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How to Get Honest Employee Feedback
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How to Get Honest Employee Feedback

Employee feedback is a great source of information about the day-to-day realities of your company. Collecting and acting upon employee feedback can help you find the blind spots in your internal processes, daily workflows, and management style.

How to Get Honest Employee Feedback

While all businesses go out of their way to collect customer feedback, many ignore the potential of collecting feedback from their employees. 

Yet, employee feedback is just as important as customer feedback. After all, your employees are on the front line of your business, and no one knows what’s going on in your company better than them.

Employee feedback is a great source of information about the day-to-day realities of your company. Collecting and acting upon employee feedback can help you find the blind spots in your internal processes, daily workflows, and management style. 

However, if you want to experience the real benefits of employee feedback, you must ensure that it’s honest. 

Let’s explore why honesty is so important in employee feedback and how to get employee feedback that is completely honest. 

Honesty is Key in Employee Feedback

The feedback you gather from your employees will only be as helpful as it is honest - and often, employees are reluctant to share their honest thoughts. 

When employees feel that their feedback won’t be positively received, they hold back from sharing. 

Managers and company culture are often to blame when employees aren’t speaking up. A survey by Fast Company found that 67% of employees think their leaders don’t appreciate new ideas, so naturally, they don’t feel comfortable sharing them.

💡 When leaders see employee feedback as something negative (forgetting that feedback can also be positive), it creates a culture of silence and fear that stifles growth. Another issue is that managers are often reluctant to receive employee feedback, fearing that doing so would undermine their authority.

How to Get Honest Employee Feedback

You can’t always know whether employees are being completely truthful when asked for feedback. However, there are things you can do to make sure they feel confident and safe to share their honest opinions. 

How to Get Honest Employee Feedback

Promote a culture of openness 

Your employees will feel hesitant to share their honest feedback unless you create a psychologically safe space for them to do so. 

Psychological safety in the workplace is the belief among the employees and the managers that it is safe to share ideas and opinions, speak their minds, and take risks.

In a psychologically safe workplace, employees feel their opinions are well received and don’t fear negative consequences for sharing them. 

To create such an environment, you should promote a culture of openness where everyone’s opinions and ideas are welcomed and where managers react positively to receiving feedback. 

💡 Management should lead by example, offering constructive feedback and listening calmly and receptively to employees. Managers can encourage a positive, open dialogue that promotes idea sharing by removing any negative or aggressive reactions.

Ask employees to share feedback 

One of the most common reasons employees don’t actively share their feedback is that no one asks them to. In the previously referenced survey by Fast Company, 49% of employees said that they’re rarely asked to share their ideas. 

Not surprisingly, employees fear that contributing their feedback unasked might lead to negative consequences. The solution to this is simple. If you want your employees to express their honest opinions, just ask. 

💡 Give your employees a safe space to talk, for example, by organizing 1:1 meetings, using surveys, or implementing an idea management tool where they can share ideas whenever they feel comfortable and inspired to do so.

Establish continuous employee feedback

Continuous employee feedback generates constant improvement and creates a better workplace for everyone, which leads to increased employee engagement, productivity, and profitability.

The most effective way to establish continuous feedback collection is by implementing an idea management tool, such as Ideanote, where employees can share their ideas anytime, whether they’re general input or an idea related to a specific campaign.

An idea management tool centralizes and streamlines feedback collection, making it easy to track and implement ideas. However, whether it successfully gathers continuous employee feedback depends on your company culture. 

Without a culture of openness that values and acts on feedback, your idea management tool risks becoming another ignored platform.

Another method of gathering continuous feedback is sharing regular pulse surveys with your employees. Pulse surveys are a great way to prompt employees to think about various areas of their jobs and the workplace and share their feedback on a regular basis.

On the other hand, you can't entirely rely on pulse surveys for honest employee feedback. 

Since pulse surveys ask questions regarding specific issues, they can easily overlook the problems you're unaware of when creating the survey. 

⚠️ Frequent surveys may lead to survey fatigue, reducing response rates and affecting the quality of feedback over time.

Be transparent about employee feedback & act on it 

If your employees see their feedback isn't leading to visible changes in the organization, they won't feel motivated to share it, even if you encourage them to do so regularly. 

To ensure continuous feedback collection, you must be transparent about what happens to employee ideas once they contribute them. Make it a regular practice to communicate clearly about the most common feedback you received and outline the specific actions that will be taken in response. 

More importantly, follow through on these actions to demonstrate that employee feedback is being taken seriously. Also, make sure to recognize and celebrate contributions that lead to positive changes in the company. 

💡 Making your employees feel that their feedback matters fosters a safe environment for them to share their ideas. And when employees feel they have a say in what’s going on in the company, they’ll feel more engaged and willing to give their best.

Ensure anonymity if necessary 

Often, employees hold back on sharing honest feedback because they don't want their names to be openly attached to it. Sometimes, it's because they fear potential repercussions or judgment from colleagues or superiors, while other times, it's simply a matter of personal privacy and comfort. 

Still, offering the option to share feedback anonymously can increase participation by making employees feel safer to share honest feedback without fearing negative consequences or embarrassment.

Anonymous feedback can increase the amount of feedback you receive from employees. A report by All Voices found that 74% of employees would be more inclined to share feedback if it was anonymous, while 16% would be hesitant to share because they don’t trust it would be completely anonymous. 

How to get anonymous employee feedback?

For starters, implement anonymous feedback channels, like digital suggestion boxes, idea management tools, or pulse surveys. Then, make sure to openly communicate to your employees that they can opt to share their feedback anonymously and that there are privacy regulations in place to ensure anonymity.

Unleash Innovation Through Feedback Today!

If you're looking for an all-in-one solution for your innovation, look no further than Ideanote! With our flexible platform you can do everything from collecting ideas, engaging your crowd and analyzing your innovation performance.

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