Team Performance

Why Employee Feedback is Essential to Success

Post by
Sabina Reis
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Why Employee Feedback is Essential to Success

How satisfied and engaged are your employees? How do you even begin to measure employee engagement? If you had to guess, then now is an excellent time to consider how team surveys can transform your workplace. Feedback received via surveys provides the most direct way to gather, analyze, and act on issues before running into problems. With frequent sampling and proper execution, employers can provide their staff with a dynamic workplace environment that is suited for everyone’s needs. 

Why use employee surveys?

Team surveys go by many names - employee engagement surveys, employee satisfaction surveys, pulse surveys - but nonetheless have the same thing in common: providing insight into staff’s wellbeing, perspectives, and productivity levels. Only then can managers gain understanding on the conditions and culture required for highly successful teams. 

Employees are far more engaged in their work when they feel that their opinions are heard, valued, and taken action upon. It’s no wonder that these ideal conditions that create happy teams also increase employee retention rates as well. All things considered, it's evident that under the guidance of a proactive leader, teams flourish. 

From data to action 

As critical as it is to use the derived data to inform your management style, it’s even more important to utilize it in ways that actually make a difference to your team. Data can identify our shortcomings and strengths in leadership. This ensures everyone on the team that their time and opinions are valuable to the growth of the company. It’s worth noting that even if there is a problem that cannot be addressed immediately, making it known that you are aware of the issue still instils some sense of accountability to your staff. 

With this in mind, managers looking to benefit from team health surveys must be able to commit to the growth and change that they bring. Above all, when asking for your team’s valuable time each week to give feedback, a sense of trust must be in place that it will actually drive changes. Research suggests that only about only 6% of people say that “good suggestions or valid complaints from employees always lead to important changes” within their organization. That leaves quite a large percentage of staff who feel that their opinions do nothing within their company or team. 

So, what are some benefits of employee feedback?

1. Anonymity encourages honesty 

While employee surveys at large have many benefits, anonymous surveys bolster the advantage of increased honesty and authenticity. Without the fear of any negative repercussions for making a mistake or offending superiors, staff respond more genuinely. With these anxieties mitigated, surveys allow managers to get a clear picture of how their teams think, feel, and work together. Helping them fix issues, find patterns and communicate effectively with everyone on the team.  

While anonymity encourages honest feedback, it also promotes better response rates - directly impacting the quality of data received. In fact, anonymous surveys achieve upwards of 90% response rates when compared to public employee surveys - significantly increasing the value obtained from each weekly survey.  

2. Allows a deeper understanding of workplace dynamics 

You won’t get quality answers if you’re not asking the right questions. With continuous feedback from all of your team members, it's possible to get the inside scoop of stress-causing issues and areas of improvement for each individual and team. However, not all survey reports are indicative of challenges that need to be remedied, but also allow leaders to understand what they’re doing successfully on their teams.  

Anonymous surveys also provide a great opportunity to act as a catalyst for unbiased decision making. Employees can weigh in on issues and changes that affect their work-life, giving leaders a better sense of direction without worrying about outside influences and biases. This way, there are no surprises for either end, and everyone is on the same page. 

3. Provides 1-on-1 meeting dialogue

An indirect advantage of employee surveys is that they can serve as a guideline to structure 1-on-1 meetings. Any pressing concerns or negative trends can be brought up and discussed candidly in general terms to gain a better understanding of its impact. By following up on trends, both positive and negative, employees realize that  managers acknowledge their feedback and are looking to mobilize a solution. 

4. Use report data for historical comparison. 

When surveys are used consistently throughout the year, historical data is captured for all holidays, fiscal quarters, and seasons. The unwavering flow of feedback and information gives managers a unique opportunity to measure trends, employee engagement, and productivity rates. For example, if you notice productivity declines around Christmas, you may introduce new initiatives to keep motivation and energy rates high. 

As new measures are implemented in response to survey data, any subsequent surveys will measure the efficacy of efforts put forth. Here, depending on the trends in data, you may modify or eradicate certain initiatives. 

5. Improves company communication 

Depending on the type of questions that you ask your staff, you can almost instantly understand how well your communication strategies are performing. Asking questions like the effectiveness of internal communication tools’ can highlight preferences (like chat apps vs email) and allows opportunities for employees to provide their input on what works best for them.

During COVID-19, administering surveys while managing remote teams is particularly useful as in-person communication becomes obsolete. Now that workplace chats, emails and Zoom meetings take over, employee feedback is the only way to manage effectively. As a diagnostic tool, surveys ensure that dissatisfaction and disengagement don’t go unchecked within a virtual workplace. 

6. Empowers your team members

Business leaders are coming to realize that asking for employee input has a far greater reach in regards to overall productivity and satisfaction than compensation. Doing so regularly ensures that teams feel included in the company they invest so much in. Even research suggests that employees value culture and career growth potential twice as most as they value their pay and benefits. 

Studies like these just goes to show how important it is for us to feel seen and heard. More than anything, the concept of employee surveys are centered around giving your employees a voice. The small act of asking for feedback can aid in unearthing opportunities to increase employee engagement throughout your team and the organization as a whole. Here, everyone becomes a valued part of the organization, all contributing towards the same goals.  

7. Drives innovation and growth 

These real-time results generate copious amounts of information to drive change on ineffectual processes and dynamics. For instance, a trend showing a decrease in employee satisfaction can provide ample opportunity for a manager to ramp up their engagement strategies. The fruits of their labor will be shown in subsequent surveys where they can modify or tailor their efforts.

As previously mentioned, employee retention rates increase within companies that use surveys. Typically, when a company has disgruntled employees, they don’t tend to share their negative feedback or experiences before they quit - leaving many questions unanswered. As feedback is given on a routine basis, there may be indications as to where dissatisfaction stems from, or sources of discomfort. Additionally providing much needed insights into pain points within teams. 

8. Easily measure employee engagement

Employee surveys are the most effective way to measure how engaged your team is. This level of engagement directly influences the productivity and performance of employees. Even at its core, engagement surveys allow employees’ opinions to be heard, increasing their perceived value and increasing their loyalty to their manager and company.

Particularly, when survey questions are intentional and well researched, great managers are held accountable to identify opportunities that increase employee engagement. Even Gallup’s research ascertains employees’ whose managers regularly provide feedback are nearly 3x more engaged than managers who do otherwise. 

Take advantage of employee feedback 

At simplteam, we’re dedicated to making manager’s jobs easier. Our adaptive team management software automatically sends weekly employee surveys that ask research-based questions to easily generate concise reports. Giving you relevant and useful insights to your team's health, engagement, and productivity. Sign-up for a free 3-week trial today.