Brilliant Basics – 2 Ways To Capture Feedback From Your Employees
There’s no doubt that business leaders have a number of innovative, engaging and out of this world ideas, but what’s more important when you launch a new idea – the adoption of the initiative or the idea itself?
The point that I am trying to raise is that no matter how good your new system or process is, if you do not consult with your employees, then it is unlikely to be adopted and the return on investment that you’d hoped for will be a lot lower.
The purpose of today’s blog is to look at 3 simple ways in which you can capture feedback from your staff, along with touching on why employee insight is so important.
For those of you that have been reading my recent content, you’ll know that I’ve got a big focus on something that I am calling brilliant basics. This relates to a series of initiatives that focuses on helping businesses to get the basics and foundations in place, before bringing in advanced initiatives – this has come from a personal frustration of seeing organisation focus on things that aren’t important.
Why get feedback?
- Opportunity to improve businesses processes
- Understand what you’re doing well, what you’re doing not so well and priority areas to improve
- Validate your ideas and inform your strategies & projects
- Provides each employee with a voice, which typically goes on to make them feel valued and more engaged
- Create a culture of innovation where your staff are consistently looking for ways to drive the business forward
#1 Regular anonymous surveys
I’m sure that at some point in your life you will have completed a survey or ran one but how many times have you seen something change off the back of your feedback? How many times have you sat there answering the same question 20x, worded slightly differently for 30+ minutes?
Surveys are a great tool when used well but too many businesses do not have a thorough process in place, which results in people becoming disengaged. Here’s a step by step process…
- Define an objective for your surveys – what do you want to achieve? What would good look like post survey?
- Decide how regularly you’re going to run them? I believe that quarterly surveys work perfectly. They give you a 90 day period to make changes and also create a culture of continuous improvement. Other people prefer annual surveys – my only problem with this is that it is very much a one moment in time thing – a lot can change in 12 months.
- Agree on what you want to measure and ask? From my experience surveys that capture qualitative data that measure a number of metrics such as leadership, customers and purpose work really well. This gives a great temperate check of the different areas in your business. However, in order to put some meat on the bones it is important to understand exactly what people are happy and not happy with – so a series of open questions that generate qualitative data are key.
- Communicate, communicate, communicate! Before, during and after, it is absolutely crucial that you communicate to your staff. Comms is often so undervalued and it can have a huge impact on the quality of your feedback and participation rates. Make sure the employees understand WHY you’re asking for their feedback and what you’re going to do with the data.
- Analyse – Again, I’ve found that a 2 week period works really well when it comes to surveys. Once the survey closes, aim to review the data in 1-2 days – the longer you leave it, the lower the validity. Quantitative is a lot easier to review as its numbers. However, when it comes to reviewing qualitative, try to look for themes and trends. E.g. group specific comments relating to parts of the business or areas for improvement e.g. communication, recognition, onboarding etc.
- Action plan – You’d be amazed the amount of businesses that ask for employee feedback and do absolutely nothing with it. In a day and age where time equals money, this baffles my head. After analysing the data, make sure you sit down with the leadership team to set 3-5 core business actions (this is if you’re running 90 day cycles, you’ll have more actions if this is annual).
- Communicate and measure results – Finally, communicate out your actions to the business and get them to hold you accountable to deliver against those actions. It is also really important to measure results – whether this comes in the form of analysing key people metrics such as employee attrition and absence, or even asking customers for feedback to see if their experience has been improved through higher employee engagement.
Ultimately, most businesses have run some kind of survey in the past but I cannot emphasise the importance of running them on a regular basis. Our tool engagement multiplier is absolutely fantastic for surveys but other solutions such as survey monkey etc are fine too, dependant on your budget available.
#2 Run workshops when forming new strategies
A perfect example of this would be when you define your company values and behaviours.
In the past most businesses have made this decision at a leadership level and although the values often look good, they are not endorsed by the behaviours that the employees need to demonstrate and therefore do not resonate with individuals.
I’ve included a list below of a few different workshops that you can run, in order to collaborate with your employees on your strategy:
- Customer experience and journey
- Employee recognition
- Customer recognition
- Employee reward
- Employee Onboarding
- Customer onboarding
- Performance management
- Employee wellbeing
There’s many more, effectively you can run a workshop on any part of your business. I’ve found that keeping it between 8-10 employees works really well. Best of all, this is you leveraging your internal resource and therefore, not only reducing costs by not bringing in external consultants, but its also going to build you a great picture of your company culture.
Here’s a few ideas on how to structure the workshop, using employee recognition as an example:
- What currently exists as part of our internal recognition strategy at the moment?
- What do you want to keep as part of the new strategy and what do we want to remove?
- What new initiatives would we like to see as part of the recognition strategy?
- Do we require, budget, systems etc for any of the initiatives?
- Define an action plan, with scheduled dates to complete actions
- Book follow up/catch up session
There’s a number of other ways that you can capture feedback from your employees however, above I have broken down two of the cheapest and most effective. As a leadership team it is so important to be able to make decisions, based on evidence, as it ultimately saves you a lot of time and money.
I’d love to hear other people’s thoughts on this so please leave comments below.
Employee Engagement Consultant