Strategies for Meaningful Employee Feedback in the Workplace

Lauren Wada

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Lauren Wada

Author

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If you’re an HR professional, you know how important it is to survey your employees. You also know that it’s possible to do too much of a good thing. You’re justifiably cautious, maybe even fearful, about running too many employee surveys. You’ve probably had thoughts like these:

  • “What if we’re unable to act on the feedback we get?”
  • “What if we’re surveying employees too often? Will they stop responding to future surveys?”
  • “Our people already have a lot on their plates. I don’t want to overburden them by adding an employee survey to their to-do lists.”

These are all valid concerns—but they shouldn’t hold you back from running employee surveys. With a little planning, you can gather timely, valuable insights about your workplace without annoying your colleagues.

When to Survey Employees: 2 Questions to Ask

There’s no one-size-fits-all frequency for conducting surveys. However, there are two simple questions you can ask that will help you figure out the timing that works for your organization.

What’s My Goal for This Survey?

Before running an employee survey, make sure you know why you’re doing it. This will help you ask questions that give you the most useful feedback.

Here are some possible survey objectives:

  • Learn how to better support my employees during a crisis
  • Get feedback on how to improve remote work policies
  • Gather baseline data to track how your company culture changes over time

Will Leadership Be Able to Act on the Survey Results?

Before launching an employee survey, ensure your leadership teams have the bandwidth to act on the survey results in a timely fashion. For example, if your company is in the middle of a major project or busy season, it might not be the best time to launch a survey. If now isn’t the right time of year to run your survey, that’s OK! Figure out when would be a better time—and commit to it. Don’t put it off indefinitely.

Survey Employees at Least Once a Year

If you aren’t gathering feedback at least once a year, you might fail to notice changes in your employee experience. Regular surveys can help you keep up with the changing needs of your people.

One-on-one check-ins are also valuable, but not everyone is comfortable sharing feedback in person. Employee surveys give people a way to express themselves openly, honestly, and confidentially. They also provide the data you need to get buy-in for new initiatives.

Advanced Listening Calls for Pulse Surveys

Many organizations with advanced listening strategies survey employees more often than once a year. They may collect feedback and data semi annually, quarterly, monthly, or even weekly.

Once you’re comfortable launching an annual survey, gathering feedback, and sharing the results with employees, consider surveying more often. But don’t just survey for the sake of surveying—it’s important to analyze the survey results and use them to inform your next survey:

  1. First, look at the results from your annual survey and identify your main growth opportunities.
  2. After you’ve worked through the data, think about launching a pulse survey that focuses on one or two specific growth opportunities.

For instance, maybe your survey results show that your tenured employees are having a less positive experience than your new hires. You might follow up with a pulse survey geared specifically towards asking your new hires about their training and onboarding experience. You could also conduct listening sessions with longer-tenured employees to better understand why they’re having a less positive experience.

How Often Is Too Often? How to Avoid Survey Fatigue

Survey fatigue only occurs when it becomes clear to employees that leadership doesn’t take their feedback into consideration.

Here are some steps you can take to avoid this feeling:

  • Express genuine gratitude for your employees’ participation and feedback.
  • Facilitate listening sessions to gain more context into your survey results.
  • Summarize leaderships’ key takeaways and commitments to action.
  • Take action as promised.
  • Clearly communicate results from new initiatives and programs created as a result of the survey.

 

Whether you survey once, twice, or 20+ times a year, if you develop a careful listening strategy built on employee surveys, you’ll gain insight that helps you make more data-driven business decisions, support your people, and take impactful strategic action.

Ready to Start Your Pulse Survey Strategy?

Contact us to learn more about our Trust Index employee survey and how we can help you create a survey cadence for your organization in Indonesia. Optimize your HR strategy and ensure your employees’ voices are heard and acted upon effectively.

 

Lauren Wada

Rhea is a trusted solutions architect who enjoys co-creating with clients their people strategy to transform the vision for their organizations into a reality.  She has 25+ years of experience in leadership, human resources and organization development consulting working with private and public organizations across various industries in the Philippines and ASEAN.  Rhea is a certified Transformative Coach, a mentor to aspiring leaders and an advocate for employee wellbeing. “Every employee has a story and each story matters when it comes to shaping workplace culture. My commitment is to help my clients know these stories and discover its power.”  When off-line, Rhea connects with the environment through long-distance running and recycling bottles and plastic, a personal mission to help save the planet one bottle at a time.

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The data science behind this list from Great Place To Work®

Great Place To Work® has been surveying employees around the world about their workplace experiences for 30 years. We have developed a set of themes and metrics that not only predict whether employees feel their workplace is great, but predict retention, agility, and overall business success.  

Using our proprietary Trust Index™ survey, we measure the core of what we know creates great workplaces — key behaviors that drive trust in management, connection with colleagues, and loyalty to the company.  

The survey enables employees to share confidential quantitative and qualitative feedback about their organization’s culture by responding to 60 statements on a five-point scale and answering two open-ended questions.

Employees tell us whether leaders are accessible, communicate honestly and clearly, and if their actions match their words. They tell us whether they feel respected as individuals, if they receive training benefits, appreciation, support for their well-being and opportunities to contribute. They tell us whether they believe their company is fair related to pay, profits, promotions, recognition, favoritism and opportunities. They tell us if they are proud of their work, their team, and their company, and if they feel they make a difference and their work is meaningful. And they tell us whether they enjoy the people they work with, feel cared for and can be themselves.  

List rankings are based on this employee feedback, which we analyze to determine the extent to which this experience is shared by the full workforce. Great Place To Work measures the differences in survey responses across demographic groups and roles within each organization to assess both the quality and consistency of the employee experience. Statements are weighted according to their relevance in describing the most important aspects of an equitable workplace. 

The best companies create great work experiences not just for management, but also for their part-time employees on the front lines, for those who’ve just joined and those who’ve spent their whole career there, for every race and ethnicity, gender, neurotype, or other demographic in the organization – we look at it all. Companies with the broadest set of employees who report positive workplace experience receive the highest rankings on lists.

In addition to analyzing employee feedback, for National List’s for companies in the Medium and Large size categories, we also consider what a company can tell us about their programs and workplace strategy. Each company also answers six essay questions that provide greater insight into how, and why the organization is great for all people. Responses are rigorously evaluated and cross-reviewed according to Great Place To Work’s research-driven criteria. From what companies share in datapoints and essays, we identify the organizations that offer the most generous, caring and innovative cultures that reflect a genuine commitment to meet the diversity of their people’s needs inside and outside the workplace as validated by what employees themselves report in survey results.
Where an industry list is being revealed (i.e. Healthcare, Technology) additional information provided from an organization in the form of a culture audit will not be considered; rather we analyze employee feedback from the Trust Index survey with the above methodology.

Because employee feedback drives these rankings, surveys must meet strict requirements for how they are distributed and the percentage of employees who respond to ensure they accurately represent honest feedback from the company’s full population. To be eligible for the list, companies must be Great Place To Work Certified™, have 10 or more employees in the country they are being Certified, and be operating in the industry relevant to a specific Industry list if applicable (i.e. Healthcare, Technology). If categories are being listed within a National list, category break downs are as follows: Companies with 10-29 people were considered for the Micro category; those with 30 to 99 people for the Small category; companies with 100 to 999 employees were considered for the Medium category; and those with 1,000 or more for the Large category. Some lists in certain countries may combine categories in which case that will be specified in the list breakdown.
While essay responses provide important context for rankings, only survey data can garner a list placement.

The data science behind this list from Great Place To Work®

Great Place To Work® has been surveying employees around the world about their workplace experiences for 30 years. We have developed a set of themes and metrics that not only predict whether employees feel their workplace is great, but predict retention, agility, and overall business success.  

Using our proprietary Trust Index™ survey, we measure the core of what we know creates great workplaces — key behaviors that drive trust in management, connection with colleagues, and loyalty to the company.  

The survey enables employees to share confidential quantitative and qualitative feedback about their organization’s culture by responding to 60 statements on a five-point scale and answering two open-ended questions.

Employees tell us whether leaders are accessible, communicate honestly and clearly, and if their actions match their words. They tell us whether they feel respected as individuals, if they receive training benefits, appreciation, support for their well-being and opportunities to contribute. They tell us whether they believe their company is fair related to pay, profits, promotions, recognition, favoritism and opportunities. They tell us if they are proud of their work, their team, and their company, and if they feel they make a difference and their work is meaningful. And they tell us whether they enjoy the people they work with, feel cared for and can be themselves.  

List rankings are based on this employee feedback, which we analyze to determine the extent to which this experience is shared by the full workforce. Great Place To Work measures the differences in survey responses across demographic groups and roles within each organization to assess both the quality and consistency of the employee experience. Statements are weighted according to their relevance in describing the most important aspects of an equitable workplace. 

The best companies create great work experiences not just for management, but also for their part-time employees on the front lines, for those who’ve just joined and those who’ve spent their whole career there, for every race and ethnicity, gender, neurotype, or other demographic in the organization – we look at it all. Companies with the broadest set of employees who report positive workplace experience receive the highest rankings on lists.

In addition to analyzing employee feedback, for National List’s for companies in the Medium and Large size categories, we also consider what a company can tell us about their programs and workplace strategy. Each company also answers six essay questions that provide greater insight into how, and why the organization is great for all people. Responses are rigorously evaluated and cross-reviewed according to Great Place To Work’s research-driven criteria. From what companies share in datapoints and essays, we identify the organizations that offer the most generous, caring and innovative cultures that reflect a genuine commitment to meet the diversity of their people’s needs inside and outside the workplace as validated by what employees themselves report in survey results.
Where an industry list is being revealed (i.e. Healthcare, Technology) additional information provided from an organization in the form of a culture audit will not be considered; rather we analyze employee feedback from the Trust Index survey with the above methodology.

Because employee feedback drives these rankings, surveys must meet strict requirements for how they are distributed and the percentage of employees who respond to ensure they accurately represent honest feedback from the company’s full population. To be eligible for the list, companies must be Great Place To Work Certified™, have 10 or more employees in the country they are being Certified, and be operating in the industry relevant to a specific Industry list if applicable (i.e. Healthcare, Technology). If categories are being listed within a National list, category break downs are as follows: Companies with 10-29 people were considered for the Micro category; those with 30 to 99 people for the Small category; companies with 100 to 999 employees were considered for the Medium category; and those with 1,000 or more for the Large category. Some lists in certain countries may combine categories in which case that will be specified in the list breakdown.
While essay responses provide important context for rankings, only survey data can garner a list placement.