To improve and grow your company, encouraging honest employee feedback is cardinal.

When it comes to improving and growing your company, encouraging honest employee feedback is key.

While many employees may not be accustomed to speaking their mind with their team, there are several ways companies can help their employees feel more comfortable voicing their concerns and sharing their ideas with leadership.

Part of having a strong company culture is offering a safe space that gives people a voice and, ideally, an open-door policy. We've put together our top tips on how to achieve more open and honest communication and get more candid feedback for your organization.

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5 ways to encourage honest employee feedback

No matter the size of your team or company, there are plenty of effective ways to encourage honest employee feedback and gather valuable insights. From one-on-one meetings and employee surveys to real-time and anonymous feedback, it's all about implementing the right strategies. A happy team is a productive team!

Have one-on-one meetings with team members

For managers, one-on-one meetings and skip-level meetings are a great way to connect with employees more personally and open the floor to honest discussion.

When you want to encourage honest feedback, what’s most important is to create a comfortable atmosphere for the direct report. It should be one based on trust and without the nerve-wracking fear of being reprimanded if they speak up. Your people should feel safe having open communication with their manager.

When done right, these meetings are a great way to collect and listen to critical feedback on things like engagement and satisfaction. So before diving into asking questions, start by setting the tone on a friendly, relaxed, and human level. Get a feel for the mindset you’re both in. Once you feel confident in the mutual trust, you can venture further into the conversation.

What’s equally important is to come prepared. To get the kind of feedback you need, you need to ask the right questions during your one-on-one meetings.

💡 Need some guidance on how to do this effectively? Learn how to run a one-on-one meeting like a pro.

Enable anonymous employee feedback

Some employees are more comfortable than others when expressing themselves directly to their managers or peers. Some people may be more reluctant to provide feedback or share their ideas and feelings if they have to disclose their names.

What’s cool about anonymous feedback is that it helps create a safe space where most people are more at ease, which helps bring up issues that leadership otherwise wouldn’t know about.

“74% of employees would be more inclined to share feedback if it’s truly anonymous.”

When the opinions expressed are anonymous, you allow employees to speak more freely and respond with increased honesty. It enables people to share their feedback and issues in a judgment-free way.

Officevibe is your ultimate tool for your business to gather anonymous employee feedback and listen on a regular basis. Our anonymous feedback and Pulse Survey software offer an intuitive platform that makes it easy to collect valuable, continuous feedback that can then be used to make improvements and implement new strategies.

What’s also a plus is that while employees can share their concerns and issues, it also gives them the opportunity to share positive feedback about their peers.

Get continuous feedback through employee surveys

One of the easiest and most effective ways to receive continuous feedback is with employee surveys.

Busy everyday operations mean that sometimes leaders have less time for other methods like one-on-one meetings. Pulse Surveys are a helpful tool for asking team members important questions about their well-being, manager, peers, the organization, and culture.

An example of a Pulse Survey question in Officevibe.

Survey questions should be specific and targeted but not leading. Framing questions this way opens the door to getting more developed information and honest answers. Again, it's also important to conduct them regularly to keep up with what's going on and lessen the possibility of employees forgetting about things they want to share.

Lastly, to up the potential for quality feedback, keep them concise and not too time-consuming. The best way to do that is to follow employee engagement survey best practices.

Collect real-time feedback from employees and managers

A great way to focus on continuous improvement is with real-time feedback. Unlike periodic performance reviews, this immediate feedback helps employees and even managers grow in the now. Think less critical evaluation and more ongoing support and development.

Managers share insights on their employees' strengths and areas of improvement, and employees share the challenges they face with their managers. The result? Better connections amongst colleagues and progress on both sides.

Officevibe is also an effective tool for collecting real-time feedback that can be used to improve the day-to-day and develop the long-term improvement of the team.

Conduct stay interviews with each employee

Even if you regularly use methods of gathering employee feedback, you’re not always able to tell when an employee is looking for new opportunities elsewhere. Proactively taking action is great for sparking open dialogue and helps you gain valuable insights.

Unlike the classic exit interview, the stay interview is a very good way for the leadership to connect with each employee and talk to them about what’s keeping them happy and engaged. Ultimately, the goal is to learn why they stay with your company even when the market is fiercely competitive.

Since ​​41% of people have left a job because they didn’t feel listened to (AllVoices), this kind of feedback is ultra-valuable when it comes to avoiding employee turnover and keeping your team satisfied.

Putting employee feedback to good use

Beyond using these methods to good use, what matters most is what you do with the feedback once you have it.

Employees who feel heard are more engaged. Employees who feel able to talk about their grievances and the good stuff have better relationships with their leaders.

employees talking to one another at table
Feeling listened to and being able to share ideas leads to better performance which is a win for all.

Encourage honest employee feedback with Officevibe

Pulse Surveys, anonymous feedback, and peer-to-peer recognition contribute to 82% of employees expressing that they feel their opinions matter in the workplace.

That’s why Officevibe is a great tool to help open conversations with colleagues, create a comfortable space for sharing, and streamline the feedback with one easy-to-use platform.

Equip HR and managers with tools to engage, recognize, and drive performance.