If the employment exodus we’re witnessing across nearly every industry has taught us anything, it’s the importance of employee engagement and retention on the well-being of an organization. How do we ensure that talented, committed individuals feel seen and supported in their roles?

It starts with: employee feedback.

Employees bear witness to the ins and outs of company life. They can often provide keen insight into how organizational policies or processes roll out in reality and offer practical solutions that can help you, as a leader, foster the kind of working environment where your people thrive. So we’ve put together 8 progressive ways to get employee feedback so that you can make it work for you!

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1. Use employee satisfaction surveys

Employee satisfaction surveys are a superb way to gather large amounts of feedback from the entire company. However, if you want to collect valuable feedback from your team, you'll need to develop your survey questions.

Employee engagement survey best practices

Craft a survey that will draw out genuine feedback from your people. Try integrating some of the following employee engagement survey best practices to help you connect more authentically with your direct reports.

  • Use targeted questions to address specific topics instead of broad, overarching questions. Employees will be more likely to carefully consider targeted questions and provide honest answers, while general questions often encourage the employee to give generic responses.
  • Avoid leading questions that softly promote a particular answer. For instance, "Do you agree that attention to detail is essential in your work?" will likely prompt a specific reply (yes) without actually getting any additional feedback.
  • Send out employee surveys regularly. Too few surveys and your employees will view them as a formality; too many will feel like an additional burden. While timing depends on the company, a survey at the beginning of every quarter may be a good starting point.

Monitoring completion rates when you collect employee feedback

Using tools like Officevibe to conduct surveys also offers valuable insight into the current corporate mood. These tools help you collect, understand and report on your employee survey results. They can help you identify the total percentage of people that completed your employee engagement surveys, which provides invaluable information for designing better surveys in the future.

If many employees start the survey but don't complete it, the lack of engagement may be due to its length or complexity. But if you have many employees who don't even bother starting the survey, this may indicate that issues are brewing with the current employee culture.

The importance of anonymous feedback

But one of the largest hurdles to collecting feedback is getting honest answers. This can largely be attributed to intimidating structural power dynamics where employees may fear retaliation from management or believe that their feedback won’t be taken to heart unless it’s anonymous.

Two reasonable solutions to increase employee engagement with surveys are to highlight that they're a way of getting anonymous feedback. Also, outline the reasoning behind the survey to improve the employee experience and get more feedback.

By making it clear that managers and team leads will listen to the received feedback, you can shift the corporate culture to a more open-ended conversation between employees and their supervisors.

2. Monitor your eNPS score with Pulse Surveys

An employee net promoter score (or eNPS) is an excellent way to measure employee mood. It divides employees into three groups: detractors, promoters, and passives, and weighting the number of detractors against the number of promoters.

The higher your score, the better your overall employee experience and motivation. Companies with high levels of employee engagement report an eNPS of around +50.

You can use online survey tools like Officevibe to measure your eNPS by gathering specific feedback from employees. The survey tool then divides your employees according to their answers and calculates your eNPS automatically.

These Pulse Surveys are excellent indicators of the overall company disposition and can pinpoint potential concerns. While Pulse Surveys can consist of simple number ratings, adding an open-ended question or two can encourage employees to provide constructive feedback.

3. Leverage team and one-on-one meetings

While surveys are ideal for gathering feedback from the entire company, it's still vital to have regular feedback sessions between employees and supervisors. These meetings help collect feedback pertinent to a particular team, department, or process.

When obtaining feedback during one-on-one meetings, the most significant challenge is that most employees may have reservations about how their managers receive their comments. A good way of shifting this perception is to have performance reviews where both parties share feedback openly and honestly.

Team meetings can also encourage honest employee feedback, as team members will feel that they have support from their colleagues.

When collecting employee feedback, remember that timing and receiving feedback with grace are essential to building trust and honesty. Holding regular team meetings and implementing suggested changes shows employees that they have their manager's support, which encourages more positive results in the future.

4. Conduct stay interviews

Stay interviews are similar to exit interviews, except that you hold them with current hires instead of former employees. As with an exit interview, the focus is on culture fit, job benefits, the overall company, and what it could do to improve.

A stay interview is an effective tool to discover what employees like about the company and what they would like to see change for them to stay on indefinitely. These interviews, when conducted regularly, can assist with monitoring trends, both with individual employees and across the business as a whole.

5. Don't discount a traditional suggestion box

It can be tempting to rely exclusively on high-tech surveys and solutions to collect employee feedback, but conventional methodologies are always available.

An employee suggestion box is a useful tool to gather informal employee feedback without fear of retaliation. Many employees like to provide feedback but may feel too intimidated to offer it directly. This anonymous method only works if you place the suggestion box in an easily accessible yet private place where employees can discreetly submit their comments.

Though this traditional method has simplicity on its side, it lacks the ease and convenience of a digital tool that has the capacity to automatically collect, analyze, and track this essential feedback and data over time.

6. Talk to managers

Most teams tend to be more honest and forthcoming with their direct reports than higher-level supervisors. If you're trying to create an open corporate culture, you may get better employee feedback from supervisors than direct reports, who might be uneasy with the feedback process.

Comparing manager and employee feedback can also help identify potential miscommunication or misunderstandings between employees and management. If managers are only reporting positive news while team members are frustrated about their office environment, it's clear that there's a disconnect that needs to be addressed.

7. Start on the right foot with new employee surveys

Let's not forget about that good old way to collect employee feedback: chat with new employees! These surveys or conversations monitor an employee's initial expectations of their job and of the business and how those feelings may change in the initial three months of employment. If you decide to spread these informal surveys out, consider adapting the questions to meet the employee's workplace journey.

Pro tip: Employee onboarding is incredibly important, but hard to get right. Check out our employee onboarding guide to ensure your new hire is properly integrated into your office culture.

8. Keep an eye on review sites

Review sites aren't just about monitoring customer satisfaction. Sites such as Glassdoor and Indeed are sources of candid feedback from former and current employees.

Businesses can register on these same sites as employers, allowing you to receive alerts whenever someone mentions your institution. However, it's important to note that reviews may have a negative bias, especially from disgruntled former workers. As with most reviews, these sites can be insightful for identifying overall trends instead of focusing on a single incident or complaint.

Start collecting employee feedback

Surveys and direct messaging are potent tools for gauging employee perspectives and discovering potential concerns.

Tools like Officevibe can take a lot of the time and guesswork out of seeking feedback. It can simplify the feedback loop, making it easier for employees and managers to communicate and receive useful and productive feedback. Not only does Officevibe help start conversations, but it also allows for long-term monitoring that results in long-term retention and higher-quality, motivated workers.

Combined with some traditional methods, you can create an open-door environment where employees are comfortable enough to offer honest feedback to help you identify and combat potential issues in the workplace.

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