because, ultimately, employees want to know that they’re valued. 

Establishing an ongoing process for communicating with employees is an important step in both building loyalty and in proving your loyalty to your team.

Over time, as your team learns that you are listening to their voices and taking action on their feedback, trust builds and results in a stronger communication loop in the future. Employees become more willing over time to share their feedback, and your feedback program becomes more constructive and meaningful.

The Proof Is in the Numbers

Consider the experience of USA Truck, which over time has collected the feedback of more than 2,500 of its drivers, sharing more than 17,800 total comments. 

“What we saw prior to engaging with WorkHound was that we did not have a good understanding of the driver experience,” says Nick Wakefield, Vice President of Human Resources, Driver Recruiting & Retention with USA Truck. “We didn’t know what was causing driver frustration, and our retention was out of control. Since we began working with WorkHound, we’ve gained valuable insight into the driver experience. We’ve truly been able to understand the triggers that were causing turnover, which has helped us lower that rate substantially.”

By working with their drivers to gather feedback and then taking action related to that feedback, USA Truck was able to get the most valuable buy-in — reduced turnover. 

Responding When You’re Not Ready to Take Action

A key part of building trust and buy-in from your employees is letting them know they’re heard. But what happens when you aren’t ready to take action yet? How can you respond to their feedback in a way that emphasizes it’s valued, but also acknowledges that the work in that area is ongoing?

There are a couple of different ways to respond to feedback. Simply communicating is the most important part. You can respond with action — that’s the ultimate goal. But you also need to respond with empathy.

We talk about empathy often, but it’s about truly listening and relating to the thoughts and emotions of the people who are sharing feedback. By providing clear, transparent responses to employee feedback, you can reassure them that their feedback is being taken under advisement, not ignored.

Start implementing employee listening programs in your organization today to unlock the full potential of your workforce and drive lasting success.

driver feedback, driver retention, driver turnover, feedback culture, simplified communication

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