Give them a chance to say it behind your back: 5 steps to a great feedback survey

Recent years have seen a surge in the popularity of 'real-time feedback' and 'pulse surveys', focusing on very regular (like think weekly!) feedback opportunities.

Now, don't get us wrong, we think regular opportunities for feedback are a great thing, and performance feedback should never be withheld until a formal performance review situation. BUT, we do think we can get 'feedback fatigue' when those weekly and fortnightly pulse surveys come around a little too often!

We recently wrapped up a team engagement survey project with one of our fab clients, and we've scheduled to do a follow up survey this time next year. We think for them, and most small businesses, that timing is juuuust right!

An annual survey (or biannual survey if you're going through a lot of significant change) allows time to consider the snapshot in time the survey represents, take on the feedback, action plan and implement change; amongst everything else you and your team have on their plate! 

Giving people a confidential and anonymous forum to provide feedback is also important amongst all the team and individual check-ins, one-on-ones and performance feedback sessions that happen face-to-face. We’ve found people are more likely to honestly open-up about their thoughts and experiences when their data won’t be tracked back to them, or even just because they’ve been asked a targeted question and have some time to write down a response.

We've included the 5 steps of our team survey process and why it's one of our most cherished people tools!

1. Design killer questions.

We tap into all the big areas: culture, customers, role specifics, management, improvements, and a form of net promoter score (or ‘would you recommend to a friend?’); to get an accurate picture of your teams morale, satisfaction and engagement. If there's something in particular happening in your team you want to target (for example safety initiatives, process changes, uniform feedback, etc), let's ask about it!

2. Communicate, encourage buy-in and collect data.

Informing the team about why the data is being collected, and what will be done with it, means we can reach our lofty response rates of 85%+. Having the process run by an external party helps to further reinforce the confidentiality and anonymity that are so important in gathering raw, honest feedback! Depending on resources we can also offer paper based solutions to compliment the online completion for employees that don’t have regular or private access to a computer/email address.

3. Analyse and present to decision makers.

We trawl the data and then present each question to you along with our insights and recommendations for maintenance or change! We’re not novices at this and so we can also compare your data with other businesses we’ve worked with and talk you through how your team benchmarks.

4. Present to the team and action plan.

It’s super important to close the loop and get the summarised feedback back to the team. This means they have visibility and can take ownership over the planned changes that result. We can even facilitate focus groups or workshops to brainstorm solutions or gather further feedback if any aspects need a deeper dive before actions can me mapped out.

5. Make change.

Now it's time to walk the talk and get those action plans in motion. Of course, we love to get our hands dirty here too and can help to tackle some of the bigger ticket items with you. It can also be a great idea to set up ‘task-forces’ to each tackle one or two aspects of the action plan, take ownership and follow through. This can be a great way to offer those craving opportunity with a project that will not only take something off your to-do list but also have a positive impact on the team!

As we speed towards the end of the year, it's a great time to throw your team the mic and hear what's on their mind; with the bonus of getting a head-start on your people & culture strategy planning for 2020!

For more tips on communicating with your team, check out one of our other blogs here!