How to leverage employee and customer feedback

Leadership
People & Culture

If you’re looking to make your business great, it’s important to build a process to gather feedback from your two most important stakeholder groups: your employees and your customers.

Employee feedback

One of the most important pieces of building a great, growing company is having the right people on the team, fully engaged and productive.

Culture and employee engagement are dynamic. They’re constantly changing based on employee’s experience with their jobs, their teams, their manager and the leadership of the business.

Due to the constant changes, leaders should be gathering feedback on a regular basis. There’s many ways to do this. Here are a few:

  • During 1:1 meetings with managers
  • Walk-arounds
  • Employee engagement surveys
  • Performance reviews

Like with many things, the most effective methods are the simplest. Leaders and managers should ask their team members how they’re doing. That requires trust so employees cans be honest.

Doing simple employee surveys can gather feedback anonymously. Focus on standard measurements like employee Net Promoter Score (NPS), basic engagement questions and open-ended questions such as, how can we improve things”. Survey results can also be tracked over time, seeing the trends around key engagement and cultural areas.

net promoter score rank

Employee engagement and culture building are not a one-time activity. To get the highest return of your investment, it is very important to gather feedback from your people to learn what is working well and how we can do better. When your people show you the existing gaps, your strengths and blind spots, you will be able make vital improvements as you go.” -Samin Saadat, Principal Consultant of Jalapeño Employee Engagement

Some tools to help measure and manage employee engagement include: 

Take care of your employees and they’ll take care of your business.  It’s as simple as that.”  -Richard Branson

Customer feedback

While everyone knows it’s incredibly important, it’s surprising how rarely companies get structured customer feedback. How can you be customer-centric if you’re not actually listening to your customers?

One of the easiest ways of getting customer feedback is by sending a survey to every customer after you close the project/after delivery. You see this from Amazon—a week after delivery you often get a message asking for a short review.

Another method is to have a conversation with the project sponsor. This can be a quick conversation where you ask key questions about how the project went, the value it created and what could be improved. Never forget that this is a great opportunity to ask for a referral (assuming they’re happy).

Incrementa has a customer feedback process we use at the end of every project. One of our family members who was not involved in the project has a 1:1 call with the project sponsor to gather feedback, and we send a short (anonymous) survey (NPS, plus 3 questions) to every stakeholder we worked with. With the data we create a short, one page report and NPS rating for the project.

Trust and safety

If you want honest feedback, you need to find a way to make it safe to provide it. Otherwise, you’ll only get positive feedback or nothing at all.

Many employee engagement tools provide anonymity, but that’s really hard for a small company. That’s where using a trusted 3rd party comes in. 

As part of our strategy programs, we include a semi-annual mini-employee engagement survey. That feedback is summarized by our team, making it truly anonymous, and presented to the leadership in such a way that there is complete safety for employees.

What you do with the feedback matters… most

The act of gathering feedback, then actually doing something about it, is very positive for your customer and employee experience. If you don’t do anything with the feedback, it’s not just a waste of time—it’s a breaks the trust of the people who gave the feedback.

If you’re going to gather feedback, it is vital to review the feedback data regularly, learn from it and come up with clear action items to be implemented.

Imagine the engagement of a team member who provides (anonymous) feedback, then sees a change in a practice or process shortly after. It shows what they said matters.

Incrementa makes sure to follow this. At our monthly meeting, we review all feedback, including what we did well and what we need to learn from. Actions are clearly defined and any process changes are made. If there’s key feedback, we make sure to loop back with the sponsor on how we will action it, closing the loop and showing how their feedback is improving our processes.

Your action items

You next steps are tangible, and if you need help down the path, we’re a call or email away.

  1. Gather feedback from your employees semi-annually, anonymously.
  2. Gather feedback from your customers regularly, using a tool such as NPS.
  3. Review feedback regularly (at least monthly).
  4. Create action plans, execute and communicate the changes with gratitude to those who gave you feedback.
Mike Knapp

Mike Knapp

STRATEGIC PLANNING & EXECUTION

Mike Knapp is a strategy & execution superhero with incrementa (un)consulting. He is passionate about helping the leaders become the heroes of their own stories by developing their vision into clear goals and an execution plan do drive their business forward.

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