Work is inherently, well, work – which can be stressful, exhausting, and hard. While it’s true that work isn’t always fun or enjoyable, it’s important for companies to try creating a workplace that is.
One reason for employers to foster a positive workplace is that it improves productivity, creativity, and teamwork. A study from the University of Warwick found that unhappy employees are 10% less productive than neutral workers – while happy employees are 12% more productive. When employees are happy, they are more relaxed, focused, and efficient.
A positive work environment doesn’t just increase productivity, it also improves employee satisfaction which improves engagement and reduces turnover. In fact, a study from Glassdoor found that 87% of employees expect their company to provide support for a healthy work-life balance. If you’re not fostering a happy workplace, your employees are less productive and less engaged – which negatively affects your bottom line.
One of the most powerful tools for organizations to improve employee happiness and cultivate a positive atmosphere is to cultivate employee feedback.
What is Employee Feedback?
Employee feedback is a process for employees to give and receive positive and negative responses about experiences, activities, and aspects of their job. Feedback is a great way for employees to grow both professionally and personally. By understanding their strengths and weaknesses better, employees are encouraged to develop.
Many people believe that employee feedback can only come from managers. However, feedback has many sources – all with their own value and insight.
For example, organizations can receive feedback from customers about specific departments and employees through online reviews and customer surveys. Managers can use this information to reward employees that excel or train those who are underperforming.
Why is Employee Feedback Important?
There are many benefits to fostering a feedback-friendly company culture. To start, employees genuinely appreciate and want feedback on a consistent basis because it helps them develop and contribute more. In fact, 82% of employees said they value negative and positive feedback. Feedback can help reinforce positive behavior or shed light on areas with which employees need to improve.
Employee feedback also helps develop the culture and support career growth within the organization, which were almost twice as important as compensation and benefits to employees in a recent study from Deloitte. By emphasizing employee feedback initiatives, you are empowering your employees and developing a culture of growth and learning.
Further, the employee feedback loop is a great exercise to improve communication and listening skills for managers and employees. Delivering feedback effectively requires receiving the information, processing the details, and translating it to the employee in a constructive manner that is actionable and aligned with the organization’s goals. Acquiring the skills needed to provide feedback to employees is an excellent leadership trait that can have positive effects throughout your entire company.
Likewise, employees that receive feedback from their direct managers are more confident and proactive – with 75% saying that they would bring up issues to managers more often if they were receiving feedback from those managers regularly.
How to Get Started with Employee Feedback
As you can see, employee feedback is an excellent way to develop a positive working environment. So, how do you get started with implementing employee feedback initiatives?
The quickest way to implement employee feedback processes is to hire a professional employer organization (PEO). PEOs are companies who specialize in providing professional employee services like feedback and employee reviews. Since most business owners are not feedback experts or HR professionals, outsourcing those tasks to organizations who have experience and knowledge may be more efficient than building it from the ground up internally.
If you decide to take on employee feedback yourself, you’ll still want to find resources and tools to support your initiatives. Developing an effective feedback process will take a lot of time and energy – so, any solutions to streamline or automate tasks will go a long way.
For example, companies can use survey software like Officevibe to collect, report, and track employee feedback and satisfaction anonymously online. This simple solution increases the efficiency within which you collect and analyze employee feedback.
In addition to outsourcing and automating feedback processes, employers should look for opportunities to train managers on feedback skills and best practices. While surveys and other feedback channels can provide a nice pulse of the company, managers should also be able to read their employees based on tendencies and behaviors. Training leadership on communication and listening skills can also help improve the effectiveness of their feedback.
Finally, companies should use exit interviews from past employees to understand the pitfalls of their organization better. If your business is experiencing high turnover, it’s likely indicative of a serious issue – using exit interviews to collect feedback from employees leaving your company will likely mean honest and transparent responses about the problems that exist within your company.
Companies are constantly looking for ways to improve employee satisfaction and engagement. Increasing these organizational areas can drastically improve productivity and retention rates for a business. Keep the advice above in mind as you start making improvements to your employee feedback processes.