Managing Employee Feedback: Your Keys to Success

August 04, 2017

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Thanks to the rise of websites like Glassdoor and, more and more employees are making their voices heard.

They’re rating their interview and employee experiences. They’re talking about the pros and cons of the job and sharing details of their working lives. They’re expressing their feelings about their CEOs and leadership team with a thumbs up or thumbs down (or smileys or frowns). Not just internally or in private, but also online, in public, and for all your candidates and potential employees to see.

Trust us: It’s a good thing. When employees share their thoughts in their own words, you have an incredible opportunity to listen in, respond, and take action in ways that help your business grow.

Here are some interesting stats from Officevibe:

  • 27 percent of workers believe that the feedback they receive helps them work better.
  • 48 percent of employees agree that acting on feedback would reduce turnover.
  • 92 percent of people believe that negative feedback is effective at improving performance.

As an employer, you can gain extremely valuable insights about your organization through candid and actionable employee feedback. Read on for information on how you can effectively manage customer feedback — and what your keys to success are.

Managing Employee Feedback

Encourage employees to speak up

Sometimes, a bad employee review or a piece of negative feedback can hurt like a punch in the gut. However, as an employer, you have to remain open to constructive criticism from the people within your organization, and you have to provide a platform — beyond the typical (and usually anonymous) suggestion box — for employees to share their thoughts, feelings, and experiences at work.

Of course, remember not to set any requirement that the feedback should be positive. Employees tend to feel more goodwill toward your company if you develop a culture based on candid feedback sharing, transparency, and open communication.

Ask questions

Effective leadership involves the ability to get to the heart of important employer-employee conversations. While employees won’t always find it easy to be upfront with their managers and bosses, you can ease their reluctance by asking insightful questions like:

  • How can we make your work more fun?
  • If you were in my shoes, what would you change? Why?
  • What have you heard customers say about our business?
  • If there’s one thing you could change about what we do here at work, what is it and why?
  • How can I set you up for even greater success?

Asking questions like these helps make employees feel that they’re being listened to, that they have a stake in the success of the company, and that their feedback is critical to the growth of the entire organization.

Respond to employee feedback and reviews

Worried about how employee feedback might affect your reputation as an employer? A key part of any successful employer branding strategy is your ability to respond to employee reviews.

Don’t just pay lip service, though. Take action and correct any organizational problems discussed in online reviews posted by your employees. By using employee feedback in order to improve the employee experience, you can build not only a stronger employer brand, but also a happier and more productive workforce.

Getting Negative Reviews from Ex-Employees and Competitors? Lessons in Brand Reputation and Review Management

Demonstrate thoughtfulness and empathy

When dealing with negative feedback, remember to always be thoughtful and empathetic towards your employees. Reflect on what they said, and address any specific issue they raised. In the same manner as when you’re dealing with customers, apologize if you have to, and resolve to do better next time.

Trust us: listening carefully and thoughtfully to your employees will enable you and your leadership team to make decisions that result in improved employee satisfaction and plentiful wins for your business.

Use analytics to find patterns within the data

This applies particularly to enterprise-level organizations that receive massive amounts of employee feedback.

Looking to make sense of what the collective voice of your employees is saying? Apply analytical techniques and use tools to help you find hidden patterns and trends in sentiment within your data.

For example, you and your HR team may discover that 95 percent of your Glassdoor reviews mention how incredible the organizational culture is, but, say, 60 percent talk about how there’s room to improve the “benefits package” or your company’s “PTO policy.”

By using analytics, you can spot employee issues before they become full-blown disasters, as well as discover positive features that you can highlight with candidates and potential employees.

Read more about how you can get more out of feedback using text analytics and sentiment analysis.

Harness employee feedback in order to build a people-first culture

Like it or not, employee experience shapes customer experience. That’s why it’s so important for your organization to focus on creating an environment where all employees feel like they have a stake in meeting customer needs and expectations.

How can this be applied when managing employee feedback? You can start by tuning into what employees are saying and by measuring engagement levels and underlying work conditions.

Using the data and insights that you have gained, you can then set benchmarks that enable you to more appropriately show appreciation and reward great employees for their work: necessary components of a people-first culture. Remember: engaged, motivated employees serve customers better.


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