What do we mean by employee feedback?
Generally, we can define employee feedback as any info we exchange as employees within an organisation – positive or negative. This could relate to skills and development, performance, teamwork, etc.
But this is a pretty simple view of employee feedback. Looking a little deeper, we can split it up in three ways:
Employee → Employer
This refers to feedback employers source from employees about their working experience. Are they enjoying it? What do they need to get great work done, to progress? How is the team functioning? Etc. Collecting this type of feedback is normally the responsibility of the HR/people team, but it may also include supervisors and team leaders.
The aim of this type of feedback should be to understand any concerns employees may have, and to get a better idea of what affects their performance and engagement within an organisation. (More on employee engagement here.)
Peer → Peer
This is slightly different. Rather than giving feedback that the HR/People can use to inform their strategy and policies, peer-to-peer feedback means more or less what it sounds like – colleagues sharing feedback within or across teams, day-to-day.
This may be more focused on teamwork and processes, working together more effectively, solving problems, etc. And it needn’t always be negative, either – peer-to-peer feedback (like all feedback, really) can be used to enforce the right kinds of behaviours, too.
Supervisor → employee
Lastly, this feedback centres on development conversations – formal and informal – between a supervisor, leader or line manager and someone on their team.
Why should employers source feedback?
There are two main reasons why it’s worth employers’ time to get feedback from their people:
It’s good to feel heard. That’s why your employees will likely welcome the opportunity to give feedback, and will appreciate the sense of transparency this can create within an organisation. That said, this effect can only last so long as employees see their feedback being acted upon. Feedback without follow-up action will often have a negative effect on employee engagement.
Feedback unlocks insight into development areas within an organisation. Especially in larger organisations, where leaders will spend less time with rank-and-file colleagues, it can be easy to develop blind spots where things simply aren’t working. Feedback helps employers overcome these, by bringing them into the light.
After all, you can’t solve a problem until you know it exists!
The best ways to collect employee feedback:
There are all sorts of surveys at your disposal, each with a slightly different role to play. There are new employee surveys, engagement surveys, pulse surveys… the list goes on.
Because problems can arise at any time, perhaps the best source of feedback is the pulse survey. These are short, simple surveys sent to employees at regular intervals. Because of their length, they tend to get much higher completion rates than longer surveys, and so are better placed to keep your finger on the… pulse.
There are dozens of platforms that can help with this. We like Cultureamp best.
Third-party review platforms
Sometimes, there’s nothing you can do to get employees to share their most candid feedback directly. That’s where review platforms like Glassdoor come in.
Don’t be afraid to encourage (constructive) feedback on these platforms. While it can feel daunting, it’s just another source of insight on your employee experience.
This is your last chance to get feedback. But it can also be your best chance. Sure, it can hurt to see people go – but often, this is when they’re at their most candid, and you can paint a more unvarnished, authentic picture of the employee experience.
It might be a no-brainer, but exit interviews are a great way to get more qualitative insight around why people leave. This insight can help contextualise any data you may have on employee turnover.
Candidate feedback, with Arctic Shores
Everyone deserves feedback – including your candidates. But who has the time to get back to every candidate (without turning it into their day job)?
That’s why, with our UNA platform, we’ve built a way to automate feedback – for every candidate. Successful or not, they all get a clear insight into their own unique qualities the second they complete our psychometric assessment.
We’re on a journey to pioneer feedback for all. Meaningful feedback – and automatic, too. Want to reward your candidates, and put time back in your team’s pockets? Then it’s time you met UNA. Get in touch here.