Does your organisation really want feedback?

Where is the line between feedback and moaning?

Employee feedback surveys have been conducted across businesses since the 90s after research found a link between employee satisfaction and revenue growth. Fast forward to today and businesses are gathering feedback more frequently and quicker than before thanks to technology and its low cost.

Technology means it's now even easier for companies to find out if employees are happy and what they need to improve or remove from their business. Of course there will always be companies who gather this information for information's sake, but there will also be a lot of others who use it to listen and act. Those who use it to listen are the ones who will be happy to receive your feedback about the business and about how its employees are truly feeling.

Is feedback always negative?

One major downside of feedback surveys is that many employees are concerned with responses being traced back to them and negative comments could jeopardise their jobs. It's worth pointing out though that most companies collect their data anonymously which means your responses should be untraceable.

How First Response are changing things

When we ask for employee feedback we do it to try and change our business for the better. We want to know employee's genuine feelings without the fear of being labelled as a negative person, but also giving us an opportunity to understand their concerns in more detail.

We understand that our employees are people. We know that everyone is an individual with their own personal worries, concerns and preferences and we want to find out what these are. We're a Sunday Times Best Company and we believe we got there by understanding the importance of balancing employees' thoughts and feelings with the business needs. We want to make sure feedback isn’t ignored or overlooked and we genuinely want to change things to improve our culture. To do this (and keep our turnover low) we have several things we do:

  • Best Companies survey
    This runs annually and gives staff an opportunity to have their say using an anonymous survey. All responses are collated and compared against other companies to create a list of Top 100 Companies to Work For.
  • Pulse meetings
    Our CEO and Head of HR hold regular meetings with staff to discuss their concerns, thoughts, and feelings. Several changes have been made off the back of these such as XYZ.
  • Company updates
    Twice per year our management team update the business on how it’s going, what’s coming and what we've been working on, there's also opportunities for staff to have their say or ask questions.
  • Ask Don
    Our monthly newsletter feature where employees can ask our CEO pertinent questions and get a measured response. 
  • Company conference
    Every winter we hold our annual conference with is an opportunity for all staff from all three offices to get together, exchange ideas, and discuss their ideas.
  • An open and honest environment
    Where people are encouraged to share their feedback in the moment, whether this be with the management, their peers, or the teams we operate within.

Of course, there’s always room for improvement. Our team are continually collecting and looking at staff feedback for further ideas on how we can truly put people first.

Feedback surveys can improve businesses

Isn't feedback negative?

This completely depends on the feedback. If you want to simply point out issues with no ideas on how to improve then perhaps you are being negative. If you're able to see flaws as well as a way to improve them then there's a chance you’re being constructive. Regardless of whether your feedback is justified they may be shared by numerous other people and it may be the one thing that the management team have been unable to put their finger on. It's a fine line between feedback and negativity and its one that organisations are unlikely to know unless experienced. Companies should make sure they're asking the questions and having the conversations to truly understand feedback and what's happening within the business.

Unfortunately, we can’t speak for every organisation but at First Response you can be safe in the knowledge that we care about feedback, and do our best to evolve our culture.

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