Trust doesn’t come easy, but with some good habits on the part of survey professionals and management, your company can earn it.
“Do I look fat in this?”
Everyone with any sense will know there is just one answer to this. And everyone will recognize that slight annoyance being asked questions in a way where there is no room for constructive feedback.
“Yes, and your hair need some conditioner.”
In private life we don’t always want honest feedback, but in business we need to get as much as we can. We need our employees and customers to tell us if we’re getting fat and ugly.
Are you getting honest feedback from employees or are they just telling you what they think you want to hear?
Building trust can improve your feedback.
All survey professionals are concerned about response rates and the validity. Trust is a major factor in increasing both of these.
Especially in employment satisfaction surveys we find that many adjust their answers to what they think their bosses would like to hear. They do not trust that their answers won’t backfire on them. And even if the surveys are anonymous, people will adjust their answers to spare someone feelings.
3 simple leadership habits that build trust
Trust doesn’t come easy, but is a consequence of some good habits that every survey professional or management hopeful should adopt:
- Explain why you are asking, and what you are going to do with the answers. What is your motivation for this survey? If you don’t do this people will try and guess your agenda and you will lose control. Be very clear and precise on what you are planning to do with the feedback.
- ”Walk the talk & talk the walk”. There is absolutely no point in any survey if you do not do anything with the response. And if you want to build trust you have to tell what you have done. Follow up your quests by summarizing the survey and explaining what decisions and actions are being made based on that feedback. If you can add actual results, changed processes or any tangible evidence that can get people thinking “Hey! My feedback mattered!” - You are golden.
- Be consistent. Make sure people recognize your surveys and trust they will get the same information and follow-up every time. Strive to get the whole organization to be consistent about how it conducts surveys, so trust keeps building. Inconsistency will cause doubt. If you have to depart from the norm; explain why.
This is basically just good communication, but online quests and surveys are so easy to put together that we sometimes forget the fundamentals.
Oh, and by the way:
“You look amazing!”