Three ways to get really honest feedback

Getting your employees to be brutally honest isn’t always easy but it will help your organisation grow in the long run. Here’s how to do it.

Three ways to get really honest feedback
Loose lips might sink ships but it’s bad for business if your employees won’t speak up when something’s wrong – here’s how to get really honest feedback and help your organisation grow.

Ditch the suggestion box

Anonymity might remove the fear of retribution and encourage some employees to share their two cents but HR professionals shouldn’t be encouraging that mind-set, says leadership expert Andre Lavoie.

Instead, organisations need to embrace transparency – just like marketing agency, Quirk.

Abandoning the suggestion box, Quirk created a public process in the form of a flow chart on its office wall. The system allows anyone in the company to suggest ideas, gather support for those ideas and potentially have them implemented.

Employees often feel like their ideas will just get ignored if execs don’t approve but where suggestion boxes support this practice by keeping ideas hidden, the flowchart publicly displays them and empowers employees to voice their opinions.

Ask insightful questions

It’s likely your employees have a lot of great ideas – it’s just that they might not realise it. Just like a chat-show host, a good leader must know how to ask the right questions in order to get the most interesting answers.

“Knowing what to ask employees during individual meetings – whether they’re performance check-ins, lunches or exit interviews – is crucial to drawing out honest, actionable feedback,” says Lavoie.

He suggests asking employees questions such as these, to gain a better insight:
  • If you were in my shoes, what would you change tomorrow? Why?
  • What are you hearing clients (or customers) say about our business?
  • What do you enjoy most about your job? Least?
  • How can I help you be more successful?
 
Follow up with employees

If your employees have been brave enough to share some honest feedback, the very worst thing you can do is just ignore it, says Lavoie.

Even if you can’t take action to change or improve the situation, you should at least take the time to explain why. “Let them know that their feedback is always appreciated and encouraged,” he adds.
 

Free newsletter

Our daily newsletter is FREE and keeps you up-to-date with the world of HR. Please complete the form below and click on subscribe for daily newsletters from HRD Asia.

Recent articles & video

Should qualifications or experience matter more in recruits?

Appreciation best practices: a checklist

Prince Harry’s ‘modern’ approach to fatherhood highlights HR failure

Mental wellness: why C-suite should lead the discussion

Most Read Articles

How to overcome challenges of HR tech project

Worker sues after being fired while on sick leave following miscarriage

Is your workplace culture toxic?