Effective communication and feedback channels play a crucial role in fostering a healthy work environment and driving organisational success. However, it’s disheartening to know that 20% of workers still lack a suitable channel to express their views.
CIPD reported that “Most workers have some form of channel through which they can express their views, but one in five do not.” Which is a concerning figure for those employees who aren’t being given a platform to share their insights. And a concerning figure for organisations that are potentially missing a large section of employee feedback.
Which is why, in this blog post, we will explore practical strategies to boost response rates and empower employees to provide valuable feedback. By implementing these techniques, organisations can create a culture of open communication, active participation, and continuous improvement through higher response rates.
Diversify feedback channels
To ensure maximum participation and engagement, it’s essential to provide employees with a diverse range of feedback channels. While traditional methods such as suggestion boxes and in-person meetings have their merits, consider incorporating digital solutions like surveys, anonymous feedback platforms, or dedicated communication tools.
In fact, there are platforms out there that give you multiple channels, all in one place. These are known as employee voice platforms and the clue is in the name; they give your employees a voice.
You can achieve high response rates using this kind of tool because they usually offer more than one method of feeding back. For instance, surveys, always-on listening, messenger tools, and employee recognition, are some of the common channels you can expect to see – giving your people a choice to communicate in the way they prefer. These kinds of platforms are a great way to complement your traditional methods, mentioned earlier, as some people find it easier to communicate in-person.
In our State of Employee Retention Report 2023, when surveying 200 organisations we found that:
85% of organisations are utilising more modern models such as employee feedback channels, surveying and digital messaging. However, more traditional one-to-ones are still a popular method for gathering feedback with 60% of organisations still choosing this set up.our
Using a mix of both digital and in-person channels can offer the optimum results to amplify employee voice.
Emphasise anonymity and confidentiality
One of the primary reasons employees hesitate to provide feedback is the fear of repercussions or judgement. As a HR leader, it’s up to you to assure your people that that is not the purpose of gathering their insight.
By implementing anonymous feedback mechanisms, you create a safe space where individuals can express their views honestly without fear of retaliation.
Confidentiality assures employees that their feedback will be treated with respect and without bias, encouraging more open and genuine responses. And with more genuine responses, comes more meaningful insight and changes.
So your people get their true feelings and perspectives off their chest, and you can start to create a thriving organisation.
Keep surveys short and focused
Long and exhaustive surveys often deter employees from participating. No one wants to spend an hour of their day filling out a survey, because by question 100 they’ve probably lost focus, and their answers may not be as genuine.
To boost response rates, aim for shorter, focused surveys that are easy to complete within a reasonable time frame. Use clear and concise language, avoiding jargon or technical terms that might confuse respondents.
A great tip to encourage participation when sending out surveys is to provide:
- An estimated time required to complete it
- The closing date
- An approximate date when you’ll share headline results to the organisation
- A date when senior leaders are meeting to discuss any actions off the back of results
- Incentives. These can also help to boost response rates but we appreciate that not everyone will have the budget to offer these.
- Various methods of accessing the survey will also help to boost response rates. For instance, SMS links, employee homepages, and even QR codes in the office so when people are making a cup of tea, they can quickly scan it.
When that surveys gone out, why not send a quick email around to say:
“Hey everyone! We have sent out a survey, and we would greatly appreciate it if you could spare just 5 minutes of your time to fill it out. Your input is incredibly valuable to us, so let’s all contribute and make our voices heard!
The closing date will be the 5th June at 12:00pm and once we have analysed the feedback, we will be sharing this with everyone on the 12th June. Following this senior leaders will meet to discuss any action off the back of the results so we can make our workplace even better! “
Provide timely and transparent feedback
Feedback is a two-way street. To foster a culture of continuous improvement and engagement, organisations must provide timely and transparent feedback to employees.
Communicate the outcomes of feedback initiatives, share key insights, and demonstrate how the organisation is taking action based on employee input.
If you can show your people that with the feedback you’re asking for that you’re making changes and acting upon it, then they’re more likely to participate in future surveys. If you ask people to take their time to fill out surveys, and do nothing with this information, the next survey will most likely receive less responses because it gives the impression people are wasting their time.
Action is important when it comes to encouraging employee participation, and when employees understand the impact of their feedback, they are more likely to engage and participate actively.
Encourage leadership engagement
Leadership involvement and support are critical for boosting response rates and demonstrating the organisation’s commitment to feedback.
Encourage leaders to actively participate in feedback processes, lead by example, and communicate the importance of feedback to their teams. When employees witness leadership’s dedication to listening and acting upon feedback, it enhances their trust and motivates them to engage in providing feedback.
Employee voice platforms will let you know response rates by teams/departments so leaders can be informed and then they can encourage members of their team to fill out the survey and get 100% for their department.
Boosting response rates and feedback rates is essential for organisations aiming to create a culture of open communication, active participation, and continuous improvement. By diversifying feedback channels, emphasising anonymity, communicating the importance of feedback, keeping surveys focused, providing timely and transparent feedback, and encouraging leadership engagement, organisations can empower employees to share their views and contribute to meaningful change.
Time to get boosting!
Remember, every employee’s voice matters, and by fostering a feedback-friendly environment, organisations can drive success and create a positive work culture where everyone feels heard and valued.
Let’s work together to bridge the gap and empower the one in five workers who still lack a suitable channel to express their views. Together, we can build organisations that thrive on open communication and feedback, fuelling growth and innovation.