Businesses want feedback from their employees. Supervisors want feedback from their workers. The problem is that businesses are not getting honest feedback. Companies are not hearing how employees really feel about the way a business is run or how supervisors manage.
And, as long as companies solicit this feedback in the form of emails or conversation or even notes, the firms are never going to get the truth they seek. Employees don’t want to take the risk of losing their jobs or being targeted for some other reprisal.
Another big reason employees do not offer feedback is that they do not really believe it will make a difference, that the company will take any action.
What can companies do to combat this fear of speaking up? The best way to get honest answers is to make employee surveys anonymous. Giving employees anonymity will take care of the fear factor. One effective way of doing this is to use online voting tools that incorporate anonymous surveys.
Employees can say what they really feel, knowing they will be protected by anonymity. And the surveys are set up so that companies can ask about any topic of concern. Moreover, all of the responses are stored in one database, making it easier to analyze the responses.
Anonymous surveys help with more than just providing honesty.
They help improve employee engagement because workers can say what they really feel. If they have a gripe about something or frustration, they can be candid about it, making it a possibility that something will be done.
Using an online survey format also enables companies to get more clear and precise answers. For example, if an employee says he or she is not happy, that does not reveal a lot because it is hard to determine how disgruntled the person is. On the other hand, if he quantifies his anger on a ten-point scale, you get a much better feel for his mood. Using scales like this are more helpful. Plus there are opportunities for more open ended responses.
One criticism of these types of surveys is that they do not allow for any follow up discussion. But that doesn’t have to be the case. After managers have reviewed the results, they can hold meetings with their teams to discuss the responses and appropriate action to those responses.