Are Your Employees Telling the Truth?

To be an effective manager, you need to know the truth. The whole truth. And nothing but the truth.

But if you try to get constructive feedback from your employees by gathering them in a room and questioning them face-to-face, you probably won’t get the information you need.

It’s perfectly understandable. When feedback isn’t 100% positive, it can be uncomfortable to provide – especially when it has to be delivered up the organizational chart. Employees may be scared to share their true feelings with you, fearing negative repercussions.

Those true feelings, however, are exactly what you need to hear – because honest, constructive feedback is essential to helping people, and organizations, grow.

So if your “open door policy” and “candid” group discussions don’t elicit the insights you’re seeking, try gathering team feedback through a survey. With an anonymous survey:

  • Employees can speak their mind without regard for office politics, or fear of retaliation.
  • You get honest, unfiltered feedback, which may allow you to identify and resolve issues you didn’t even know existed.
  • Your team will feel actively involved in improving your organization, thereby increasing engagement.

Ready to give it a try? Use these tips to create a targeted, effective survey – and get the truth from your employees:

Choose a good survey tool. Google and Survey Monkey make it easy to create simple, effective feedback surveys.

Ask insightful questions. Knowing what to ask – and how to ask it – is crucial to drawing out actionable feedback. When designing survey questions:

  • Structure questions so they focus on “what,” not “who.” Ask for input about events, situations and trends.
  • Make employees responsible for brainstorming solutions. For each concern an individual describes, ask them to provide a few ideas for addressing it.
  • Test questions on a neutral party to see how they’re perceived and interpreted.

Structure questions for success. While the questions you choose will depend on your organization’s needs, use these guidelines to increase their effectiveness:

  • Balance rating-style questions with open-ended questions to gather input about issues you may not know about.
  • Ask your most important questions first (in case employees don’t take the time to complete the entire questionnaire).
  • Solicit both positive and negative feedback. Find out what’s right, as well as what needs to be improved.

Explain the “why.” You’ll get higher quality information if your employees understand exactly why they have to take time out of their day to provide it. Before you distribute your survey, make it clear how important feedback is to continual improvement – and what you intend to do with the information once you gather it.


Need honest feedback on your workforce management strategies?

Schedule a free consultation with your local PrideStaff office today.