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The Path to Organizational Growth is Paved with the Stones of Unfiltered Feedback

Don’t ask the question if you can’t stand the answer. A common adage, but in the business world this doesn’t hold true. If you think you might be presented with something that’s difficult to hear by asking your people for their unfiltered feedback, that’s the only reason you need to ask the question.

Growth can be an uncomfortable process. Just as muscle tissue must first break down to build up strength, sometimes managers must face the fact that they need to evaluate and change their processes for the company to grow. 

Employee surveys give you the kind of unfiltered feedback you need to perform those evaluations. The results might tell you that you’re on the right path, but often they’ll tell you the opposite. The key thing to remember is not to look at negative feedback as criticism, but rather as information which you can use as a basis for improvement.

So, how do you pave the path to organizational growth by leveraging feedback? Here are seven ways to get the most out of your employee surveys:

Seek Unfiltered Feedback

When you filter something, you’re removing an aspect. For drinking water, sure, that’s good practice. But for gathering feedback it’s not. Don’t hesitate to ask the tough questions, which is the point of keeping employee surveys anonymous.

People have no reason to fear retribution for their responses if you question them about whether they like the choices in the lobby vending machine. They’ll gladly attach their name to that. But if you question them about your own management practices, people are far more likely to filter their responses and tell you what you want to hear. 

Unfiltered and anonymous feedback are virtually synonymous as anonymity is the only way to remove the safety filter that people build in to protect their job security.  

Welcome Feedback, Good and Bad

Make it clear from the outset, even during a job candidate’s first interview, that feedback is welcomed. Ideally, you’ll establish a workplace culture where people feel comfortable approaching management with concerns or new ideas in person. 

Don’t expect people to simply open up. Do you wonder why no one comes to you with concerns? Put yourself in your people’s shoes. They may have a logical fear of negative consequences if their unfiltered feedback isn’t flattering. 

It’s therefore up to you to create a safe and encouraging environment where honesty is valued – not feared. Even in ideal conditions, though, some people simply aren’t comfortable putting themselves forward like that. However, if the office environment welcomes and accepts feedback, then everyone will feel comfortable giving honest responses on employee surveys

Act on Feedback, Realistic or Not

Rachel van Dolsen, CEO of RVD Communications, says, “When I ask questions like ‘What can I do to better support your growth here?’ and ‘Is there anything you wish I didn’t say or do?’ how [I] act after is the most important. [That] will determine how honest employees will be with you moving forward. You need to prove that you value their opinion, then fix the problem and move right on.” 

Your people will learn quickly whether you practice what you preach. Subjecting them to frequent surveys leads them to believe that you care about their opinions. But if you never implement their suggestions or at least address them, they’ll start filtering their feedback to give you what you want to hear. Not acting on unfiltered feedback negates the reasons for collecting it in the first place.

You need a platform like Olumo that turns feedback into live, easy-to-read dashboards. You need the ability to quickly view historical trends or even create advanced custom reports. See how Olumo works!

Confront Known Issues

Don’t just acknowledge the elephant in the room – point it out and dissect it. You don’t always need an employee survey to tell you when there’s a problem if it’s already staring you in the face. 

Don’t just listen but respond. Show your people you truly care by enacting changes where necessary and see your company grow. Not only is listening to your people incredibly important for your business, it’s remarkably easy to implement a simple and user-friendly anonymous feedback system like Olumo.

In such cases, you can use a survey to proactively address the problem in honest terms, rather than to try to pinpoint it. Your people may have the answer to a workplace quandary that has eluded you. You just need to ask! If the situation you’re addressing is a sensitive one, that’s one more reason to ask for anonymous feedback

Focus on Employee Experience

Who knows better about employee engagement, you or your people? Employee surveys can tell you so much more than how everyone feels about their pay and benefits. Surveys can also help you get a feel for how engaged people are with their jobs.

For example, ask your people questions like:

  • Do you enjoy your job responsibilities? 
  • Do you feel you’re appreciated? 
  • Are you treated as a contributing member of the organization? 
  • Are you supported by management?
  • Has training been adequate? 

By targeting survey questions toward the matter of the workplace experience, you can better understand everyone’s needs and take steps to fulfill them. This, of course, can lead to improved retention.

Get Feedback from Everyone

Although manager behavior is one of the reasons that people give for leaving an organization, one in three people say that they have a coworker who makes them want to quit. 

Therefore, employee feedback shouldn’t focus solely on management. Every person in the organization can benefit from knowing how they’re perceived and how well they’re performing. According to research by Gartner, “Peer feedback is particularly valuable, and can boost employee performance by 14 percent.” 

Keep in mind that you’ll need to handle this type of survey delicately and with positivity. Anonymous feedback is a must in this scenario.

Improve Retention

Your people can also be a helpful source of unfiltered feedback regarding why good people leave. Turnover is a reality in every organization, but managers can keep it at manageable levels if they understand their people and stay aligned with their needs.

A focused employee survey can zero in on what people are feeling dissatisfied and the source of that dissatisfaction. Collecting this information will give you opportunities to mitigate problems before those problems become resignations.

Get Unfiltered Feedback Today 

At Olumo, we offer a simple platform that your people can use to give wholly anonymous feedback. Identities of respondents aren’t revealed, thus creating a safe space for true voices to be heard.

With our employee surveys and polls, you can gain valuable information on what people think of the workplace experience, as well as find the answers to your most important questions in a safe fashion. Everyone should feel welcomed to share their thoughts without fear of judgment or consequences. 

Ready to pave the path to organizational growth? Use the power of millions of daily data points to gain deep insights into how you’re doing. Text us anytime at 385.213.1030. Don’t just imagine the insight you could learn – take action today!