How To Gather And Act On Feedback
Feedback is vital to getting your team to operate at their best. Unfortunately, businesses often see it as a secondary task and fail to prioritise it as a fundamental part of their operations. It can also seem like a tedious initiative that takes time and resources away from seemingly more productive activities.
However, gathering and addressing feedback and concerns from employees need not be a difficult undertaking. There are tools, strategies, and tips that you can utilise to make it seamless.
Why Does Feedback Matter?
Feedback has various roles to play in improving your business’s functionality and culture. A working environment that encourages feedback can get everyone working collectively and harmoniously.
Instead of allowing your employees’ concerns to fester and lead to dissatisfaction, you can become aware of them and address them speedily. You cultivate a workplace where they feel safe and comfortable, which not only nurtures a positive culture but can lead to better performance and productivity.
Feedback is necessary for the improvement of processes, policies, and workflows. Managers can get a genuine insight into the competence of their leadership and other elements like tools, systems and structures, working conditions, and more.
It can, for example, come in handy when management introduces new systems or tech tools. It is very hard for a manager to anticipate the actual usage patterns of any tool before having people on the team use it in a continuous real-world use context and provide feedback. Gathering this feedback is paramount for the success of the deployment of the process. After all, if the users dislike the process, chances are that when your attention shifts to other projects, the team will slide into their old habits.
Both positive and negative insights can work for the better of your organisation. You simply need to harness both as growth points.
Important Times To Gather Feedback
These are some of the key times that it becomes essential to get a look into your employees’ opinions and perspectives:
- When you introduce new elements to their general work structure.
- At the end of each quarter or other significant internal time periods.
- At the close of the year.
- After a new employee has settled into their role.
- During exit interviews.
- When the team is facing clear challenges or difficulties.
- At the beginning and end of a project or initiative.
6 Things To Keep In Mind For Your Employee Feedback System
For your feedback system to work, you need to have an open, communicative culture and systems and tools that make sharing easy for your employees. Here are a few things to keep in mind when designing your feedback system:
1. Create An Open & Accountable Workplace Culture
We’ve discussed the positive effects gathering feedback can have on your workplace but this also works the other way around. A great feedback strategy cannot succeed in an environment that discourages employees to be open and accountable. If managers are not receptive to criticism and concerns and employees that speak openly get punished, your feedback structures won’t work.
For success, you need to have an open-door policy where workers can approach management members right up to the highest senior. You can do this by prioritising communication and nurturing your relationships with your team so that they can feel safe being honest in feedback. You give employees a voice.
2. Make It Regular
Although it seems easier to just have one or two feedback periods probably at the end of each year, your team will benefit from regular feedback opportunities. Use the time suggestions listed above to guide you on opportunities to gather feedback.
Regular feedback is a great way to stay connected to workers’ daily issues and design ways to support them more actively. It also makes it clear to them that their opinions and experiences are an essential part of the culture.
3. Share The Importance Of Feedback
Your employees need to understand that feedback is as important for their satisfaction as it is for the flourishing of the business. They may become wary or hesitant if they don’t understand the benefits of giving their feedback. To counter this, you must highlight how the feedback can help you improve as their manager, benefits the entire team, and allows you to address individual issues.
4. Use Different Forms Of Feedback
There are many ways to gather feedback and you need to be decisive about which can work best at different moments. For example, group feedback sessions can be better for getting a view into how a team collaborated on a project. One-on-one meetings can give you greater insight into individual concerns.
- Digital forms and surveys
- Anonymous feedback
- Group sessions or meetings
- One-on-one chats
- Suggestion boxes
- Daily communications like email or a communication portal
5. Plan Good Questions
No matter the type of feedback you opt for, you must engage employees. Questions can serve as good prompts to get them thinking about what they want to say. Asking questions can also be a good way to encourage openness and communication.
6. Address Issues & Give Feedback, Too!
Gathering feedback is one thing. Acting on it is entirely different. And you have to do it! Employees want to know that you take their feedback seriously. When they see actions in response to their input, it will encourage them to continue sharing feedback in the future.
The real art of acting on feedback is to break it down. Often, the way people express their needs is by asking for a very specific change, which might not be practical. However, upon closer inspection, it might be that the need underlying that change request is something that you could indeed address.
Break down feedback and share how you plan to address the core of the issue with your staff. Give feedback on the progress of your actions and share the results.
Open communication and feedback are a must for the development of your business. They build a collaborative and stellar team and workplace culture. Make sure that you have a system in place to help you gather feedback and then show your employees how you plan to address their feedback. Having a strong internal communication system can help you identify issues and resolve them to create a more positive work environment.
If you're looking for a platform to collect more data to monitor your organisation's feedback and reporting practices, Falcony | Observe have you covered. You can find more information on our website or test out our 30-day free trial:
We are building the world's first operational involvement platform. Our mission is to make the process of finding, sharing, fixing and learning from issues and observations as easy as thinking about them and as rewarding as being remembered for them.
By doing this, we are making work more meaningful for all parties involved.
More information at falcony.io.
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