You may be wondering how you can get honest employee feedback? This can be a challenge, especially when you own the business.
Who wants to risk offending the boss when feedback (however well-meaning) has the potential to adversely affect their job prospects, or earning power? But it is incredibly important to know how to get honest feedback from your employees. Finding out what your employees really think about your management skills can be crucial.
Without honest employee feedback, you may not hear about new ideas that could potentially advance your business. Or you may not be able to improve on how you personally manage employees – which will cause your best employees to leave.
While constructive criticism may be difficult to hear, it’s important if you want to grow and scale your business. Your challenge is making employees feel comfortable enough to give you that feedback. Here are 7 ideas to point you in the right direction.
Why is employee feedback important?
Employee feedback is the core of personal and professional growth. Just as feedback can help an employee get better at what they do, the same goes for a business. You want to make sure your company grows with it’s employees and that you’re always learning and adapting to make sure you’ve created a great place to work. But, how do you get the most honest feedback from your employees that’ll really help your business skyrocket! We have the answers.
Seven ways to get honest employee feedback
1. Introduce an open-door policy
Honest and genuine feedback comes from fostering an open-door environment where you and other leaders in your business are approachable.
An open-door policy means you welcome employees to come to your office with their ideas, comments, complaints, and suggestions.
To set the stage, tell your employees that you welcome constructive feedback, appreciate their advice, and that you will consider adopting their ideas.
You also need to honestly respond to those who come to see you. Remember, taking action on the feedback (even if it’s just an acknowledgement at first) is incredibly important.
2. Regular performance catch ups
Rather than a once a year thing, instigating frequent performance review catch ups help build trust and openness between you and your employees. This gives both sides the opportunity to provide open and honest feedback.
The important point here is that you create an atmosphere of open honesty, where your employees can bring up things without fear of being reprimanded.
It’s important to document each review, and standardise the process. Modern HRIS platforms like Employment Hero can help you ensure that you are aligning company objectives with employee goals, while monitoring your own performance against goals set for yourself through employee feedback.
3. Schedule casual one-on-one sessions
Scheduling casual one-on-one sessions with your employees is a good way to get them comfortable with giving you feedback in a private setting.
But remember, it all begins with your behaviour. They need to feel like they can share their thoughts with you – even if it’s something that you may not want to hear.
4. Team meetings to gather employee feedback
You can also get insightful feedback from holding regular team meetings. For some employees, it’s empowering for them to share and give input in a group setting when they feel they have the support of their fellow colleagues.
It’s always a good idea to have everyone briefed before the meeting so they can come prepared with their feedback at the ready.
5. Ask the right questions
If you want your employees to give you their opinion on an issue, ask open ended questions. For instance, if you want to find out about your communication and management skills, you could ask:
How do you rate my management style?
Can I improve the way I communicate to you and the team?
Has poor communication on my part impacted your ability to do your job?
If you were in my shoes, what would you change tomorrow, and why?
Try not to ask yes or no questions so you can get more detail.
6. Provide anonymous employee feedback options
If you’re having trouble getting your employees to open up, you can use a feedback app that will allow your employees to send you anonymous feedback from their phone. Tools like TINYpulse and others give the opportunity to capture employee responses privately.
At the same time, having a traditional Suggestion Box still has its merits and allows everyone to send you their thoughts in a discreet manner.
The point here is to ensure you acknowledge the feedback, and demonstrate to your employees that you are taking action based on their comments and criticisms. If you don’t do anything with the feedback, employees will disengage.
7. Survey your employees
While exit interviews have their place, you can use employee surveys on a regular basis to garner rich and actionable feedback from your staff about what they think about you: the good, the bad and the ugly.
You could incorporate these questions in your employee engagement survey to limit the number of surveys you send staff over the course of a year.
Conducting a survey can help you identify:
What your staff like and don’t like about your management style
Areas where you need to improve or make changes
Things you do (or don’t do) that bug your staff.
Online survey tools such as SurveyMonkey feature standard surveys you can use for measuring employee engagement as well as assessing your own strengths and weaknesses.
8. Be more open, honest and authentic
Company surveys don’t always provide the genuine, contextually appropriate feedback you want Instead, focus on gathering feedback one-on-one. During this process you want to make sure you are sharing the good, bad and ugly about your own skills with your employees. If you’re being honest and authentic about yourself – it will make them feel more relaxed and therefore offer more honest in response. Be humble and show you are human too, and break down any facade between managers and employees.
9. Follow up is critical
How you decide to elicit employee feedback is not as important as following up on it. Once an employee has taken the time to give their opinion on a matter, they’ll be watching to see how you take this feedback on board.
Using an HRIS platform, you can capture all this feedback and communicate progress. By showing trust in the judgement of your employees, you motivate them to contribute more and more to your (and the team’s) success.
We have created a HRIS, an all-in-one HR, Payroll and Benefits software, to help small business people make the best of their time at work. You can streamline your onboarding, admin and more, and we think you’ll love it, based on plenty of 5-star reviews.
We are on a mission to make employment easier and more rewarding for everyone. Save time, help stay compliant and keep your employees happy with Employment Hero. Find out more about us below.👇
Request a demo?
If you want to see how your business could benefit from using Employment Hero to manage employee feedback (and automate a wide range of other HR tasks) book a time with one of our amazing team members today.
Clare is the Sales Director at Employment Hero and is passionate about helping small businesses become more efficient so they can focus on higher value strategic initiatives. She is driven by rapid growth and has a passion for people, technology and problem solving.