You know you need to improve employee satisfaction, but how? Getting feedback is one idea, but it’s difficult. It takes time and money. You have to prepare surveys and track all answers. Then, you have figure out what to do with all of that information. Still, getting feedback is one of the best things you can do to improve your company immediately and long-term.
Asking your customers for feedback about their experience with your company not only helps you get a general feel for how you’re perceived, it gives you insight as to how well your employees are performing. When customers aren’t happy, it generally means that employees aren’t doing a good job.
For example, let’s say that you poll your customers, and they tell you your customer service is horrendous. If the poll reaches statistical significance, it’s obvious that you have more than just a few complainers in the crowd. It’s time to look at what your customer service is doing and then change it. By asking customers how you could improve your service, you’ll get the answers you need.
Managers oversee large numbers of rank-and-file employees. They drive their department and can often clue you in to things that you’re not aware of. For example, if the head of your accounting department tells you that employees are taking 5 hours to do something that should take 3, there’s a problem – is it the accounting software you’re using? Is it low employee morale?
If there is an excessive number of data entry errors, maybe your accounting software is too difficult to use. Perhaps you’ve set benchmarks too high. Only your managers can tell you what they think the problem might be.
Employee feedback is usually pretty straightforward. Rank-and-file employees usually aren’t shy about telling you what they think – especially if they’re in a union. For example, if your employees complain that they’re always running out of supplies, it indicates a purchasing problem. Talk to your purchasing manager. If employees are unsatisfied with the benchmarks you’ve set for them, look into just how challenging production goals are.
The best way to handle staff feedback is through anonymous surveys or feedback forms. That way, even if they are part of a union, they won’t feel threatened or feel like they may be the victim of reprisals from management. To sweeten the deal, you could even offer gift cards or some other type of cash bonus for simply completing the survey or feedback form.
Survey software can do a lot of the heavy lifting for you. These software programs are installed on your server and maintained by your IT department. If you don’t have an in-house IT department, you can usually outsource the entire project to a third-party survey company.
These companies will host the survey for you, collect the results, and organize a report that’s easy to read with key data in either graphical format or as a summary.
Michael Ferguson is a long-time office manager. When he has time off, he enjoys sharing his insights with others on the Internet.