Employee feedback: Lessons from democracy
‘Don’t ask questions unless you’re prepared to deal with the answers’
That’s what we always recommend to clients.
The political events of late, including Brexit, President Trump and the UK General Election, have shown us that when you ask the people for their opinion, they don’t always give the answer you expect.
While employee feedback and politics are fundamentally different, there is something to be learnt and applied to businesses. National politics is highly public with nowhere to hide, meaning the dye is cast when people vote. Although it may be more difficult to face, acknowledging and exploring the shortcomings and surprises of results is the right thing to do.
Similarly with employee feedback, whether it’s via an annual survey, pulses, exits or any other means, you’ve got to accept the results. Be honest with the people who took the time to give you their feedback and don’t make excuses. But too many organisations handpick positive results and do their best to brush the rest under the mat. That’s not going to improve anything, let alone retention, staff motivation or recruitment.
By nature, surprising outcomes and results always baffle people. As they splutter in disbelief they’ll remember the expectations that didn’t follow through. One key difference between discussion and conviction is identification. When people are asked for their opinion ‘in the open’ some may feel pressured to answer in a particular way for fear of upsetting someone or causing confrontation and tension; but behind closed doors, in the safety of anonymity, they can reveal their honest thoughts and feelings. This disconnect between what people really think and what they say is what causes surprise results. Peachy Mondays seeks to bridge this gap by giving people the ability to say what they really think without any concerns to hold them back.
It’s said that Albert Einstein defined insanity as doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. Without accepting the feedback you’re given, understanding its roots and making changes, any company will fall into the insanity loop of repeating feedback exercises with no great, or honest, avail.
If delving deeper into insights and getting action-oriented employee feedback sounds like something your business could gain from, contact us about Peachy Mondays – the HR and internal communications solution.