Getting and incorporating employee feedback into how your organization is run is, of course, a critical part of running a successful business. To run a company with low employee turnover and high employee satisfaction, it is necessary to take the time to hear what the employees have to say. Year-end surveys have been the primary way to get employee feedback for many companies, but are they working? Are there better ways for companies to keep a finger on the pulse of their employees? Indeed, there are and in this day and age of real-time information, here are 5 of the reasons why year-end employee surveys need to be left in the past.
#1 Employee Engagement Has Changed
With the advent of social media, apps and smartphones, the general public has become more used to real-time feedback. They want their questions and complaints answered immediately, they want to know their voice is being heard, and they want to see the feedback of others. With companies like Yelp and Uber leading the charge on incorporating customer feedback in real-time, it’s only natural that employees are starting to expect their company to listen to them in a similar way. The workplace should not be immune to this shift. Employers need the consistent and regular feedback that their employees are more than willing to offer. This will promote an engaged, collaborative workforce.
#2 Year End Surveys Are Too Infrequent
Situations arise in the workplace all the time that don’t necessarily require immediate action, but should still be addressed. With year-end surveys, you really limit how efficiently and effectively you can resolve those types of issues. Employees must rely on their memory of an entire year to give accurate feedback.
#3 Year End Surveys Are Too Long
Long year-end surveys often lose their value because employees don’t have the stamina to sit through pages and pages of questions. Their concentration begins to fade and their answers become more about getting through the survey, rather than contributing something of worthwhile for the company.
#4 They Take Too Long To React To
Not only do year-end surveys basically ask for employees to remember a year’s worth of information, but the amount of time it takes to compile that information and analyze the data to make it useful is exceedingly long. By the time a situation is reported, considered, and acted upon, many months or even an entire year could have gone by. This makes them ineffective.
#5 They Are Self-Defeating
When employees do submit feedback on something they feel is important, but it takes a great deal of time to act on these issues, it can discourage them from discussing their concerns altogether. Instead of increasing employee engagement, surveys many times end up discouraging it.
A Better Alternative
Today's businesses and employees are moving too fast for you to be surveying them once a year, or even once a quarter. You need to communicate and react in real time before issues fester or ideas no longer apply. New innovative software solutions are allowing CEOs, Management and HR teams to stay on top of conversations, get real-time feedback, preserve anonymity and improve employee/management relationships. Companies that don't engage with their employees in real-time, risk being seen as insular and closed. Examples can be found across various industries of how real-time feedback makes for a transparent, trusted, quality-oriented service i.e. Uber, eBay, Airbnb. In order to stay competitive, engaged and retain the best talent, companies need to hear their employees in real-time.
The days of meeting once per year with employees to get their reviews is now as outdated as flip phones or bell bottoms. Annual feedback is too infrequent, it takes too long, and just can't keep up with the modern tech-savvy environment. When a better solution is available and opens up an entirely new channel of communication that enables businesses to improve engagement and performance, companies are wise to jump on board.