Employee feedback is important for all sorts of reasons and many forward-thinking organisations – both in the public and private sectors – now devote significant time and resources to understanding what their workforce thinks. Of course, employee feedback can be gathered in numerous different ways such as an employee engagement platform. Annual appraisals often have some time and space devoted to what employees think. However, these often don’t give the rounded perspective that an anonymised workplace survey or a confidential feedback form can offer.
In other words, if senior executives and HR professionals want to truly understand what their workforce thinks, then they’ll need a way to ask questions and make people feel confident in being able to truly express themselves. How can a junior member of staff be expected to feedback managerial incompetence to senior executives if they have to do so through their line manager? With a fully anonymised employee experience survey, staff can say what they really think and provide the information decision-makers need to boost productivity. Assuming your organisation wants honest feedback, how can it use its investment in employee surveys to drive growth and improve productivity?
To begin with, the very act of asking people what they think constitutes an engaging process that leaves them feeling better valued and, consequently, more motivated. In organisations where people’s opinions simply don’t count, there is a malaise that can work its way into everything. On the other hand, in a corporate structure where everyone is asked what they think of their work and how the organisation goes about managing it, most people will respond positively. For many, just being able to get something off their chest, even if it is relatively trivial, will mean they’ve dealt with it to some extent and can, therefore, move on from it. This sort of benefit, in terms of productivity, is often overlooked because it doesn’t necessarily mean senior managers need to make any wider changes. Nevertheless, it can lead to significant boosts in motivation at work and, therefore, productivity.
Improve Workplace Cooperation
In nearly all organisations, whether they are commercial or not, competitiveness and inter-departmental rivalries can occur. That’s somewhat inevitable in workplace cultures where career progression relies on outperforming others. However, when employees have the chance to give feedback to senior managers about how their work might be hampered or delayed by other teams, it offers a golden chance to resolve such matters. By addressing inter-organisational problems, processes can be altered so that more collegiate and cooperative outcomes are prioritised. HR professionals should realise that some of these issues can be quite petty and won’t take a great deal of time and effort to address successfully anyway. They have to be identified in the first place, however, which is why honest feedback is so crucial.
Become More Inclusive
Inclusivity in the workplace can take many forms. One of the most important ways to achieve it is to ensure that employees all have a voice to some extent, using an employee engagement platform can help with this. When people who work in your organisation don’t feel they have the right forum to express themselves, they will often consider leaving or at least fail to put extra effort in when it might be called for. Worse still, you won’t have the same diversity of voices in your organisation if you are not inclusive to all. This can lead to structural problems in the worst cases. For many businesses, it simply means that their productivity goes down because there is ‘one way’ to think when newer and more productive ideas could be explored if greater inclusivity were to be fostered.
All organisations, large and small, face blockages with their operations. The key to successful senior management isn’t just to think strategically about business development but to improve the commercial operations that are running right now. After all, without dealing with procedural blockages, growing becomes so much harder as all the new commercial activity still needs to be handled under old systems. No one in any business will understand the organisational blockages that slow things down and cause delays better than the people who implement those procedures and policies every day. Again, by asking all your workforce to identify where the blockages are, you will be much better placed to work out which ones you should deal with first, thereby maximising your productivity for the degree of organisational change you are willing to implement.
Create the Foundations for Change
Senior managers can decide to take a risk and implement change processes without the quantitative data that employee feedback surveys provide. However, only when decision-makers know the truth about their workforce will they be best placed to start deciding what to change and, crucially, what to keep. Organisational change always comes with a degree of pain. Nevertheless, it is essential to continue to evolve. What employee feedback offers is the chance to see not only where to apply change but how fast and how far to go. When change processes are applied in the right way, based on the solid foundations of employee feedback, they can be more effective and wide-reaching than ever.
Drive Down Retention Costs
Recruitment and retention costs are a big drag on the bottom line of most businesses. If CEOs and CFOs want to do away with needless expenditure recruiting staff because of a high level of employee turnover, then what they need to look at first is retaining the staff they currently have. Part of this will be assessing how the workforce thinks about its pay, of course, but also their wider working conditions. In other words, simply paying employees more to keep them on board won’t always be enough to resolve a productivity issue like staff turnover. With employee feedback telling you what you really need to know, however, it is possible to take the required steps to make your staff that much happier in the workplace. In many cases, low-cost solutions can be found – such as adjusting shift patterns, for example – that take very little to implement but which, in the mid-term, can save thousands in lost productivity.