Are You Soliciting the Right Kind of Employee Feedback?

These days, we're used to having our opinions solicited and heard. If you’re leading a company, you know you need to have a system in place to hear and respond to customer feedback. But, have you done anything to solicit feedback from your team members? Beth Benjamin recently explained how to design an internal feedback loop that can impact your bottom line the right way.

Many companies don’t bother to solicit employee feedback at all. OR, if feedback is solicited, nothing changes. This situation is unfortunate as employees who personally interact with clients often have first-​hand knowledge and ideas about how the company could improve these interactions and ultimately keep these clients.

Based on research she initiated with other industry experts, Benjamin uncovered a few truths about why more organizations aren’t linking feedback systems from employees with those from customers. She believes organizational design is often a significant barrier, especially in large companies. To carry out any plan to improve feedback systems, the CEO may need to get involved. Beyond that, Benjamin identifies several strategies to put a good system in place:

Design Feedback Systems to Capture the Right Data – If you’re revamping your feedback systems, think first about the key objectives you’re trying to meet. Then, make sure you ask the questions that will give you information to meet those objectives.

Establish Proper Frequencies – Once a system is in place, you might be eager for constant feedback. That attitude shifts a big burden onto both clients and employees. Consider establishing feedback-​free periods. Doing so shows you’re being respectful of people’s time, especially clients who may burn out on constantly being asked how you’re doing.

Use the Information – Employees who take the time to offer their honest opinions about what’s happening in the company also want to know if they’re making a difference. Make sure to communicate how feedback is being used to revise company processes or establish new goals.

Leaders who engage team members and solicit opinions across all levels of the organization will strengthen operations and increase loyalty.

Kathy Crosett
Kathy is the Vice President of Research for SalesFuel. She holds a Masters in Business Administration from the University of Vermont and oversees a staff of researchers, writers and content providers for SalesFuel. Previously, she was co-​owner of several small businesses in the health care services sector.