The state of employee feedback systems

When I speak at events, I challenge communicators to become part of the customer experience conversation by owning the employee experience at their companies. And the current state of employee feedback is an opportunity to do so. 

Nearly four out of five frontline employees (78%) say that their leaders have made customer experience a priority. And this makes sense. But here's the rub. Nearly 60% of those same employees believe their own ideas on how to improve that experience fall silent. 

There's a new report from the Medallia Insitute reveals the value of both getting employee feedback AND responding to it. It's the "AND" that many companies forget about. Whether it's in retail, hospitality, healthcare or another vertical, the frontline employees own the customer interaction and have a lot of ideas on how to improve the customer experience. 

Looking at the responses on how likely they are to delight customers (61%), improve company processes & practices (56%), improve employee training & development (47%), and reduce company costs (43%), I'm sure these numbers are lower than they actually are. What Medallia found is that a third of frontline employees say that their company is "unlikely" or "very unlikely" to act on their feedback. This has to create a negative morale situation where even if employees have ideas, they aren't going to express them. 

So where does internal communications fit into all of this? By inserting itself into the employee feedback model. When it comes to improving employee feedback, Medallia recommends:

  • Soliciting feedback regularly
  • Ask the right questions
  • Communicate the purpose of surveys, results and actions to be taken
  • Guarantee confidentiality of responses to maintain trust
  • Take continuous action based on employee feedback

In each of these areas, internal communicators have a tremendous and valuable impact on improving the state of employee feedback at their companies. It's a further way to inject themselves into more areas of the business.