Nervous about the idea of soliciting anonymous feedback from your employees? You certainly aren’t alone.
Many of our customers start off their relationship with WorkHound expressing similar anxieties. What they find, however, is that even when feedback is negative, it opens the opportunity to cultivate trust and build stronger relationships within their workforce.
Seeing the Positive Side of the Negative
Positive feedback tells us what we’re doing well — and it feels good to receive it. As managers in the workforce, we use positive feedback to help us understand what we’re doing well and what our teams and employees value most. The thing we often overlook is that negative feedback tells us as much or more about the climate of our workplaces. The key here is to see negative feedback as an opportunity, rather than to see it as a nuisance.
“There is room for improvement in any organization, and many of our customers are surprised to realize that their workers have lots of good ideas about how to solve certain issues,” said Max Farrell, WorkHound CEO. “If companies don’t prompt their employees to share these thoughts, they may be missing out on valuable insight.”
When You Need to Know More
While employees sometimes offer suggestions to help with the issues they present at the same time they’re sharing negative feedback through our tool, others may simply share a specific frustration. In these cases, WorkHound allows managers to send a “reachout” to the employee who has shared that feedback.
The employee will receive a notification stating that someone in leadership would like to discuss their concerns in more depth, and the employee is able to accept or deny the request to reveal their identity to talk further.
In our experience, about 40 percent of workers accept the request. And while it could be easy to be frustrated with the 60 percent who don’t, it’s important to realize that even if an employee is not comfortable revealing their identity and discussing the issues they’ve shared, there is still a great deal that can be done with their anonymous information.
“Each WorkHound customer works with their account manager to develop broadcast messages that are sent out to the entire workforce,” said Farrell. “If you have received several pieces of negative feedback about similar topics but haven’t been able to connect personally with individuals, you can still use broadcasts as an opportunity to show employees that their messages are read, considered, valued, and acted upon.”
Requesting Feedback Isn’t a Silver Bullet
Requesting and using feedback isn’t just a quick fix. It’s a workplace culture shift — and it’s important to understand that a culture shift takes place over time. The more your company works to respond to employee feedback, whether individually or companywide, the more your workforce will trust that their voices and opinions matter.
Just as soliciting anonymous feedback may be stressful for managers adopting a new feedback policy, sharing candid thoughts can be stressful for the employees who are hoping to affect positive change in their organizations.
“Remember that every small win is another vote of confidence for everyone involved — and don’t get too hung up on the fact that not every employee will be comfortable having one-on-one conversations about every issue,” said Farrell. “It’s all about fostering trust and building upon it.”
If you’re ready to build feedback into your workplace culture, give WorkHound a try. Talk with an expert today!
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