Employee Feedback Questions

15Five employee feedback software helps employees grow & develop in just 15 minutes a week.

Do you regularly ask your team for honest feedback? Do you know where they are struggling?

Employees will often not share information simply because they weren’t asked. Tap into how employees are feeling by regularly asking questions for employee feedback that surfaces challenges, concerns, triumphs and ideas for improvement. By actively soliciting employee feedback, managers can have an accurate, up-to-date picture of the overall health of the organization and their team, which can go a long way toward reducing the stress that comes from simply not knowing how things are really going.

15Five helps managers identify areas where employees need help, and creates a regular communication rhythm to help increase engagement and performance. But without a strategy in place, this type of communication can do more harm than good. For example, receiving feedback without offering an acknowledgement sends the message that feedback is not valuable and employees will be loathe to provide it again in the future. But as part of an overall employee performance plan, nothing is more valuable than feedback for increasing engagement, retention, and productivity.

Responding to feedback means investing in relationships and supporting team development and overall employee satisfaction. You are inviting people – who you may not know that well – to communicate about all aspects of their jobs and even their personal lives. This can feel rather daunting for employees, who can perceive a higher emotional risk if things don’t ‘go right’.

The foundation of feedback is trust, the understanding that transparency will benefit rather than undermine the working relationship. When managers explain that they are truly invested in learning about and improving an employee’s experience, that invites them to share candidly.

For example, a question you can ask is, “What would you like to be doing in 6 months that you aren’t currently doing?” This question demonstrates true concern for an employee’s personal and professional development, and deepens trust.

Free eBook: Get over 60 highly curated and expertly crafted questions you can ask your team for feedback on goals/OKRs, culture and productivity. Download here.

Despite the wide range of goals and cultural values that different companies establish, all leaders can benefit from a framework of solid communication practices. Here are some of the top benefits of soliciting regular employee feedback:

  1. Asking employees to share their triumphs is a great morale booster.
  2. Uncover employee challenges so that management can offer support.
  3. Discover personal issues that might be affecting performance.
  4. Uncover concerns at work before they become full-blown problems.
  5. Spark innovative ideas to improve the company or its products/services.

There are also highly effective ways to respond that create an authentic and positive experience for employees. Manager feedback should be action-oriented, crystal clear, and to the point. General comments like “Your work needs to be improved” or “I wasn’t very impressed with those reports: you have to do better than that” will leave your employee confused and in the dark as to what aspect of their work needs to be corrected.

Feedback doesn’t have to just be a response. Managers can also ask clarifying questions. If there’s an answer that proposes an idea or roadblock, ask “What do you think is the best way for us to implement this?” or “What resources and support do you need to make this happen?” Even responding with, “Tell me more” can do wonders to help people know that you care and desire further articulation of the idea.

If there’s a big issue that comes up, or it’s clear someone is experiencing a lot of negativity, this is a great time to reach out and set up an in-person conversation. Something like “Thanks for sharing. I’d love to learn more. How about coffee next Tuesday?”

Take care to not respond negatively to input which comes from an honest place.That will build animosity towards the feedback process, will result in attrition and/or neglect, and ultimately will lead to decreased quality in employee feedback. Helping someone to improve should always be the goal of constructive criticism. When you respond positively and graciously, you are letting the team know that answering these questions is an important aspect of their role.

15Five offers employees a voice and a soap-box to stand on. Instead of griping around the water cooler, they can get their concerns addressed by management. By building trusting relationships with employees, you encourage candor to access feedback. But by knowing how to respond to feedback, you will learn how to cultivate their genuine love for their work and dedication to your company.

Over time, the system starts to surface patterns within the organization. It can helps managers to spot defective processes, identify unmotivated employees, and notice overworked teams. Managers can then fix these problems before they get too big to handle.

Employee feedback and recognition are the vehicles that drive performance and growth for employees and companies alike. When leaders highlight the strengths of people at a company, they are far more engaged, productive and creative, and there are clear and measurable positive impacts to the bottom line.

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