Gathering Employee Feedback

Hi Everyone,

Does anyone have an effective way to gather feedback from staff other than anonymous surveys and suggestion boxes?

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  • Hi Jackie,

    I do not have a solution to your question however, I am seeking similar information.  What I am hoping to learn from other organizations is whether they have ever used a third party organization or software program to conduct exit interviews when staff leave the organization. If anyone has any experience with any organizations, please let me know.

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  • Hi Jackie - Small group dialog sessions (sometimes people call these 'focus groups') conducted by leaders and/or HR or a neutral facilitator, depending on what works best for you are a great way to gather feedback in person. You will, however, still need to keep private the source of feedback from any particular person if you intend to share feedback. Sessions can be done on cross sections or by organization. If you're wanting specific feedback, you're best served by going in with a clearly structured set of questions designed to solicit feedback you want to hear while also fostering discussion... or, if you want to be more informal just asking 'what is working well/not well?' Key is to have a clear purpose and expectations and then a clear path to loop back with employees! Also, you need to go in with open eyes that you're going to have to build trust. One other method is 'skip level meetings' where more senior level leaders go a layer/few layers down in the organization for dialog with employees - they usually come in with a business update and maybe a few specific/targeted topics for dialog and then open Q&A so employees gain something from the session as well. Do these on a regular basis and you'll build greater connection. You might also consider leveraging 'stay interviews.' Best. James jbm.mcdonough@gmail.com

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    • James B McDonough 

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    • Jackie Bussotti your small groups suggestion aligns with my thinking also.  Thank you for your feedback!

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  • Depending on the size of your company, its location(s), and your travel budget, you may want to do a roundtable. I go to our various locations at least twice per year. Right now, we are in 4 states, but by the end of the year, we will be 7 states. Thus, my roundtables may reduce to just once a year.

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  • Jackie -

    James McDonough's feedback is right on! We've done numerous focus group sessions with employees. Sometimes it is following a survey so we can dig deeper into specific topics or issues but we've also done them instead of surveys. You'll want to be sure you either include all employees or a good representation of the workforce to ensure all employees feel heard. You'll want to be very deliberate in the design of your groups to ensure employees feel comfortable speaking (i.e. employee only, department only, manager only). In some organizations, the conversations had to be one on one rather than group for this very reason. With the same set of questions, assuring confidentiality, and taking action on results will ensure success. Another option is to create a pulse question every month that your managers ask in their one on ones with employees (i.e. what do you like most about working here? what's one thing we could change or do different in 2022, what is working well or could be improved with your work arrangements). I'm happy to talk through any of these with you if you'd like. Kudos for doing this with your employees. Now more than ever, we need to work on strategies to help us retain our employees. (Robin@strategicHRinc.com)

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  • Hi Jackie,

    You've gotten some good responses here. We have done quite a few small group facilitated discussions, some with individual one-on-one follow up. We also advocate identifying your stars, people who would be hard to replace, and doing one-on-one "stay interviews" as well. We do find that our clients get the best feedback with using a 3rd party facilitator. Reach out to me if you'd like to talk more. Darlene Mack, CEO & Managing Partner, HR Partners Int'l Inc. darlene@HRPIInc.com.

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  • Depending on the size of individual departments, consider stay interviews.  I completed these last year for a department and they were invaluable in terms of the data collected.  Something that I've found is that employees were willing to talk openly.  More so than pre-COVID. And, you establish a relationship with them so that you can easily check back in in the future.  We also do exit interviews and a formal annual survey.

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