Collecting, tabulating, and providing feedback in an employee performance review is a time-honored tradition for most organizations. Unfortunately, it’s often a broken process.
There are many ways that employee feedback can go off the rails. For example, the information that is collected may not be relevant or timely, or the organization may rely on technology to handle what should be day-to-day conversations between managers and employees.
The future of employee feedback is here and it’s about putting people at the heart of the process.
HR needs to be strategic and work with the C-suite. However, the key to its future success is understanding that it needs to impact all of your employees and your operations in a tangible way, if it is going to add value.
Here are four ways to move your employee feedback process into its rightful place in your organization, supporting a strategic HR function and meeting the needs of your staff:
People – not Numbers – Should be at the Heart of Employee Feedback
Key Performance Indicators (KPIs), retention rates and engagement scores are all incredibly valuable, but only if they are used in conjunction with an understanding of how to use and apply that information at a level that actually impacts employees. While having this information in isolation may help HR to gain entry into the C-suite and be seen as more strategic, if there’s no follow-up to ensure employee feedback is used to improve performance companywide, your programs will fall short.
Employee Feedback Should be Fast and Frequent
Employee feedback offers a key indicator of the health of the organization – whether it is identifying which key employees may be unhappy, uncovering problems with a manager that can affect an entire department, or finding out where things may be going wrong with your customers. Collecting employee feedback just once or twice a year means you’re losing a major opportunity to grow, improve, and identify problems before they get out of control.
Providing fast and frequent opportunities for employee feedback helps create a more agile working environment where real-time conditions can be identified and responded to. Creating a culture of feedback now will help create tomorrow’s competitive advantage.
Technology Is Only Part of the Solution
While Questback is a technology platform, we also know that our most successful customers understand that technology is only part of the solution. Organizations need to foster a ‘feedback culture.’ Technology that facilitates the process for employee feedback offers a way to simplify and manage feedback, but it’s up to HR, front-line managers, and the executive suite to take that data and apply it.
For your employees and managers that are using technology to gather feedback, it can be a strong strategic enabler. However, it is important to understand that providing answers to a survey is no substitute for an actual conversation or opportunity to provide feedback face-to-face. The human factor matters more than the graphical dashboard managers see when they log in.
Everyone Needs to Walk the Talk
Creating a culture where employee feedback is a top priority means that every single person in the organization needs to walk the talk. To secure employee buy-in and create a deep belief that employee feedback is valued and important to the organization’s success, staff need to see it in action. This means that every single person in the organization, from the CEO down, needs to be included as part of the process. Feedback should not just be top-down – there should be opportunities for upward feedback in the 360o process as well. No department or team should to be excluded from the process, and everyone should understand that, if you’re part of this company, you take employee feedback seriously.