Many employers claim to be in full support of employee feedback, only to take the comments they receive and do nothing with them. While it’s never easy to hear criticism or suggestions, it’s important to realize that these ideas can actually help the company to make significant improvements, resulting in boosted morale and lower turnover.
Dealing with criticism
If your company boasts an “open door policy” then it’s important to make good on this idea. If your employees come to you with feedback, you have to listen, acknowledge, and then actually do something about these words. It’s easy to claim to take feedback seriously, but it’s another thing to actually act on it.
Start by really analyzing the feedback. Were the comments or suggestions that were made actually something that could benefit the company? If the answer is no, it’s important to let the employee know that their concerns or ideas were considered and valued. Explain why no action is being taken at this time, and be sincere as you thank them for voicing their concerns.
Even if you choose not to act on a particular piece of feedback, it’s important to let the person know that their ideas were taken seriously. It can be scary to give feedback to an employer, so a staff member should know that their opinion is important and that they won’t be punished. Regardless of whether the idea changes workplace culture or policy, it still matters and should be treated with respect.
However, before immediately deciding that the feedback is not feasible, take some time to examine things from another angle. Managers and employees often have a drastically different perspective on the same company, so what works for one group may not even be something that the other thinks of. For this reason, it’s important for people in a managerial role to take all employee comments and suggestions seriously. Just because an idea seems unrealistic at first, doesn’t mean that it won’t work with a little tweaking.
Make it a group decision
It’s easy for one person to sort through employee feedback and automatically rule it unreasonable. However, a different set of eyes may find the same suggestion highly useful. For this reason, you may want to consider getting a small committee together to wade through employee comments. Together, you may be able to come to a compromise that works for everyone involved.
Putting employee feedback into action isn’t always easy and often requires a few different minds working together. However, these people are working for your company every day, and can actually be some of your most valuable assets when it comes to improving the working environment for everyone.