Earning Employee Feedback – Could pulse surveys help you prevent future issues?

Employees want feedback: 65 percent say they aren’t getting enough.

Millennials, in particular, thrive off of frequent employer feedback. Eighty-five percent would feel more confident in their current position if their manager held more performance conversations, according to a 2015 survey from HR solution provider TriNet.

Companies, too, can benefit from giving — and getting — input. Research has shown that ones that implement methods to provide employees with regular feedback experience turnover rates that are nearly 15 percent lower.

Similarly, a study cited in the Harvard Business Review found that employees sharing their opinions helped several financial service firms’ business units experience more favorable financial and operational outcomes.

11-30-15_blog.jpgIt can be challenging, though, to obtain employee feedback. Workers sometimes fear they will anger their direct supervisor if they contribute, potentially threatening their employment status. Others mays worry their comments will be ignored.

To encourage employees to speak up, some organizations are turning to anonymous pulse surveys — enterprise-wide or department-specific polls that can provide valuable, immediate employee feedback.

Pulse surveys aren’t as detailed or long as the traditional employee survey — some involve just a single question. They can help yield timely information on a variety of issues, and, at the same time, subtly remind employees their opinions are valued.

If your organization hasn’t sent out a pulse survey, consider conducting a test campaign to gauge its effectiveness. The following tips can help you get started:

Try a fast frequency. Because they take less time to respond to, pulse surveys can be sent out more frequently that an annual survey — potentially on a daily or weekly basis — to help you acquire employee feedback on issues that need to be dealt with before they become unmanageable. At some organizations, according to The Wall Street Journal, pulse surveys are either replacing or being used in tandem with annual surveys to determine employee sentiment.

4-18-16_blog.jpgHave questions come from the top. Senior management support is crucial, according to workplace culture consultant Great Place to Work UK, which suggests sending any messages from the CEO or another top official to let employees know management plans to utilize their input to enact change.

Consider using a service. Survey providers like Tinypulse, Officevibe and SurveyMonkey help automate the employee feedback survey process, and for smaller companies and/or departmental use, may be a minimal expense. Some pulse survey costs are as low as $5 per user per month, or less than $300 a month for up to 250 employees. Depending on your organization’s size, you may be able to use a free pulse survey tool.

Looking for additional ways to obtain employee feedback? Try instituting an employee self-evaluation system or rethinking your current communication policy. The employee input you receive can help you fine-tune your employee value proposition.