In today’s dynamic and fast-paced work environments, organizations are recognizing the significance of feedback as a powerful tool for personal and professional growth. A great tool as well no understan how employees feel. The challenge lies in how to ask for feedback from employees in a way that encourages honest and constructive responses. A feedback survey can help.
First of all, keep in mind that it is important to learn what feedback is. Remember that feedback not only helps employees improve their skills and performance but also promotes a culture of open communication, trust, and continuous learning within the workplace. That’s where feedback surveys come into play.
How to ask employees for feedback: The process in 7 steps
Discovering how to ask for feedback from employees, specially in feedback surveys, effectively is a key aspect of fostering a culture of transparent communication and continuous improvement within organizations. However, it’s essential to approach this process in a strategic way to ensure that we ask for feedback effectively and employees feel comfortable sharing their thoughts.
How to ask for feedback the right way in 7 steps:
- Define the purpose and objectives.
- Design an appropriate feedback survey for employees.
- Choose the right timing.
- Communicate the importance of giving feedback.
- Offer diverse channels for feedback.
- Follow up on feedback and show appreciation.
- Implement changes based on feedback.
1. Define the purpose and objectives
Before embarking on a feedback survey, define your purpose and objectives clearly. Ask yourself: On which specific areas or processes would you like to receive feedback from employees? Clarity on your goals will help shape the focus of the pulse survey for employees.
2. Design an appropriate feedback survey for employees
Create a feedback survey that is concise, relevant and easy to understand. We recommend using a mix of open-ended and closed-ended questions to gather both qualitative and quantitative data. Ensure that the survey is user-friendly and non-offensive, avoiding ambiguous language and jargon. Provide clear instructions and assure employees of the anonymity and confidentiality of their responses.
3. Choose the right timing
Timing plays a key role when asking for feedback. Choose a time when employees are not loaded with work or pressured by deadlines. Consider launching the survey after a significant project or milestone to capture fresh insights.
4. Communicate the importance of giving feedback
Clearly communicate to employees why their feedback in these surveys is important. Emphasize that their input is valued, and it plays a vital role in improving the organization and individual growth. Highlight how feedback aligns with the company’s vision and goals, fostering a culture of continuous learning and development.
5. Offer diverse channels for feedback
Offer various channels for employees to provide feedback. Alongside the pulse survey for employees, encourage one-on-one meetings among managers and reports, or foster recognition messages among colleagues. These spaces for feedback empower employees to share their opinions and how they feel openly and in the way they are most comfortable with.
6. Follow up on feedback and show appreciation
Once the data from your feedback surveys have been collected and analyzed, don’t forget to follow up with employees. Also, express gratitude for their participation and acknowledge the value of their contributions. This step reinforces transparency and shows the commitment to acting upon the feedback received.
7. Implement changes based on feedback
The most important step is to demonstrate that opinions are not only collected, but serve as an open door to change. Identify actionable changes based on the data analized and communicate these initiatives to employees. This step instills confidence in the feedback process and encourages employees to continue sharing their perspectives in the future.
Asking for feedback from employees is an ongoing process that requires careful planning, open communication, and a commitment to continuous improvement. By following this step-by-step guide on how to ask for feedback, you can create a culture that values employee input and leverages their insights to drive positive change. Remember, that you can learn everything related to how to make feedback a habit in your company with our feedback guide.
How to ask for feedback: 4 Examples of the best methods to do it effectively
Learning how to ask for feedback from employees is highly valuable for organizations to identify areas for improvement, understand their strengths, and foster a culture of transparent communication.
However, companies need to learn how to ask for feedback effectively to ensure that feedback is solicited in a meaningful and actionable manner. So, what are the best methods we can use to ask for feedback?
- Anonymous feedback survey for employees
- Pulse surveys for ongoing feedback
- Performance reviews for 360 feedback
- One-on-one meetings for one-to-one feedback
Anonymous feedback survey for employees
One of the most common and effective methods to gather employee feedback is through anonymous surveys. In anonymous feedback surveys it is very important to ensure confidentiality, in this way employees feel comfortable sharing their honest opinions.
Make sure you design and launch feedback surveys with a purpose and goals behind it. If you don’t have a clear idea of what you’re looking for, you won’t be able to include relevant questions for your employees to answer.
Pulse surveys for regular feedback
Implementing regular pulse check-ins can be an effective way to solicit ongoing feedback. These brief, frequent check-ins can be conducted through quick surveys via online apps such as Nailted. This strategy helps in addressing concerns promptly and fostering a culture of continuous improvement.
In Nailted we distribute anonymous surveys to our employees each two weeks, covering a range of topics from work environment to leadership effectiveness. These pulse surveys provide valuable data that help us shape organizational policies and future People initiatives.
Performance reviews for 360 feedback
360-degree feedback involves gathering feedback from multiple sources, including managers, peers, and subordinates. This comprehensive approach provides a holistic view of an employee’s performance and development areas.
In Nailted, we conduct regular 360 performance reviews twice a year to help employees gain insights into their strengths and areas for growth, fostering a culture of continuous learning and development.
One-on-one meetings for one-to-one feedback
One-on-one meetings are a powerful method for asking feedback to employees. These one-to-one conversations create a safe and supportive space where employees can openly share their opinions, concerns, and suggestions.
In Nailted, all managers have one-on-one meetings once a month with their reports. In this way, all employees at Nailted have the opportunity to discuss their concerns and make sure someone will do something about it.
55 Questions for feedback: 8 factors to explore
When preparing a feedback survey, or even a pulse check-in, you must have present that within the employee experience, there are 8 factors we must look closely to really gather valuable feedback:
- Job satisfaction
- Corporate values
- Work environment
- Leadership and fellowship
- Employee recognition
- Professional development
- Employee engagement
To improve the employee experience is essential to preserve the aforementioned factors. But, how can we know what to do in order to preserve them? Here it is where asking the right questions in your feedback surveys comes into play! Take a look at the following questions that can serve as your feedback survey template.
11 Questions to ask for feedback on job satisfaction
- On a scale of 1 to 10, would you recommend [company name] as a good place to work?
- Do you feel your work serves a purpose?
- How would you rate your happiness at work?
- Do you like the work you do?
- Is the level of uncertainty you face at work reasonable?
- Are you involved in the decisions that affect your work?
- Do you feel you can maintain a balance between your work and your personal life?
- Have you noticed your work negatively affects your personal life?
- Do you feel overwhelmed at work?
- Do you have a reasonable workload?
- Considering your responsibilities, skills and experience, do you consider your salary fair?
6 Questions to ask for feedback on corporate values
- Do you like the mission and purpose of [company name]?
- Do you feel [company name] trusts you to achieve their mission?
- Do you think [company name] regulations are adequate?
- Do you think the goals lead [company name] in the right direction?
- Do you believe [company name] invests enough resources to achieve their goals?
- Do you think [company name] will be able to achieve their goals?
4 Questions to ask for feedback on work environment
- Do you think the work environment reflects the culture of [company name]?
- If a friend asked you if [company name] was a good place to work, would you say yes?
- Do you feel part of the team?
- Does [company name] encourage employees to innovate even though we know some initiatives may not work?
7 Questions to ask for feedback on communication
- How much importance does [company name] give to your opinions and suggestions?
- Does [company name] communicate clearly and effectively with employees?
- Are you satisfied with the frequency you receive feedback from your manager? And from your colleagues?
- Do you think the feedback you receive is helpful and accurate?
- Do you think the feedback you receive helps you grow and improve?
- If you had an idea for [company name] how likely would you be to share it?
- I feel I can freely express my opinion about [company name]?
10 Questions to ask for feedback on leadership and fellowship
- Are you satisfied with the frequency you communicate with your manager? And with your colleagues?
- How would you evaluate the contribution of your colleagues in achieving [company name] goals and goals?
- Can you count on your colleagues when you need help?
- Do you trust your manager?
- Do you think [company name] managers see employees as key to the company’s success?
- Do you feel your colleagues respect you? And your manager?
- Do you think your colleagues always act in good faith and with no bad intentions?
- Do you think your manager is concerned about your well-being?
- How do you rate your manager management skills?
- Is your manager aware of the problems that exist in the team?
5 Questions to ask for feedback on employee recognition
- Does [company name] celebrate your achievements and learnings?
- Does [company name] encourage employees to recognize the work of others?
- When you receive recognition for your work, do you think it is honest and meaningful?
- How would you rate the frequency with which you receive recognition for your work?
- Are you happy with the frequency your work is recognized?
8 Questions to ask for feedback on professional development
- Do you have the opportunity to grow within [company name]?
- Do you have the opportunity to improve your skills within [company name]?
- Do you understand how your work contributes to fulfilling [company name] goals?
- What are the chances that you will be able to access quality training or courses?
- Does [company name] provide you with a development plan to improve your skills?
- Are there people in [company name] who help you grow professionally?
- Do you feel you have enough freedom to decide how to do your job?
- Is your job a challenge for you?
4 Questions to ask for feedback on employee engagement
- Would you nominate [company name] for the best place to work awards?
- Do you consider yourself as an ambassador of [company name]?
- Would you recommend the products of services offered by [company name]?
- Would you buy [company name] products or services?
Refining employee feedback surveys: How to ask hard questions to employees
There’s a reason why we avoid asking hard questions, especially in the workplace. Asking hard questions can be uncomfortable. Asking hard questions can take courage. Asking hard questions can even be logistically challenging. But asking hard questions, especially in the case of collecting employee feedback, can be critical to your long-term success as an organization.
Why we don’t ask hard questions
Some questions–such as those concerning mental health or communication styles–might be considered “taboo.” Likewise, some questions might threaten to shatter the status quo at an organization, by eliciting answers that express dissatisfaction with company culture or leadership.
The avoidance of hard questions might simply be symptomatic of a lack of value for employee voices. When leaders view employees as a means to an end, or as cogs in a machine, they’re unlikely to make the effort to collect employee feedback.
The problem with that approach is that employers then fail to gather valuable insight that can help them improve their overall organization. Also, it doesn’t allow to build a healthy organizational culture that results in high retention.
Why asking hard questions delivers value
While posing hard questions to your employees may feel uncomfortable, the benefits make it well worth the effort.
The truth is, employee feedback can make or break the difference between an organization that’s healthy and thriving, and an organization that maintains the status quo to the detriment of their employee health, ability to grow, and ultimately, their profits.
Employee feedback can prevent turnover
High employee turnover poses an enormous cost to your organization. Not only does it represent a loss of labor, time, and knowledge, but it can also be extremely expensive. In fact, the cost of turnover can add up to 33% of an employee’s annual salary – easily adding up to tens of thousands of dollars, and potentially hitting six figures.
By collecting feedback, employers can strategically troubleshoot and resolve issues before they cause talent to leave. For example, asking an employee about their mental health can result in a productive conversation that helps employers learn how to mitigate stress and support their staff.
Employee feedback keeps curiosity alive
Successful founders often lose their curiosity. The problem with that? When leaders lose their curiosity about introducing new ideas or perspectives into their organization, they lose the ability to adapt and evolve in a beneficial way.
By asking so-called “hard questions” in the workplace, leaders can continue to stay curious, remain open to change, and be ready to bring their organization into a greater place of thriving and success.
Employee feedback builds a stronger organizational culture
Finally, collecting employee feedback builds a stronger company culture. When leadership asks employees what they think about their workplace, team members feel more valued and heard. Feedback, open communication, and transparency are encouraged. And ultimately, change and improvement are prioritized.
A few hard questions you may want to ask
As a People & Culture professional, you may be open to including hard questions to employees in your feedback surveys, but you don’t know exactly where to begin.
Here are some questions that you can ask your employees that can elicit valuable responses, and insight for your business.
How’s your mental health?
Talking to employees about their mental health may feel strange, especially in a corporate or organizational setting. But good mental health is not only foundational to having a happy, balanced life; it’s critical to working productively, remaining focused, and thriving at work.
High levels of stress and anxiety can plague your team members, as well as your management. One of the core sources of stress is leadership.
Asking about a staff member’s mental health also requires you to explain and define mental health to employees. You will also have to give some indicators of what “good mental health” might look like: the ability to manage stress, connect with others, and feel confident and self-assured at work.
How happy are you with your job?
Asking employees how happy they are with their jobs may seem obvious, but many companies don’t often do it. Employees rarely have an opportunity to communicate how they are actually feeling at work, whether they are happy, bored, stressed, overwhelmed, or frustrated.
Gauging job satisfaction has multiple benefits that serve both employees and employers. First, employees reap the benefits of knowing that their employee experience is valued, and their voices are heard. Next, employers are able to gain insight into how healthy their organization actually is, including how likely employees are to turnover or even to experience burnout, and how they are responding to initiatives to improve employee satisfaction.
Finally, asking employees how happy they are offers you a measurable metric that you can track over time to see how they are improving, or declining, in helping their employees to thrive.
How do you feel about our company culture?
Just because an employee is satisfied at their job doesn’t mean they think your organization is healthy. Asking employees an open-ended question about company culture may feel like a recipe for criticism, but it’s an important step towards developing actionable strategies for improvement.
When asked about company culture, employees may choose to share surprising insights or helpful advice that can help you create a better company culture. Employees may choose to share something as simple as “I wish there were more opportunities to socialize with colleagues” or as detailed as “I would appreciate a management style that was more hands-off, and helped us develop autonomy, rather than a dependence on hand-holding.”
In any case, asking employees about your organizational culture gives them an opportunity to partner with you in building a better, and ultimately, more successful, company culture.
Your employee feedback surveys with Nailted
How can you as People & Culture professional implement the best possible feedback and pulse surveys for employees? How can you ask hard questions in a way that’s efficient, convenient, and repeatable?
Nailted is an employee experience and engagement software based on feedback that allows People & Culture teams to regularly survey their staff members, ask for feedback, and provide opportunities for both critical feedback and encouragement. Through a combination of regular pulse surveys, eNPS (employee net promoter score) surveys, anonymous feedback surveys, performance reviews and one-on-one meetings, Nailted:
- Creates a “safe space” for employees to honestly answer hard questions.
- Builds a culture of transparency and feedback.
- Helps you understand your employees mood better, and in real time.
- Promotes job satisfaction, friendships, and motivation.
- Improves the overall employee experience.
Book a demo to discover how Nailted can help you create a system for asking hard questions. Ultimately, this helps you not to just breach the “discomfort” of asking hard questions; it helps you to build a repeatable process for gleaning insight from employee feedback.