One of the keys to keeping turnover low is creating and maintaining an environment where your employees love (or at least like) to come to work every day. And the best way to find out how much they like working for you is to ask them.
But many leaders are afraid to solicit feedback more than at the annual review. Why? First, they’re afraid to hear bad news. But who isn’t? Second, some are worried that if they learn of a problem, they have to do something about it. But if you heard about something that was making key employees dissatisfied, wouldn’t you want to address it somehow?
The upsides of getting regular feedback are pretty attractive:
– You can get a jump on problems before they fester.
– You’ll learn what your employees like about their job and the company, not just what irks them.
– Simply asking people what they think often makes them feel valued.
Here’s a sample process for obtaining regular employee feedback:
– Select key people who will be responsible for conducting feedback meetings and make sure they “buy in” to the value of the process.
– Create a questionnaire that covers the essential aspects of company life (e.g., things about the job that the employee likes/dislikes; satisfaction with their office or workspace; thoughts about supervisors, peers and direct reports; overall satisfaction with the company; what would raise their satisfaction).
– Make employees aware of the process.
– Set a schedule to interview each employee once a year in addition to the annual review. The ideal time is mid-year.
– Use employee feedback to create a list of action items to be handled by the employee’s direct supervisor or your HR department
Creating an atmosphere where people feel their thoughts matter leads to people communicating more of what they’re thinking.
And the more data you have, the more effectively you can lead …