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19.08.2022 Company culture

How to get feedback from employees (with example questions)

How to get feedback from employees (with example questions)

When you’re the manager of a team, getting feedback from employees can be difficult. And even if they do give you feedback, chances are your team members are reluctant to give their unvarnished opinion on their boss’ performance.

That’s why it’s important to know how to ask feedback from your employees using the right questions and techniques. Because just asking an employee during their next one-on-one how they think you’re doing probably won’t get you the honest answers you’re after.

Instead, follow these few simple steps listed below. They help you get feedback from your employees that lets you and your team move forward. After, we’ll give you a list of example employee feedback questions to get you started!

Why it’s so important to get feedback from employees

We’ve highlighted the importance of building a strong feedback culture before. Employee engagement studies and surveys have repeatedly shown that employees not only appreciate, but actively demand, that their performance is regularly reviewed.

They want to be acknowledged for the impact they make, but they also want to know if there are areas where they can still improve. Whether positive feedback or constructive criticism, what’s important is that they regularly receive feedback on how they do their jobs. Why?

Just consider the following research findings:

  • Companies where employees regularly receive feedback have a 14.9% lower turnover rate than companies where this isn’t the case
  • A PwC survey found that 60% of employees would like feedback on a daily or weekly basis
  • Not receiving feedback leads 40% of employees to be actively disengaged from their work

But what’s often forgotten is that the same logic applies to people in leadership roles as well.

A Gallup study of 530 works units found that teams with managers who received feedback from their employees were 12.5% more productive than teams where managers didn’t receive feedback. In a similar Gallup study, they found that employee feedback for managers led to 8.9% greater profitability as compared to their non-feedback counterparts.

Time for business leaders to start investing time and effort in getting feedback from their employees to help themselves and their teams grow. Below you’ll find a few steps that can help you get started.

8 ways to promote employee feedback in your team

Before we get to those example employee feedback questions, let’s quickly look at the ways in which you can start promoting employee feedback in your organisation.

1. Show how it’s done

If you don’t give feedback to your employees, chances are you won’t get any either. That’s why it’s crucial to lead by example and show employees the importance of feedback.

The better you deliver your feedback (keep reading for more tips), the higher the chances your employees will return the favour.

2. Let your employees feel safe

As long as your employees aren’t completely certain that giving their manager feedback won’t negatively affect their position in the team or their career development, you won’t get honest employee feedback.

To gain the most valuable insights possible, your employees need to feel safe and know that their input is valued. To do this, it’s important to promote a psychologically safe environment at work. It has been proven to result in high-performing teams.

3. Adapt your management style accordingly

This type of open company culture should also be reflected in the way you manage your team. The way you interact with employees, delegate tasks, and how you respond to success or failure, all contribute to creating that safe space mentioned in the previous point.

For example, if your management style is bossy and authoritarian, you might create a sense of fear amongst your team members. Which results in the opposite of a psychologically safe workplace.

Curious to find out what type of management style you have (and how you might improve it)? Then take our management style quiz!

4. Provide feedback training

Creating a safe environment where employees know they can provide their opinion on your work, without facing repercussions, is not enough. Even when someone feels like they can give feedback, they might not know how to actually formulate that feedback.

And this, in turn, can still prevent them from actually sharing their thoughts (or sharing them clearly and constructively). The solution? Educate your team on the different feedback models they can use.

5. Constantly ask your employees for feedback

Some of your employees might be great at giving feedback. Maybe they worked in a company with an open feedback system before. Or perhaps they are just direct and candid by nature.

But some might come from a company where telling their boss their honest opinion was simply not done, or their jobs were on the line. For them to feel safe enough to tell you what they truly think, you might need to repeatedly show your commitment to promoting feedback.

6. Hear what’s not said and ask for specifics

No matter how much you build the right environment, truly candid feedback will still be hard to get. For some employees, it can take months or even years to feel comfortable enough to really say what’s on their minds.

At the end of the day, you’re the person in charge of their salary and job security, and many people will avoid anything that might jeopardise either of these two.

7. Action the feedback and clearly explain the next steps

Listening is one thing, actually doing something with the feedback you’re given is another. If your employees notice you don’t action the feedback they give you, they will be hesitant to provide more feedback in the future.

After all, if it doesn’t lead to change, why bother in the first place? So when you get feedback from an employee, explain to them what the next steps will be and how you will action their feedback to improve for the future.

You don’t agree with the feedback? Then be transparent and explain why you don’t agree and why you won’t make changes based on what is said. Clearly explain the reasoning behind your decision and still thank them for sharing their opinion. This way, they know that even though it’s not taken on board, it was seriously considered and appreciated.

8. Start small and consider anonymously asking your employees for feedback

Getting the ball rolling can take some time and getting used to. So starting with an hour-long one-on-one meeting where you grill your employees to get their feedback probably won’t work.

Instead, start small and ease into it. It can be by just casually asking their opinion on how a project is moving forward. Or why not consider first asking your employees for feedback anonymously? For example, an anonymous survey can give you valuable insights into what some of your team members are thinking about how things are going.

15 questions to ask employees for feedback

Now you are well on your way to fostering a feedback-rich team culture, it’s time to think about the actual questions you can ask your employees. Luckily for you, we’ve gathered fifteen targeted employee feedback questions to help you get started:

  1. How do you prefer to receive feedback about your work?
  2. We collaborated on project XYZ recently. Do you have any feedback for me?
  3. What do you think we should start doing as a team (and why)?
  4. What do you think we should stop doing as a team (and why)?
  5. Do you think any of our processes are inefficient, and if so, how can we improve them?
  6. How can I support you better in your role?
  7. Do you think I have reasonable expectations regarding your work?
  8. Is there anything I can change that would improve the way we collaborate?
  9. Do you want me to provide more, the same, or less feedback on your work?
  10. What can I change about how I recognise your accomplishments?
  11. Do you feel like I’m supporting your professional growth enough? If not, what can I do to support you better?
  12. Is there any feedback you’ve given in the past that I haven’t actioned?
  13. How would you prefer I share team announcements?
  14. What else do you think is important for me to know about you?
  15. Is there anything else you would like to share?

Try asking some of these questions during your next one-to-one. They can help open up the conversation and help you to start gathering feedback that will help you and your team grow. Not sure yet about how to respond to the feedback you receive?

Then also check out our article on how to receive feedback effectively!

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