To grow an organization, honest employee feedback is what many HR departments seek. However, it’s not an easy task to convince your employees to open up and share it, and that is why we’ve come up with this article. So, buckle up, and let’s discover how you can encourage employee feedback and why exactly it’s so important.
- Why is Employee Feedback Important for HR?
- Why are Employees Hesitant to Share Feedback?
- Top Strategies for HR to Encourage Employee Feedback?
Why is Employee Feedback Important for HR?
If you’re a member of an HR department or an owner of a small company or organization, then you probably know this statistic, but just in case, we’re going to stress it again (might as well do it with bold): companies that invest in employee feedback have 14.9% lower turnover rates than organizations that don’t. It’s not a secret how high turnover can damage any company like an evil plague, so taking all of this into account, it’s pretty obvious how important employee feedback is for any company and its HR.
However, there’s still a long list of reasons why HR and organizations encourage employees to voice their opinions, complaints, and ideas, and here are some of the main ones:
High Employee Engagement: Feedback provides insights into employees’ thoughts, concerns, and satisfaction levels, so when HR listens to and acts on this feedback, it can lead to a more engaged and motivated workforce. Moreover, engaged employees are mostly more productive and committed to their jobs.
Quick Identification of Issues, Effective Solutions: Because HR pays attention to what employees say, they can identify potential issues within the organization before they become bigger. Those issues can be interpersonal conflicts, workflow inefficiencies, or policy concerns. Addressing these issues promptly can prevent companies from escalating and negatively affecting the work environment.
Mutual Trust: HR relies on open lines of communication to understand employee needs and concerns. Employees in their turn, feel like they can openly talk about whatever ideas or concerns they have and be taken seriously, without fallout. This improves communication and builds trust between HR and employees.
Reduced Turnover: As we’ve mentioned above, high employee turnover is troublesome: it costs too much money, energy, time, and resources. Feedback helps HR understand why employees leave and what could have been done to retain them. By acting on this feedback, HR can work to reduce turnover.
Compliance and Legal Protection: Gathering feedback and addressing issues promptly can help HR maintain compliance with labor laws and regulations. It also demonstrates a commitment to creating a safe and respectful work environment, which can be a defense against legal issues.
Healthy Work Environment: Gathering feedback on stress, work-life balance, and health and safety can help HR design policies and programs that support the well-being of employees. Besides, it’s the most powerful and quick way to detect bullying, harassment, and other toxic behaviors and create a safer and healthier work environment for all employees.
Organizational Growth: As HR works to improve employee satisfaction and address issues, the organization as a whole can experience growth and improved performance. A content and motivated workforce is more likely to contribute to the company’s success. We like to say: happy employees, happy employers.
Why are Employees Hesitant to Share Feedback?
Understanding the importance of employee feedback is not going to solve the problems of HR, because the actual execution is what brings the desired result. Most of the time, encouraging your employees to give feedback becomes a difficult task, since many are hesitant to share it for several reasons. Once you understand the reason, you’ll easily find the best strategy for your organization to collect it.
To help you solve this task, we’ve made a list of common reasons for this hesitation:
- Fear of Retaliation: Employees may fear that sharing negative feedback or concerns about their work environment could lead to negative consequences, such as retribution, job loss, or career stagnation. They may fear that their feedback will be weaponized against them or their colleagues.
- Perceived Futility: They may feel that their feedback won’t make a difference. If they believe that their concerns will be ignored or that the organization is not receptive to change, they are less likely to speak up.
- Lack of Anonymity: Employees may worry that their feedback won’t be kept confidential, especially if they are critical of management or colleagues. Anonymity is important for addressing sensitive issues.
- Inadequate Channels: If an organization lacks effective and confidential channels for providing feedback, employees may not know where to go or how to share their concerns.
- Uncertainty about How to Provide Feedback: They may not know how to effectively provide feedback or feel uncomfortable doing so. They may be concerned about sounding too negative or critical.
- Lack of Time: Work demands and busy schedules can discourage employees from taking the time to provide feedback. They may feel they have more urgent tasks to complete.
- Cultural or Language Barriers: In diverse workplaces, employees from different cultural backgrounds or non-native English speakers may face challenges in providing feedback effectively and be scared of saying something they don’t mean.
Note that the reasons may vary for every individual, but once you find the most common ones in your organization, you’ll easily find the right solution to and strategy.
Top Strategies for HR to Encourage Employee Feedback
And now, it’s time to come up with a strategy, that will encourage your employees to freely share their feedback. Here are some top strategies HR can use to promote employee feedback:
1.Ensure Anonymity When Necessary
Since the lack of anonymity is one of the main reasons why many employees avoid sharing their feedback, it’s important to provide anonymous options for feedback. It will allow employees to express their concerns, complaints, and opinions without fear of the potential consequences.
With this in mind, Lucky Carrot has recently launched an AI-driven Employee Feedback feature, which is a safe space where employees can share their ideas, both openly and anonymously: it’s up to them, really. HR and employees can connect through the chat the platform provides and have a talk about every aspect of their job and work environment. Lucky Carrot Employee Feedback feature also provides an enhanced dashboard insight for HR representatives to recognize the hidden patterns of negative feedback, common pain points, recurring problems, historical dynamics, etc.
Moreover, with the help of AI-based recommendations Lucky Carrot provides, HR representatives can save their time and energy, and come up with a quick solution for every problem they face or simply get inspired.
Ready to start your journey with Lucky Carrot Employee Feedback right away? Schedule your demo for more personalized information!
2.Create a Culture of Open Communication
Establish a culture where open and honest communication is not only welcomed but also very much a part of their daily employee life. Offer a variety of feedback channels, including one-on-one meetings, suggestion boxes, anonymous surveys, and digital feedback platforms. Make sure these channels are easily accessible and user-friendly.
HR departments often use technology to collect feedback from employees. Technology can streamline the feedback collection process, improve data accuracy, and provide valuable insights for decision-making.
As we’ve already mentioned several paragraphs above, many employees shy away from giving feedback, since they don’t really have a clue how to do it. That’s why you can provide training on how to give and receive constructive feedback effectively. This can help address concerns about how feedback is delivered.
5.Share Feedback Outcomes
Communicate the actions taken as a result of feedback. Share the organizational decisions, policy changes, and strategy development with your team that is based on the feedback you’ve received to show employees that their input directly shapes the organization. Their voice matters: this is what you should show them with your actions.
Some company HR departments appoint employee advocates or ambassadors who collect feedback from their peers and communicate it to HR. This can make the process more approachable and help foster a sense of engagement and ownership among their peers, encouraging them to actively participate in providing feedback. Employee advocates are typically seen as credible figures, which leads to more genuine and unfiltered feedback from their colleagues. This authenticity can help HR make more appropriate decisions.
And cut! Now you know the critical importance of employee feedback for HR and how it can lead to the success of an organization. With these actionable solutions, including ensuring anonymity, creating an open communication culture, using technology, etc., you can make a space where everyone’s free and eager to express their ideas, concerns, and opinions. You can also make their experience better with the help of Lucky Carrot’s AI-driven Employee Feedback feature to promote open dialogue and improve HR’s responsiveness.