Companies worldwide are realizing that one of the most undervalued assets they possess is their employees. A tightening job market and analytics-driven insights into people behavior are driving this realization. Companies are now investing in programs that enrich employee experience (EX) at work. According to this Gartner report, more than half the HR leaders surveyed give high priority to EX.
A fundamental component of a successful EX program is employee feedback. How can companies develop a feedback program that engenders a better workplace?
Establish an Environment that Encourages Feedback
Good relations start with healthy conversations. Executives and HR leaders must convince employees that their voices are heard. A good way to do this is to promptly share the results of feedback surveys, no matter how critical they may be of the company and its leaders. This will convince the employees that the leadership is open to all feedback.
Establish Credible Feedback Systems
The key to the credibility of feedback systems is the avoidance of self-serving behavior. Often, employee feedback is sought only when it matters to the company, not the employees. This will discourage employees from participating. Employees must feel that feedback systems in the company have employee focus as well as company focus. A credible feedback system is like taking the pulse of a patient; it is routine, frequent and drives quick remedial action.
Company leaders need to walk the talk to build credibility in their feedback systems, and hence EX programs. This study from the Harvard Business Review finds that employees pick up much more quickly than their leaders when a company is not walking the walk. Qualtrics reports that only 30% of employees believe that their companies act on their feedback. It is not necessary for company leaders to enact dramatic changes to build employee confidence; small but consistent changes in response to employee feedback are sufficient.
EX programs must adapt as the needs of employees change. They should also grow beyond HR to encompass all departments in the company. If EX programs succeed in doing that, it will not only improve the bottom line but enhance company reputation and customer satisfaction.