Berger Leadership Blog

May 30, 2014

Obtaining honest employee feedback

Employee feedback

How do you get good, honest feedback from your employees? Maybe you schedule lunches with your staff, drop by their offices – things that get you some face-to-face time in settings that promote open discussion and sharing.

Do these things work? Maybe, but as leaders, we can do more. What the Harvard Business Review blog states is true: “Without input, your development will suffer, you may become isolated, and you’re likely to miss out on hearing some great ideas.”

However, there are things you and I can do to obtain honest input from employees. Both the Harvard Business Review blog and Fox Business suggest ways to cultivate the kind of environment where employees might be more inclined to share:

  • Create a safe environment. Consider starting with an anonymous complaint box.
  • Don’t get defensive. Not all feedback will be constructive.
  • Focus on themes. Do the concerns expressed show a trend?
  • Ask for feedback, constantly. Regular requests like this will help make employees more comfortable weighing in.
  • Act on that feedback. When you make changes based on feedback, you show your employees you value their opinions and concerns.
  • In asking for and responding to feedback, dig deeper. Ask for specific examples.