How to Get Feedback From Employees

Our survey of UK charity sector employees revealed that 59% are planning to change jobs within the next year. Reasons cited included pay, career development and working culture. One way to improve employee retention is by gathering, analysing and actioning their feedback. This can help you identify common pain points, address issues and improve staff satisfaction. Here are some of the best ways to get feedback from employees. 

Regular catch-ups

Managers should encourage their reports to share feedback during catch-up or ‘one-to-one’ meetings. It’s important to have these regularly and to proactively ask about things like workload and job satisfaction. 

However, make sure they feel welcomed to give feedback on an ad hoc basis too. Otherwise, they might feel they have to save their feedback until the next catch-up, which could be a month away. This can lead to longer-term dissatisfaction.  

As well inviting feedback in individual catch-ups, consider having it as an agenda item in team meetings. Sometimes people feel more comfortable raising issues in a group. 

Performance reviews

Regular performance reviews are hugely important in staff retentionwhen done well, they can be a useful and motivating exercise. They’re a chance to reflect on team members’ progress and goals, and to plan their future development together. But it’s not just about telling them how they’re doing: performance reviews should always involve two-way feedback.  

To get feedback as effectively as possible, it’s important for managers to come prepared with pertinent questions. These might include, for example: 

  • Do you feel you’re getting the support you need to do your job? 
  • What would you like to be doing more of?  
  • Are there areas in which you feel you’d benefit from training? 

These can help to gauge job satisfaction and how someone feels about their role. 

Surveys and evaluations

Anonymous surveys are an efficient and effective way to get an overview of employee engagement or their views on a particular issue.  

Pulse surveys are brief, easy-to-complete questionnaires sent out on a regular basis (for example monthly, or a few times a year). The benefits of doing this include that you can spot issues in real time, as they arise. It also demonstrates ongoing engagement with your employees and a commitment to continuous improvement.  

At larger charities, it can help to have a representative or ‘champion’ for each team or department. They could be responsible for promoting engagement, collating feedback and taking part in focus groups, for example. 

Whenever you run a survey or group, it’s crucial to analyse the results carefully and work to implement reasonable suggestions. Integrated with an effective internal communications strategy, this can help ensure that employees feel valued and heard.  

‘Ask Me Anything’ sessions

Some charities’ leaders or senior leadership teams hold regular Q&A sessions that anyone can attend. It’s a way of hearing directly from staff at all levels across the organisation, rather than via the usual hierarchy. While less systematic than some of the other methods we’ve discussed, it can result in valuable qualitative feedback. 

Exit interviews

When a staff member has resigned, they may be more likely to share their views without worrying about it damaging their career prospects. So conducting an exit interview is a good way to get their honest feedback. Taking this feedback on board should be very helpful in improving staff retention in the future. It can also give you insights to improve your offer when recruiting. 

Questions you could ask in exit interviews include: 

  • What’s your main reason for leaving? 
  • What could we have done to keep you here? 
  • Did you find your work interesting and were you able to develop your knowledge and skills? 
  • Did you feel supported to do your job well? 
  • How were your relationships with your manager and your team? 
  • What were the best and worst aspects of the job? 
  • Did you feel you had a voice in the organisation and were your achievements recognised? 

General tips 

Make it as easy as possible for employees to give feedback. Offer a variety of channels and opportunities so that you accommodate different communication styles and build a holistic picture. 

Ensure there’s an option to provide feedback anonymously. This can make it more likely that you’ll get honest responses. 

Foster a positive, open culture that encourages employee feedback. That means leading by example, regularly sharing information with employees and providing constructive feedback yourself. Make sure your policy on feedback is communicated clearly at induction, in internal newsletters and on the intranet. 

Have a vacancy to fill? Post a job now. 

Tags: good work culture, HR practices, management tips, running your charity, staff retention, supporting your team, workplace wellbeing

Read more posts like this

About the author

Tomas René

Tomas is Senior Content Manager (maternity cover) at CharityJob.