3 Ways To Encourage Employee Feedback

According to a survey by Kimble Applications, 72% of U.S. employees are eager to take on more responsibility at work, which means a large majority of American-based workers want to contribute to the workplace. However, many employers are completely unaware of this desire simply because they are not reaching out and asking for their employees' input.

In fact, as it turns out, a shocking 83% of American workers "would like their boss to ask for their input or opinion more often," as documented by the Kimble Applications survey. Employee feedback can assist employers in better understanding how their employees feel about various aspects of their job roles.

The more information that employers obtain from their workers, the greater their ability to increase employee engagement rates, improve retention statistics and elevate the organization as a whole. Below are three specific tips that you can implement as an employer as a way of helping your employees share their feelings and insights about the workplace.

1. Know what to ask

The ultimate goal is to obtain useful information from your employees, but you won't get the answers you're after if you're not sure which questions to ask. As inspiration, take a look at these questions and think about which inquiries are relevant to your company culture:

  • What are your thoughts on the most recent project I assigned to you?
  • Is there something I can do to better support you in reaching your goals for this project?
  • Is there anything the company or I can do to help you achieve a better work-life balance?
  • What projects do you like working on the most? Why?
  • Which areas do you believe you could improve in?
  • How do you feel about working with the people on your team?
  • Do you have any ideas to improve the process of the projects you're currently working on?
  • Can you provide me with constructive feedback regarding my performance as your manager?
  • Is there anything else you'd like to discuss or bring up about your project or the workplace?

2. Eliminate the fear factor

Fear of retaliation is a common reason why employees avoid giving feedback to their employers. They worry that the information they willingly provide their employers with could be used against them at a later point in time.

Some employees might even feel pressured to lie to their employer when asked for feedback, typically stemming from fear of reprisal. So, if you want your employees to provide you with genuine and transparent feedback, then you must create an environment where they have no reason to fear being honest.

For example, start by incorporating these two details into the workplace and see how it impacts your employees' willingness to share:

  • Give your employees the option to submit feedback anonymously. Now, this might not be the most appropriate course of action for your situation because the option of anonymity will depend on the type of feedback you need to obtain. For instance, there are certain types of feedback that must be ascertained via one-on-one meetings, performance reviews or in-person interactions. If you are in a position where anonymous feedback makes sense, consider asking your HR department to run a survey and send you the results without including the names of the people who responded.
  • Create a comfortable atmosphere that encourages and rewards honesty. The intent of this idea is to create a safe space that your employees feel comfortable in before they provide you with their input. Let your employees know that their honesty will only benefit them because genuine feedback can help you enhance their work experience.

3. Demonstrate how the feedback is applied

Employees are more likely to offer their feedback if they understand that it not only has the potential to yield positive results but also is being applied in tangible ways. Of course, not all feedback will be useful or able to be put into action.

But even so, all feedback should be taken into consideration and respected so that all employees feel valued. This will, in turn, foster your employees' trust in the feedback system. Once you've analyzed the feedback you received, you will need to determine which input can be incorporated into the workplace as well as how to implement the information.

Make sure you can show your employees how their feedback is contributing to fruitful outcomes. Doing so will motivate your employees to share their ideas and opinions more frequently because it teaches them that what they say actually matters.