Getting feedback from customers was never so easy thanks to social media. Nowadays if you want to know what customers like about your small business products or services or your customer service, you can pose a question or survey on Facebook or Twitter and wait for the responses to roll in.
When it comes to your employees, feedback is no less important. Among your team, you may have one or two individuals who are never shy about telling you what could be better. But in many cases, employees will walk out the door without letting you know why – either because they are not comfortable doing so or they think it won’t make a difference.
Getting feedback from employees and demonstrating your willingness to make change, as appropriate, builds the trust that inspires everyone to do their best and work together to achieve your small business goals. No business can succeed with constant employee turnover.
Get honest team feedback
The DailyMuse, professional development community, suggests you ask what they call ‘eye-opening’ questions – presumably the kind your employees are rarely asked – in “4 Questions You Should Be Asking Your Employees.” Among them:
How do you work best? Not everybody is a morning person; for some people, the day just begins at 10:00 a.m. If getting to work later but staying later is what makes someone more productive; maybe you need to provide more flexible hours. If you have an open plan office and noise is driving some employees to distraction, provide them with headsets to tune out noise or mobile devices to enable them to work at home or even at a quiet coffee shop down the street.
What don’t you like about my management style? Too hands on? Too hands off? There are some management traits that will drive any employee to distraction. Interrupting someone throughout the day to ask for a status update or asking someone to stop working on something to take on something else are some examples. Of course you can’t accommodate everyone but you can ask how employees want to work with you and work out an arrangement that suits both parties.
You may choose to formalize the feedback process with an occasional survey. Open-ended questions are preferable since you’ll get more qualitative input. Still even closed-ended questions can give you an idea about general perceptions and attitudes. Whatever method you choose, you need to share the information. Even more important, you need to let your team know how you plan to make changes based on the feedback.
What do you do at your small business to get feedback from your team?