In a typical business, it is not unusual for the line of communication between employer and employee to be fairly one way. The employer informs the employee of their role, their duties, and the deadlines they need to work within, and the employer then follows these instructions and delivers their work. 

However, businesses can actually benefit a lot more from a two-way communication, where employees are able to provide feedback to their employers. 

What are the benefits of employee feedback?

For employees, the opportunity to provide feedback should result in high levels of engagement with their role. If employees feel that their feedback is valued, then they will feel more appreciated and part of the team. 

For the business owner, higher employee engagement tends to mean higher staff retention rates, which is beneficial in and of itself. In addition, employee feedback can help to identify genuine issues that you’ll naturally want to resolve. 

How should you obtain feedback from employees?

It is generally advisable to try and obtain feedback from employees anonymously. Understandably, many employees will feel that they cannot be entirely honest if their name will be attached to a criticism, especially if it is issues of a sensitive nature such as payroll delays or a dislike of a new schedule. 

Asking employees to fill out a form is usually best choice and can be done either on or offline – the key is that respondents are not required to provide their name or any other information to submit their opinions.

What should you ask employees? 

Here are a few suggestions: 

  • What would you describe as the biggest issue you experience when working for this company?
  • How do you think your biggest issue with the company should be resolved?
  • Are you happy with your current working environment? 
  • Would you make any changes to your environment if you could? 
  • What is your experience with [recent change to job/the way the company operates]? Do you think the change has been beneficial?

Essentially, you’re looking to encourage employees to provide actionable information – solid details that can help dictate the next steps.

What should you do with the responses?

When your employees have responded to your survey, you’ll have to go through the responses and first focus on the common themes. Look for issues that are mentioned on more than one form; if several employees highlight payroll issues, then you may want to consider changing payroll service providers; or if there is a consensus dislike for new working hours, then returning to an old rota might be preferable – whatever the problem and solution actually is, the high volume of employees who have raised the issue suggests it is a matter that needs to be dealt with. 

From there, you can explore each issue raised on a case-by-case basis. If you can make improvements to issues raised only by one or two employees, then do so. 

When you have made improvements based on employee feedback, it’s best to let these changes bed in for six weeks to three months. You can then issue another survey, asking employees for their feedback on the success of the solutions that have been implemented. 

We hope the above guide will help you to introduce employee feedback to your business in the future. Should you choose to do so, both your company and your employees are sure to enjoy the benefits of this choice.