Are you looking for honest feedback from your employees? Want to make changes to your business but need information from your staff to make it happen? When you're running a company, it can be difficult to get constructive criticism on how things are running at each level, and without this feedback it's hard to know how to improve. Luckily, we've got some great tips to help make your business more feedback friendly.
1. Learn how to accept criticism
Learning how to accept criticism is a vital skill when you're running a business. When you are offered feedback that criticises your business, it's important to be able to accept the criticism sincerely rather than take it personally.
Thanking the person for the feedback is a good way of acknowledging the bravery that it takes to speak out; taking time to think about the feedback before you respond also helps employees understand that their comments are being considered. Accepting criticism graciously is also going to help your employees to do the same.
2. Ask the right questions
Establishing a feedback-friendly culture within your business is redundant if you're not giving employees the opportunity to present you with feedback. Creating moments and opportunities for feedback can be as little as asking direct questions such as, 'What could be improved for you?' or, 'What isn't working for you at the moment?'
Avoiding vague questions such as, 'How are you getting on?' or leading questions such as, 'Is that ok with you?' can help employees feel that they're being given the opportunity to give their opinions without an agenda behind the question.
3. Create opportunities for feedback
A feedback-friendly culture can also be established through other means; regular anonymous surveys can help employees feel that there's an opportunity to check in with management and directors on how they feel the business is being run. This can be helpful for people who regularly work remotely, who may not have contact with management from one week to the next.
By creating avenues for staff to feedback their opinions to directors, either through surveys, meetings or appraisals, you're likely to get additional information on how things are going. Checking in with staff can give a good sense of how moral is, if there are reoccurring issues, and if there are any interpersonal issues between your employees.
4. Act on the feedback you receive
It's said that the best indicator of future behaviour is past behaviour, and that's also true when it comes to feedback. Employees are less likely to speak honestly and share their opinions with managers and directors when it's not been responded to before, or worse, when the response has been poor.
When someone gives you some feedback, acknowledge it and accept it, even if it's different to your own experience. Employees are likely to feel more comfortable giving feedback when they know it will be taken seriously and acted upon - or if that's not possible, at least responded to sincerely.
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