2021 Ultimate Guide to Employee Feedback

Bethany
October 1, 2021
9 Min Read
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Mick Champayne

Table of Contents:

What is employee feedback?

Employee feedback is a method of communication in which an employee provides feedback to his or her immediate superior. Feedback is usually provided through written employee surveys, employee polls, employee interviews, employee questionnaires, and through a variety of other methods. Employee feedback can include feedback from an employee to a manager, feedback from managers to employees, and anonymous feedback from employees to an organization.

Why is employee feedback important?

Employee feedback helps leaders to ensure that products or services are meeting the needs of their employees. This can help managers to understand how employees feel about their jobs and whether or not there are any problems at work that need to be addressed. Employee feedback also helps organizations to identify these issues relating to working conditions and other work-related issues so that managers can resolve problems before they become too much of an issue.

Employee feedback also allows organizations to identify what employees like about their jobs so that more of these activities can be included in future projects. This lets employees know that they are appreciated for doing something well which encourages them to continue working hard on new projects. Research shows, “four out of 10 workers are actively disengaged when they get little or no feedback.”

Benefits of employee feedback

  • Employee feedback provides insight into employee satisfaction

Employee feedback provides insight into employee satisfaction with the company, their leaders, workloads, benefits, compensation, teammates, internal processes, and cultures. This information is essential to ensure long-term employee retention rates are high which results in a positive culture that could motivate current employees to stay with the organization for longer periods. Employee feedback can help managers create a plan for resolving any issues or concerns raised by their employees.

  • Time efficient management tool

Since employee feedback is provided through employee surveys and other employee feedback methods, managers can quickly and efficiently gather information about employee satisfaction and employee morale. This saves time and resources that would be required for managers to do the same research using other methods such as employee interviews or talking with employees one-on-one.

  • Provides context for ongoing employee performance reviews

Employee feedback provides context for ongoing employee performance reviews as well as a direct connection between employee ideas, suggestions, and opinions with those things slated for improvement by management. For example, if an organization wants to include more team-building exercises in its budget next year but has no idea why this is important or how it affects employee happiness or productivity, employee feedback can help leaders discover these details simply by asking employees the right questions.

6 types of employee feedback strategies

1. Employee feedback survey strategy

An employee feedback survey strategy is a very common employee feedback method. When an employee survey strategy is used, organizations typically present their employees with a list of questions to answer. Employees are asked to rank or rate different aspects of their jobs including culture, compensation, workloads, and more so that leaders can use this information for future projects and employee retention rates. 

2. Employee pulse strategy

An employee pulse strategy is an employee feedback method that managers can use on a monthly or even weekly basis instead of once a year. By asking employees for their input frequently, managers can stay aware of issues that are impacting the workplace environment which will also increase employee morale. This helps keep employees happy which results in better productivity which positively impacts both revenue and customer satisfaction levels. Leaders can use employee pulse surveys to gauge employee morale, employee satisfaction, and employee happiness so that they can make the necessary changes to impact these three things positively.

By using employee feedback regularly, leaders can quickly respond to employee needs and concerns in real-time instead of waiting until the next yearly employee survey. This helps managers prioritize things that matter most to employees based on immediate needs rather than what may be most relevant in six months. The employee pulse strategy benefits employee retention rates by enabling leaders to quickly make changes to improve employee satisfaction levels and employee happiness. For example, if an employee reports feeling overworked, management would know how to respond more quickly rather than waiting until next year's employee opinion gathering period.

3. Employee insight strategy

An employee insight strategy is a way for organizations to ask employees questions which they may not think to consider on their own. For example, if an organization asks its employees what motivates them it might learn what some of their biggest incentives are. Examples may include free lunch or access to healthy snacks. Providing more of those particular things can be a means of improving employee retention rates and employee productivity levels.

Leaders often have great ideas from their business experience but this strategy helps these ideas mesh with employee feedback about what improves employee satisfaction levels. Employees have first-hand knowledge about how day-to-day work life impacts employee happiness, employee satisfaction, and employee morale. Asking employees what they think about different company initiatives is another way that managers can use employee insight surveys to learn how things are impacting the workforce. For example, if an organization is considering paid maternity leave but has not implemented this idea yet, asking employees their thoughts will help management develop strategies that positively impact employee retention levels.

4. Employee voice strategy

An employee voice strategy involves regularly soliciting feedback from all employees via employee feedback questions to increase transparency across the whole organization. By regularly engaging with employees both managers and leaders can gain new insights into employee satisfaction levels, employee motivation levels, employee engagement, and many other factors related to employee happiness. 

By gaining insights into employee morale, organizations can then better respond to employee needs and create a better work environment. Some organizations implement employee voice by having over 70% of employees review their direct manager once a year. This employee feedback strategy enables managers to quickly learn what they are doing well and where they might be lacking so that they can improve their leadership skills and grow as a leader.

5. Employee recognition strategy

An employee recognition strategy involves recognizing great employee behaviors to strengthen employee morale. By regularly recognizing the good things that employees do, leaders reward those who are putting forth effort into doing quality work that impacts company performance positively. This helps motivate other employees as it sets expectations for what is valued as excellent employee behavior. Employees tend to value generous recognition from management because this kind of communication sends the message that hard work is appreciated.

6. Employee engagement strategy

An employee engagement strategy involves building employee self-direction through employee empowerment. By empowering employees to think about how they do work differently and offering their feedback, organizations create an environment where individuals are more invested in the results that their work is producing. This can be done in many different ways, for example, some organizations have experimented with employee recognition programs where individuals choose who they want to recognize based on what behaviors or outcomes they feel deserve praise. 

Employees themselves know best about what works when it comes to driving company performance so giving them a voice about how things are done helps managers find the best way forward. Some of the most successful companies will experiment with different employee engagement strategies to find what works best for their particular workforce.

4 employee feedback strategies for remote teams

  1. Providing employee praise

Organizations that understand how important employee recognition is for employee morale can boost employee happiness by implementing a reward system that honors employees who go above and beyond the call of duty.

  1. Survey employees regularly

A study done by the Aberdeen Group found that "companies who frequently survey their employees have significantly higher employee satisfaction scores than those who don't," which is why leaders and managers need to monitor employee happiness regularly. Employee surveys allow a company's leadership team to communicate with individual employees about what they need to improve on, as well as how they can learn from one another to create a more collaborative work environment.

  1. Meet with workers in person or over video chats

In-person employee meetings are an excellent way for leaders and managers to stay connected with their employees, especially if they work remotely. The same research from the Aberdeen Group study found that employee satisfaction is higher among those who meet with their managers face-to-face as opposed to those who only meet virtually, which is why leaders and managers need to make this a priority.

  1. Use employee feedback software

Employee feedback software is an essential part of remote team growth. Employee feedback software allows employees to provide anonymous employee feedback about their manager without fear of retribution. By eliminating the fear of retaliation and encouraging employee honesty, employee feedback software can contribute greatly to employee productivity and overall company morale. 

6 employee feedback strategies for organizations

Employee feedback strategies need to be developed for employee feedback to be properly executed. Here are several employee feedback strategies that can help managers communicate employee feedback effectively with their teams:

  1. Team meetings

Regular team meetings allow employees the chance to ask questions about employee feedback they received or share concerns they have with their manager. Managers should make an effort to encourage teamwork during team meetings by allowing employees to know what others on the team are doing; this will allow employees who feel like they're not performing well enough to see how other members of the team are successful. Also, managers should let their teams know how much value each member provides to the organization; praise shared in front of group morale and strengthens employee commitment.

  1. One-on-one employee feedback

For employee feedback to be effective, employees need to feel as though their manager genuinely cares about them. One way to make employee feedback feel more personal is through one on one employee feedback sessions. During one on one employee feedback sessions, managers can spend a few minutes checking in with each employee and asking if there is anything they can do differently that would support the employee's success. Managers should also use these sessions as an opportunity to discover what each employee values at his or her job so that everyone can receive rewards appropriate for him or herself.

  1. Anonymous surveys

Another way managers can communicate with their teams is by sending out anonymous employee feedback surveys. Employees are more likely to respond honestly when they know their identity will be kept safe. This employee feedback strategy allows managers to learn more about employee opinions without having a personal conversation with each employee.

  1. Team feedback scorecards

Employee feedback scorecards allow employees throughout the organization to give colleagues and managers feedback on how they are performing at their job. Employees can submit suggestions for their colleagues or managers by leaving comments on employee feedback scorecards; this employee feedback strategy prompts employees throughout an organization to get involved in employee performance assessment which keeps everyone accountable for his or her actions.

  1. Project management software

Many project management tools allow employees to provide anonymous input on co-workers and leaders; these employee feedback strategies should help companies become more engaged and transparent while strengthening employee camaraderie.

  1. Employee feedback software

Employee feedback software allows managers to receive employee feedback through employee feedback surveys sent by email, which is another way to keep employee's identities safe. Managers can also use employee feedback software to provide employees with actionable employee feedback that will help employees improve their performance at work.

5 employee feedback ideas

Here are some employee feedback ideas that you can incorporate into your employee feedback strategy for 2021:

  1. Employee engagement survey

Employee engagement surveys are used to determine what employees value at their job. This employee feedback strategy is effective because it allows managers to find out what employees want from their work experience by identifying the qualities needed in a workplace environment for employees to be satisfied with their jobs.

  1. Employee satisfaction survey

Employee satisfaction surveys are used to determine how successful an organization is when it comes to meeting employee needs and expectations. These surveys should help organizations improve the quality of services they provide so that employees' needs are met.

  1. Monthly performance reviews

Monthly performance reviews allow managers to talk about each employee's performance and goals with each employee every month. Managers can use these employee feedback ideas to create a variety of employee feedback methods so that employees receive multiple sources of employee feedback on their performance at work.

  1. Public recognition board

Public recognition boards are used to hold on to all praise shared throughout an organization. Employees throughout an organization are more likely to feel valued when this employee feedback strategy is implemented because they will know that their contributions are being recognized.

  1. Employee of the month

Employee of the month boards allow employees to see who has won employee of the month throughout an organization. Managers can use this employee feedback strategy as a way to motivate other employees throughout an organization because they will work hard knowing that they, too, could be employee of the month one day.

6 employee feedback metrics

Here are employee feedback metrics that you can measure using employee feedback software:

  1. Employee satisfaction index

Employee satisfaction index is a number used to indicate how satisfied employees throughout an organization are with their workplace. This employee feedback metric should give organizations insight into what they need to do to improve employee happiness and productivity.

  1. Employee turnover index

Employee turnover index is a number that shows how likely it is for an employee to leave the company. By measuring this employee feedback metric, managers can get a sense of how happy or unhappy employees are at their jobs so they know when there is a good time to reach out and ask them what they want from their work experience.

  1. Employee engagement index

The employee engagement index is a number that indicates how involved employees are with their job duties. This employee feedback metric is useful because it gives managers insight into employee productivity so they know when they're not working as hard as they could be.

  1. Employee performance index

The employee performance index is a number that shows the percentage of full potential an employee is achieving at work. By measuring this employee feedback metric, managers can get insight into how much effort employees are putting towards their jobs by seeing what percentage of each employee's full potential has been achieved.

  1. Employee suggestions index

Employee suggestions index measures the number of ideas contributed by employees within an organization in relation to the total amount of ideas submitted throughout the company. Employee feedback software allows you to measure this employee feedback metric so that managers know which employee ideas to consider and which employee ideas could be improved upon.

  1. Employee survey index

Employee survey index is a number that shows the percentage of employees who are satisfied with their jobs. By measuring this employee feedback metric, managers can get insight into whether or not employees are happy in their positions so they can make changes that will better meet everyone's needs.

4 employee feedback tips

1. Build trust by providing constructive criticism whenever necessary

When you're responsible for employee feedback, you have to be willing to give constructive criticism when necessary. If something is going wrong or a job isn't being done adequately, managers should not hesitate to let employees know to allow them to correct their mistakes and become better at their work.

2. Focus employee feedback on improvement over time

When you're providing employee feedback, managers must focus on what employees can improve upon rather than what they are doing wrong. Employees will feel more comfortable about their progress and any possible changes they need to make if there seems like there is a plan of action and the employee doesn't automatically get written off as doing poorly because of one small mistake they made.

3. Give feedback regularly

There needs to be a balance between employee feedback and employee appreciation when it comes to employee rewards. Managers should give employees enough praise so they feel appreciated, but not so much that nothing else matters because there's always going to be positive attention coming their way for doing good work. At the same time, managers also need to provide regular employee feedback to show they're paying attention and interested in what employees are contributing towards success within an organization.

4. Prioritize employee thoughts and opinions

When it comes to employee feedback, you have to make sure employees know that their thoughts and opinions matter and will be heard by management – otherwise, who knows when they'll get the chance again?

Employee feedback software

If employee feedback software isn't currently being used, managers should look for employee survey software that provides employee feedback metrics. They need to know which employee feedback questions to ask and how often they should check in with employees – otherwise, the entire point of employee feedback won't be reached.

There are several employee feedback strategies companies can adopt – some examples include: Allowing employees to provide anonymous employee feedback through an online portal, asking everyone for employee feedback and settling differences through management participation, and providing opportunities for leadership development and career planning.

One type of software you can use for providing employees with feedback is Matter. Matter's free Slack app that allows you to give your teams constructive feedback and kudos. Using Matter will allow you to reap all of the benefits of positive employee recognition, as well as providing employees and managers a way to interact with one another in a positive way through Feedback Fridays!

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