It’s not easy to hear yourself being critiqued. Not when you are running a company with hundreds of employees. At the same time, getting honest employee feedback is also challenging. When asked, employees generally hesitate to voice their issues. Which ultimately results in no feedback, false impressions, and a hunky-dory situation where everything on the surface seems streamlined.

But this is not going to work if you want to achieve honest feedback. In order to constantly grow, you need to receive serious feedback from employees.

For this, you will have to mine unique ways of understanding what employees think of you, without actually putting them under the spotlight. Here, we state four unique ways of eliciting honest and constructive employee feedback that will help you grow and scale without making employees uncomfortable.

Honest Employee Feedback 1

1. Pay Attention to Non-Verbal

Action speaks louder than words. Well, that holds true while collecting feedback as well. Employees generally withhold their thoughts when asked to give honest feedback. And even if they do speak, chances are they may sugarcoat the entire thing and convey a completely different narrative.

This is where you need to pay attention to non-verbal cues.

Start by understanding the difference between employee’s words and body language. Spot contradictions between both and try to accurately assess what you see. For instance, avoiding eye contact while conversing, the cheerful employee suddenly turning silent, fidgeting while conversing, or getting defensive too often.

These may just be a few of the many non-verbal cues that you can pick on to draw out honest employee feedback. You can also go beyond these cues and look for something unusual in the employee pattern. Ask specific questions while stating these cues and understand what makes them anxious. This lets the employee know that you are aware of their uneasiness and want to genuinely understand and address it.

2. Ask Right Questions

“Do you have any feedback?”

“Anything you want to say about the company?”

Questions like these wouldn’t help you extract any concrete information. In most cases, employees might not even say anything or end up only with positive feedback. You should frame a specific question to pull out the exact response you look for.

For instance,

Instead of asking “Do you have any feedback”, ask “How Did That Project Go?”, “How We Could Have Handled it Better?” or “What Changes You Can Suggest In Our Company Policy?”

Be as specific as you can to ensure, there are minimal chances of dodging honest feedback. Also, collect feedback promptly. If you have introduced a new change into the organization, take feedback within one month to understand how employees are coping up, and use the collected feedback to improve the process.

Right Feedback Questions (1)

3. Anonymous Feedback Option

It’s not easy for employees to provide feedback to managers or HRs as the fear of backlash constantly dangles over their heads. Due to this, most of the employees avoid giving feedback or only give positive or neutral feedback.

Anonymous feedback strategy overcomes this trouble. It gives a safe platform to employees where they can keep their hearts out and share what they feel about the company without fearing the consequence.

For this, you can implement the old school method of placing a suggestion box at the entrance or go for a digital alternative. You can also send a survey form that incorporates important feedback questions to help you answer some burning organizational issues.

4. Conduct Informal One-On-One Sessions

Formal sessions often end up with superfluous discussions. To understand the nerve and get the ball rolling, you need to go beyond the formalities and break the ice with an informal conversation.

An informal setting makes employees more comfortable and at ease. It gives employees the right space to talk and eliminates any barrier to the conversation that may hamper the employee’s comfort.

But it all needs to start with you.

You should build a rapport with your employees that allows them to open up in an informal one-on-one setting. Because if you are not welcoming and your employees aren’t comfortable, then all your efforts to collect honest feedback would go in vain.

Honest Employee Feedback

Added Tip

Once you have jotted down all the key areas of improvement, keep a constant check on its progress. All the feedback collection efforts are futile if you don’t constantly follow-up with the employees on its progress. Employees feel valued if employers invest their time in following up the feedback.

Read More: Five Innovative Ways to Manage Employee’s Mental Health 

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