Anonymous Feedback: How Can It Improve Employee Engagement?

Anonymous employee feedback is a great way to improve satisfaction among the workforce but also to ensure that developments are taking place. However, in order for employee feedback to be truly efficient, it is necessary to process the information, turning it into actionable insights. When used as guidelines, the feedback can boost employee engagement in a quite simple way: when the employees know their voice is being heard, they will appreciate it.

Anonymous Employee Feedback Ensures Reliable Results

First of all, when employees are facing serious issues, it can affect their engagement. In business environments where there is no feedback system in place, employees will usually address these issues among themselves. That practice, as a rule, doesn’t render any improvement; in order for that to happen, the employers need to take action. Obviously, if any action is to take place, the employers need to be aware of the issues first.

That’s where anonymous employee feedback steps in. Anonymity, in itself, provides reliability for an obvious reason. When employees know there will be no negative consequences, even when their complaints are addressed by the management, they are more likely to be honest.

Honesty: The Key Motivator

Fear of retribution is among the leading factors of dishonesty. In the long run, the practice is certain to ruin good business practices and make employees unsatisfied. Needless to say, people unhappy with their jobs will leave as soon as a better opportunity arrives.

In the long run, this spells a long and expensive process of hiring and training new people who will eventually leave themselves.

Anonymous employee feedback will provide you with honest complaints. When addressed accordingly, the workplace is certain to become much more pleasant for the employees. Regular feedback is the best (and fastest) way to improve the workplace and motivate employee engagement.

Equality: A Win-Win Environment for Everyone

Anonymous employee feedback renders another great benefit: equality. No feedback will be more important than others – regardless of the seniority of the employee. This, in itself, is sufficient to encourage all employees to honestly voice their concerns.

In addition, the practice creates a sense of importance. Because everyone’s feedback is of the same value, complaints put in by novices are equally important as those put in by senior employees. Simply put, it’s transparency in its essence. By ensuring that everyone’s voice is being heard, the company boosts the sense of unity and importance of each and every employee.

Employees Know That Their Voices Are Being Heard

Naturally, the effort is recognized by the workforce. Given that the majority (85%) of employees of a typical business (not a startup) are neither engaged or disengaged (in other words – they’re apathetic), staging regular anonymous feedback can stir things for the better.

The possibility for the employees to share their honest opinions without facing any kind of retribution or mobbing is exactly what businesses need. Think about it in terms of customer support: if the customer is happy, they will keep coming back. In fact, if employee feedback was recognized as equally valuable as customer feedback, there would be a sharp rise of efficiency and engagement at work.

Employees Feel Valued

Further out, when feedback is being addressed properly, employees feel valued. In a sense, the practice is the first step towards an equal-opportunity workplace, where everyone’s opinion matters.

This is rather similar to start-ups, which value individuality and creativity above everything. There is a reason for that, frankly. If everyone wasn’t engaged, the startup wouldn’t last long in the competitive market.

Regardless of the increasing number of traditional businesses striving to keep up with innovation practices (which, in turn, keep expanding and changing rapidly), the importance of anonymous employee feedback remains largely unrecognized. Businesses valuing employees’ opinions are those most likely to keep their workforce loyal and motivated in the long run.

Retribution: A Thing of the Past

One of the greatest benefits of anonymous employee feedback lies in the fact that it eliminates the system of retribution everyone has faced at least once in their career. Anonymity ensures there will be no consequences for negative feedback.

Because of this, anonymity is a critical component of employee feedback. On top of boosting honesty, it also ensures privacy is preserved.

Anonymous Feedback Encourages Inquiries

Lastly, anonymous employee feedback empowers people. Because there is no such thing as stupid questions, employees should be encouraged to speak openly about their doubts and suggestions. In fact, suggestions are the single most important element of feedback. When addressed properly and implemented, employees will feel more engaged because they’ll know that their ideas will be considered in the future.

For many people, openly asking questions can be too stressful, either because they are required to step forward or because they feel undervalued. Unfortunately, the latter is often the case where the traditional management system reigns supreme.

One way to alleviate the stress is to encourage inquiries in anonymous employee feedback. Make sure you address them properly, though, or people will get discouraged. You can easily manage this project through email, and then simply group the data in a spreadsheet.

The Value of Feedback

Feedback is always a good thing, no matter the setting, the situation or the circumstances. Much like everything in life, people’s opinions change over time. Because of that, both positive and negative fluctuations are possible, so it is important to really address the inquiries and suggestions and ask for additional feedback when and where needed.

The ultimate goal of every successful business should be to invest in its employees. On top of it being cheaper in the long run than hiring and training new people continually, it is also rewarding on multiple levels.

It is a well-known fact that it takes ages to build trust and reputation but only seconds to destroy them. “Growing” a happy workforce is much similar to growing a tree. Growth takes time, and rewards come later on. However, in the case of people, it takes much less time to start seeing actual positive results. Contrary to popular belief, people actually do value trust. Even when there is a healthy dose of competition, employees can still come together to boost overall engagement and make the workplace a happier place for everyone. To do that, however, they need to be clearly shown that there is light at the end of the tunnel, and anonymous employee feedback is the most powerful tool in that direction.

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Author: Angela Ash

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