Employee Feedback

Employee Feedback: Definition

Employee feedback is defined as a process of giving constructive suggestions to the employees by their reporting managers, supervisors and peers. However, this process is not just restricted here, employee feedback also comprises of the feedback that the employee would want to give to his/her manager, peers or the organization as a whole.

Feedback can help employees and the organization constantly get better at what they do. Employee feedback is an integral part of the employee experience process and a mechanism that will increasingly help employees get better at their job and for the organization to develop a better workplace culture.

According to Forbes, 73% of employees consider feedback important but only one third receive it. Most managers don’t provide enough feedback and when they do they tend to make it negative or too vague and the importance of feedback is lost.  As simple as it may sound giving feedback is not easy. It is a systematically designed process, because of the complexities involved- Humans!

Learn more: FREE Employee Engagement Survey Template

Employee Feedback Survey Questions

It is important for an organization to develop a set of survey questions based on different attributes to formulate an employee feedback survey, so the feedback that is received by the organization should be robust and foolproof. These questions need to systematic at the same time should be easy to understand and respond to.

The survey should have a good balance of open-ended and closed-ended questions, for the respondent’s ease. Stuffing the survey with too many open-ended questions leaves a loose end and the responses cannot be measured based on human resource metrics. Following are the set of questions an organization must use to receives an overall employee feedback from his/her manager or peers.

Employee Feedback Questions for Individual Reflection

1. What are the responsibilities you purview as important?

2. How can the organization help you with your career growth?

3. While handling the [project name] did you do anything outside your scope-of-work?

4. There is a scope for personal growth in this organization?

Employee Feedback Questions for Leadership Reflection

5. I am reviewing my team’s career path constantly.

6. I have provided an atmosphere within the team, where they feel positive about giving me a feedback.

7. I feel confident that my feedback is taken positively by my team members.

Employee Feedback Questions for Organizational Reflection

8. As an organization, are we doing well in keeping our strategies well-defined?

9. What are the three things we as an organization can do differently?

10. On a scale of 0-10, how likely are you to refer the organization to your family/friends for employment?

11. Could you please elaborate on the choice of your answer. [This question is a follow-up question]

Employee Feedback Questions for Employee Satisfaction Reflection

12. Do you have the flexibility to work remotely if required?

13. Do you feel your work contributes to the overall goals of your organization?

14. Do you feel you are able to maintain a healthy work-life balance?

15. Do you feel the review policies are fair in this organization?

Learn more: Employee Feedback Survey Questions + Sample Questionnaire Template

Types of Employee Feedback Survey

There are many types of employee feedback like 360-degree employee review, continuous feedback mechanism, employee performance evaluation to name a few.

1. 360-degree feedback: 360-degree feedback is a process in which an employee receives feedback from his/her superiors, manager, peers to identify the strengths and weaknesses of an employee so that immediate corrective measures can be taken to improve employee performance.

The purpose of a 360-degree feedback is to understand an employee’s performance and collect feedback and reviews, this mechanism of employee feedback allows a multi-pointer rating and serves as a benchmark for an employee’s development plan.

However, in a 360-degree feedback is it essential that feedback remains anonymous. The purpose of this anonymity is to keep it strictly professional, so it doesn’t lead to any differences between the employee receiving the feedback and the manager or peer giving the feedback.

2. Continuous feedback mechanism: Continuous feedback is a process where an employee receives feedback on a timely basis. Imagine an organization where employees are willing to get a feedback but managers are not willing to spend any time to give the needed feedback. No points for guessing, the lowered levels of employee motivation that it would bring.

There are a number of benefits of continuous feedback- it promotes a healthy workplace culture, helps employees and organization set better goals, boosts employee morale and this, in turn, leads to happy employees. However, continuous feedback is a complex process and should be done carefully.

The process should not be scary for employees, a feedback doesn’t have to negative, it needs to be constructive. No organization would want to promote a culture where employees don’t trust the leadership and vice versa. This is not a process where you will blame the employees for why they have not achieved their targets, this is a process to help employees improve themselves through constructive feedback.

3. Employee performance evaluation: Employee performance evaluation is a formal method of providing feedback to the employee’s performance based on their work and result based on their job responsibilities. It is used to measure the amount of value added by an employee in terms of organization growth, revenue generated and overall return on investment (ROI)

Any organization that has learned the art of winning from within, understand the importance of feedback. They rely on a systematic performance evaluation process and grade employees annually based on the feedback received from their managers.

Ideally, employees are graded, with a promotion or increase in the increment received and similar methods. Performance evaluation also plays a vital role in providing periodic feedback to employees to make them more self-aware in regards to their own performance metrics.

Learn more: FREE Employee Satisfaction Survey Template

Employee Feedback Best Practices

Feedback is often a pain point, whether you are giving one or receiving one. It comes with an unsaid intention of telling, “you need to change.” And, change can be overwhelming, some people are receptive to it and some may take a back step, so then how exactly giving feedback is going to help employees or an organization?

The answer is, it’s the way in which you provide the feedback makes all the difference. Here are some of the best practices that you should look out for before you submit your feedback:

1. Trust makes feedback receptive: Trust is not an action, it is a feeling when there are humans involved. You can’t ask an employee to trust an organization and vice versa without actually setting up a platform to do so. Trust comes with emotional willingness. Therefore, if the feedback has to given or taken a level of trust should be built and eventually feedback should be rendered.

2. Have an agenda: Feedback should not be vague, there should be an agenda for giving or taking a feedback so that neither parties should get blind-sided. Both, one who is facilitating the feedback and the one receiving the feedback should share a loose agenda about what points will be covered and what is the purpose of the feedback. Share the agenda a couple of days in advance so that both parties are aware and they get a chance to think of the questions/answers before the meeting commences.

3. Build a culture of transparency: Unless you build a culture of transparency in your organization, honestly, employees will be scared to give feedback to the organization. An open door policy is a good start. If you want to lead by example, this also means you need to be open to help and receive feedback at any time, continuity to the process is the key to success.

4. Ask and not simply tell: Start with a question, “How do you think you are performing on the project XYZ?” This provided relevant context to start with and the employee would know that the person delivering the feedback is genuinely interested in the progress of the employee. Feedback is a mechanism to help individuals improve, it’s not a platform to rant.

5. Stay Focused: Employee feedback can end up being really long if you decide to dig deep into a number of different topics. Do you have a number of extra company programs that you want to ask about? Try separating those into a separate survey to ask about them, and add a general overall feedback question about the variety of programs your company offers, instead.

6. Don’t Write Leading Questions: It’s easy to write a leading question. Even asking, “How satisfied are you with…” can be leading! Test the neutrality of your questions with other reviewers so that you’re certain you’re not creating leading questions. Otherwise, you’ll end up skewing your results and not getting a true picture of what your employees are thinking. (How do you rewrite that “How satisfied are you with…?” Easy – “Please rate your level of satisfaction with…”)

7. Don’t Use Double-Barrelled Questions: This is another trap for surveys in general. A double-barrelled question is something that asks about two items in one question. For example, “Please rate your level of satisfaction with the company structure and leadership.” Another type of this question that seems common is, “Please rate your level of satisfaction with the speed and accuracy of communications.” Here’s a hint for avoiding these types of questions: if it uses the words “and” or “or,” it’s probably double-barrelled.

8. Do Tell Your Employees the Results – Even If It Isn’t Easy: Even if the results of the survey aren’t what you were hoping for, open communication is still the best communication. And, let’s face it if you’re looking at a widespread level of dissatisfaction across the board, or even in one particular area, it’s highly likely your employees are already talking about it a lot, and that they are aware it’s an issue.

9. Field More Than Once a Year: Let’s face it, more employees expect to be able to provide feedback more than once a year. This can also help mitigate those times when perhaps factors outside of your control were affecting employee responses. You might consider doing a weekly satisfaction check-in that is an abbreviated version of a quarterly employee feedback survey. That way, you’re giving your employees a venue to provide feedback, and, just as with customer satisfaction surveys, as soon as things seem to be going awry, you can take action to address it.

Learn more: FREE Exit Interview Survey Template

Advantages of Employee Feedback

Following are the advantages associated with employee feedback

1. Conflict resolution even before a conflict: One of the benefits of having an open feedback culture is it facilitates conflict resolution even before a conflict escalates. Employees in an organization should feel they can openly discuss with their managers or peers and vice versa. Feedback here will be a dialogue and not a monologue.

When employees are used to giving or taking feedback regularly they won’t be any anxiety associated with the process. This means they will know how to handle a tense situation and take the feedback in the stride.

2. Professional development: The more an employee becomes comfortable asking/giving feedback the more they will take this up as their own initiative. This will lead to a more organized professional development.  

3. Increased employee engagement: When an organization has a transparent culture, a well-designed feedback mechanism in place, immediate attention to any potential issues etc. there will definitely be an increase in the levels of employee engagement. Remember feedback is just not about employees or an organization improving, it is also about doing good work time and again.  

Learn more: FREE Job Satisfaction Survey Template 

Tips for Creating the Best Employee Feedback Surveys

1. Give your employees enough time to complete the employee feedback survey and keep sending reminders if needed to help them keep pace with the activity. Don’t expect an immediate response from them. If you rush your employees, chances are they won’t respond correctly to the survey.

2. Offer perks or rewards to your employees for completing the task or being proactive about responding to the survey. Make it more of a fun than a mundane one. Your employees should feel confident about registering their feedback and not overwhelmed.

3. Make sure that the employee feedback surveys that the management receives are anonymous. In order to gain the maximum insight, you would want to tell them that their feedback is 100% confidential.

4. These surveys are insignificant if the employees feel that they are not heard or the management doesn’t act upon the surveys. Once the employees register their feedback make sure that the matters that need attention are sorted at the earliest. Small adjustments or big changes alike can differentiate between a happy and an unhappy employee.

Learn more: Top 20 Employee Engagement Survey Questions 

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