For employees, engagement is about more than just their paychecks. When they feel they are valued and can truly contribute and be recognized as part of a team, they become more passionate about their work—leading to a more productive and innovative employee.
According to Gallup, engaged employees contribute to a 21% increase in profitability. On the other hand, disengaged employees cost companies between $450 to $500 billion annually, according to a study by The Engagement Institute.
Unfortunately for businesses, engagement levels are falling. Another report from Gallup showed that employee engagement for U.S. employees is constantly declining, from a 36% engagement rate in 2020 to 34% in 2021 and 32% in 2022. The report also found that 17% of respondents are actively disengaged. Disengaged employees contribute to employee turnover, particularly now that so many people are considering quitting their jobs.
However, engaging remote or hybrid employees is possible. The same report shows that those who work remotely or in a hybrid setup have higher levels of engagement than those who work on-site, for example.
Collecting active employee feedback and acting on it is also key in creating an engaged workforce, which we’ll explore more in this article.
The Impact of Collecting Employee Feedback
One of the biggest reasons for employee turnover is a lack of communication from management. When management becomes more responsive to the needs and concerns of those they manage, companies see lower turnover rates, reduced expenses, and improved employee morale.
How do you know what your employees want? Simple. Ask them.
Collecting employee feedback allows you to gain insight into the team’s experiences, pinpoint challenges, and identify areas for improvement. Employee input can then be used to develop solutions that will foster healthier and happier employees in a changing work environment. A global study conducted by The Workforce Institute at UKG and Workplace Intelligence shows that 86% of employees feel people at their workplace are not heard fairly or equally.
Organizations that fail to maintain a strong connection with employees risk losing their most valuable workers. When employees feel heard, they have a sense of shared purpose and belonging. Managers can build a better company culture of transparency, safety, and trust by acknowledging and acting on employee feedback. This kind of culture helps employees to thrive and become better team members.
“At a time when organizations are desperately vying to attract and retain top talent, people leaders must first listen and then act upon the voice of the employee to sustain long-term business stability and success,” says Chris Mullen, Ph.D., executive director of The Workforce Institute at UKG.
Using Employee Feedback to Improve Engagement
Feedback collection processes must be carefully designed to ensure they achieve the intended results. Here’s how you can collect useful feedback and translate it into action:
Create Anonymous Feedback Forms
Feedback forms should be designed with anonymity in mind. This approach allows employees to be more honest about their opinions, specifically if they plan to share strong criticisms or negative concerns. These anonymous feedback forms can be used to direct concerns to particular people or departments.
To draw useful feedback from employees, design surveys so they ask specific and thought-provoking questions, such as asking them to share their top three concerns or challenges. This will help managers get a clear picture of changes that may be needed or how to manage workloads better. Asking employees to envision and describe their ideal work environment provides a sense of their expectations.
Related: Setting up a Powerful Employee Engagement Survey
Improve Based on Surveys
Most importantly, after each survey, make sure employees are kept in the loop. Let them know the survey responses are being considered and which concerns are being acted upon at this time. This shows employees that management is hearing them and acting to address their concerns.
If management offers no response or updates about a survey, employees will see no reason to participate in the future and will lose trust in the management team. Leaving valuable employee feedback sitting unacknowledged on the manager’s desk can lower employee morale and increase turnover.
Track how many employees are providing responses to the survey and consider ways to increase employee participation in the future such as through incentives.
Consider a Third-Party Provider
Sometimes employees may be more open to sharing their feedback through a neutral third-party service provider. This strategy is a good choice if the organization is undergoing a transition or a crisis. The third-party provider can serve as a buffer between employees and the management team. This is also a good way to help assure anonymity to protect employees.
Use Technology in Employee Feedback
As part of existing digital transformation efforts seeking to improve inclusivity for remote workers, integrating these surveys into existing workplace software systems can be a good strategy. It’s also an excellent strategy to increase employee participation.
For example, surveys can be integrated within a time clock system, so whenever an employee clocks in for the day, they can readily access and answer the surveys. Employees can get the survey off their to-do list early in their shifts, which prevents disruption and helps them feel more productive and engaged.
Boost Employee Engagement with Employee Feedback
Engaged employees are critical to an organization's success. The better engaged they are, the more willing they are to work towards the goals of the organization with their full creativity and drive. Collecting and acting on employee feedback is key in fully engaging employees—whether it’s about the big things, such as key company policies and work hours, or the small things, such as lunchroom cutlery.
Show employees that your company values their input. Doing so through established feedback collection processes will establish a superior working relationship between management and employees, foster a spirit of collaboration, and lay the foundation for a productive and innovative workforce.
Collecting employee feedback is one of the easiest ways to enhance your employee engagement strategies. Discover how easy it is to create employee engagement surveys with Formstack.
About the Author
Dean Mathews is the founder and CEO of OnTheClock, an employee time tracking app that helps over 15,000 companies all around the world track time.
Dean has over 20 years of experience designing and developing business apps. He views software development as a form of art. If the artist creates a masterpiece, many people’s lives are touched and changed for the better.
When he is not perfecting time tracking, Dean enjoys expanding his faith, spending time with family and friends, and finding ways to make the world just a little better