One cannot deny the value of feedback for improving your processes, getting more customers, preventing churn, and in general, making your business better and more profitable. Great feedback comes from many places and one of the best is from within your organization and employees.
Indeed, besides asking your customers how they feel about your product or services, you should also pay attention to what your employees have to say. To get the most out of your employees’ feedback, you should make this a structured process rather than just grabbing bits and pieces as you go.
Here is a guide on how to effectively collect and manage feedback from your employees.
Why Great Ideas and Innovation Come from Your Employees
Your customers only know about the customer-facing side of your offering. If something breaks as they are using it, they are the first ones to complain and rush to your customer service. Inevitably, you will get lots of feedback on how to improve your processes just by tapping into this channel.
On the other hand, your employees are on the other side, and they know what it takes to deliver a great product or service to your customers. They know the bottlenecks and issues and probably have their own systems to get around them.
Your employees will often come up with shortcuts to make their lives easier and get work done more efficiently. For example, they may have an existing workflow, but they figured out that the best way to get things done is to create a workaround.
Let’s say that marketing is struggling to create amazing content. Instead of making blind guesses, they go straight to sales and interview them to get inspiration for an article and social media post.
In other words, your employees’ goal is to get the job done quickly and up to a great standard, so they’ll come up with proven ways of making this happen. It’s worth listening to their ideas so that not only your customers are happier, but your internal processes are smoother and more efficient.
How to Collect and Manage Ideas from Employees
The most important aspect of collecting ideas from your employees is to make it a structured process rather than hoping for one-off bits of feedback coming in from different places. Here is how to do just that.
Define Idea Management Process
Before starting with feedback collection, think of what the process should look like. Carefully define the following criteria:
- Who collects the feedback?
- Where is the feedback stored?
- How do you manage feedback and what happens once an employee submits something?
- Do you focus on qualitative or quantitative feedback?
- How do you close the feedback loop?
- How do you keep the process anonymous for employees who don’t want to reveal their identities?
Once you come up with an answer to these questions, you can start creating the idea management process. We suggest starting with an idea management tool such as FeedBear to collect and manage feedback as it streamlines the process for both internal and customer feedback.
Communicate the Process and Assign Roles
Once you have a system in place, it’s time to let your employees know that they can submit feedback at any time. You can send an internal email or put up a post on your company blog. Elaborate on the ways that employees can leave feedback and explain what happens once they submit something.
It is also a good idea to record a video explaining the process or even set up a short company-wide video meeting where employees can ask questions.
As you’re rolling out the process, assign roles within the company. While much of feedback collection can be automated, it’s still good to have someone in charge of the process. The main reason is to give your employees someone to turn to and ask questions about the process.
Explain that the purpose of collecting feedback is to save time, refine processes, make everyone happier in the workplace and provide a better product/service for your customers. The goal of collecting ideas internally is not to have employees complain about each other.
Also, communicate that collecting feedback internally is not a one-time process and that whenever they have something to say, they should submit an idea. It’s good to set up reminders monthly or quarterly through emails or your employee management tool of choice.
Engage with Them
Feedback works best when it’s acted and communicated on. If an employee takes time from their day to submit an idea and provide feedback, make sure to drop them a message and thank them for participating.
Even more importantly, once you implement a change your employees suggested, let them know individually and thank them once more. If you’re to encourage participation, the best way to do so is to show them that you’re actively working on their suggestions.
Invite to Collaboration
Your employees have their targets and KPIs and it can be easy to forget that they can and should suggest ideas and leave feedback. As mentioned, set up an internal communication flow to encourage employees to take part. Besides a place where they can leave their ideas, also point them to a person that can answer their questions.
Let Everyone Take Part
No one is too big or too small to take part and everyone’s idea counts, from customer support reps to the CEO. Make sure to treat each idea with the same approach, no matter who it’s coming from.
Offer Incentives and Rewards
As we’ve seen time and again, collecting ideas and feedback needs to be coupled with some sort of incentive to get more employees to take part. You can award them with vouchers, gift cards, or good old time-off. There is no cookie-cutter solution here - run a poll in your employees to see what truly matters to them.
Recognize Their Work
If your internal feedback collection results in some great ideas and initiatives, don’t be shy about it. Make sure to highlight the results and show your entire company what the results are and how you achieved them. It’s a great way to motivate even more employees to participate.
The Importance of Employee Input
Employee input is not only important, but it is also essential to driving progress and achieving success in any organization. When employees feel empowered to share their ideas and insights, it can lead to a range of benefits that go far beyond just improving the company's bottom line.
One significant benefit of encouraging employee input is boosting morale and engagement. When employees feel that their opinions matter and that they are making a meaningful contribution to the company's success, it can have a profound impact on their motivation and job satisfaction. This, in turn, leads to improved productivity and a more positive work environment.
1. Boosting Morale and Engagement
When employees feel valued and respected, they are more likely to go above and beyond in their work. They are more likely to take ownership of their projects and feel invested in the company's success. This can lead to a virtuous cycle of increased engagement, better performance, and even higher levels of employee retention.
2. Encouraging Innovation and Growth
Another benefit of employee input is that it can encourage innovation and growth. Employees who feel comfortable sharing their ideas are more likely to think creatively and develop innovative solutions to problems. This can lead to new products, services, and processes that drive business growth and help companies stand out in a crowded marketplace.
3. Improving Company Culture
Finally, encouraging employee input can have a significant impact on company culture. When employees are given a voice and feel heard, it helps create a culture of openness and transparency. This, in turn, can lead to a more positive work environment and a stronger sense of team unity.
Summing up, employee input is not just important; it is essential to driving progress and achieving success in any organization. By encouraging employee input, companies can boost morale and engagement, encourage innovation and growth, and improve company culture. So, if you want to build a thriving company, make sure to give your employees a voice and listen to what they have to say.
Struggling to manage feedback coming from all places? Consolidate customer and team ideas, feedback and feature requests using FeedBear. Try it out for 14 days, no credit card required.
Get customer and team feedback easily with FeedBear! Centralize and prioritize feedback, ideas and feature requests. Try FeedBear for free and see how it improves your product development. Sign up now for a 14-day free trial!
Creating an open and supportive environment
Creating a culture that encourages employee input requires a deliberate effort on the part of management. Here are some methods to create an open and supportive environment:
1. Encouraging Open Communication
Establish open and transparent communication channels that encourage employees to share their ideas, concerns, and feedback without fear of reprisal. This could take the form of regular team meetings or one-on-one discussions.
Open communication is a vital aspect of any organization. It helps to build trust and respect among employees and management. When employees feel that their opinions are valued and heard, they are more likely to be engaged and committed to their work.
One way to encourage open communication is to set up a suggestion box or an online platform where employees can anonymously submit their ideas or feedback. This can help to remove any barriers that may prevent employees from sharing their thoughts.
2. Providing Opportunities for Collaboration
Encouraging teamwork and collaboration can foster an environment of trust and mutual respect. This can be accomplished through team-building activities, joint projects, and cross-functional collaboration.
Collaboration is an excellent way to tap into the collective knowledge and expertise of employees. It can help to generate new ideas and solutions that may not have been possible otherwise.
One way to promote collaboration is to set up cross-functional teams that bring together employees from different departments or areas of expertise. This can help to break down silos and encourage employees to work together towards a common goal.
3. Recognizing and Rewarding Contributions
When employees see that their ideas are valued and are being acted upon, they are more likely to continue contributing. Offering incentives or rewards for innovative ideas can help to motivate employees and create a culture of proactive ideation.
Recognition and rewards are powerful motivators that can help to reinforce positive behaviors and attitudes. They can take many forms, such as bonuses, promotions, or public recognition.
However, it's essential to ensure that rewards are tied to meaningful contributions and not just participation. This can help to maintain the integrity of the reward system and prevent employees from feeling undervalued or overlooked.
Creating an open and supportive environment requires a concerted effort on the part of management. By encouraging open communication, providing opportunities for collaboration, and recognizing and rewarding contributions, organizations can build a culture of innovation and engagement that benefits everyone.
Build better products with the power of customer feedback using FeedBear! Centralize and prioritize feedback, ideas and feature requests with ease. Start your free trial today and discover the benefits of a customer-centric approach to product development. Sign up now for a 14-day free trial!
Channels to Collect Ideas from Employees
Just like collecting ideas from customers, there is no single channel that works best. There are plenty of different ways to gather ideas and the best one for you will depend on your team and their preferred way of communication. Here are the best ones to get started with.
The good old email is the first place to go when collecting feedback from your employees. While the chances of them opening it are pretty big, also consider the competition. They also get messages from other employees and transactional emails in the same inbox, so it’s best to use emails in combination with other channels for better visibility.
If you’re looking for a quick way to determine how your employees feel, surveys are just the tool for the job. There are plenty to choose from NPS, CSAT, CES, and others. Surveys are a good way to get quantitative feedback about a specific aspect of your product or service. Once numbers come in, you can make informed decisions quickly based on data. However, surveys are not the ultimate form of feedback collection.
Want to give your employees a platform to voice their opinion? You can create a quick form in Google Forms or a tool such as Jotform. Bear in mind that the forms should be short and to the point, asking for ideas and feedback around a specific topic.
If you want to show someone that their opinion matters, hop on a call with them to get their ideas and feedback about a certain improvement in your organization. However, bear in mind that calls are qualitative feedback and to make the most of it, you’ll need to take notes and analyze afterward, which can take quite a bit of time.
“Not another meeting”, you say as you read this line. However, meetings can be a superb way to spark a group discussion around a certain topic for improvement. The best way to ensure you collect quality ideas and feedback, make sure that your meeting has a structure so it’s a discussion rather than an argument or a loud conversation.
If you have a specific problem with multiple stakeholders that you want to be solved - a focus group is just what you need. Put together a few employees who would be the best people to look into resolving a problem and start a discussion to get to the bottom of the problem.
A suggestions box is a place where employees can anonymously submit feedback about the company processes. This is an old-school practice that goes way back, and you can implement it today with modern software and tools in a matter of minutes.
Evaluating and Prioritizing Ideas
Generating ideas is just the first step in your innovation process. Once you have collected employee ideas, you need to evaluate and prioritize them. Here are several methods that can help you do that:
1. Establishing Criteria for Evaluation
Your organization should establish clear criteria for evaluating ideas. These criteria should be based on your company's values and goals. For example, factors like potential impact, feasibility, cost-effectiveness, or alignment with corporate strategies could be included in your evaluation criteria. By establishing these criteria, you can ensure that all ideas are evaluated fairly and objectively.
It's also important to communicate these criteria to your employees. This will help them understand what factors you are looking for in their ideas and encourage them to submit ideas that meet these criteria.
2. Involving Employees in the Decision-Making Process
Inviting employees to participate in the selection process can increase their engagement in the initiative and help ensure that the best ideas are being selected for implementation. This can be done through a variety of methods, such as voting, brainstorming sessions, or focus groups.
Read Also: How to Collect Ideas from Your Customers?
By involving employees in the decision-making process, you can also get a better understanding of the potential impact and feasibility of each idea. Employees who are familiar with the day-to-day operations of your organization may have insights that can help you evaluate ideas more accurately.
3. Balancing Short-Term and Long-Term Goals
It's important to balance short-term goals with longer-term strategic objectives when selecting ideas. Some ideas may offer immediate benefits, while others may require heavier upfront investments to achieve long-term growth.
When evaluating ideas, it's important to consider both the short-term and long-term impact of each idea. While short-term gains may be attractive, it's important to ensure that the idea aligns with your company's long-term goals and objectives.
FeedBear: The Best Tool for Collecting and Managing Employee Ideas
As a startup, you know that employee feedback is crucial for innovation and growth. With limited resources and time, it's important to focus on the ideas that will have the most impact on your customers and business. That's where FeedBear comes in.
A Simple Idea Board for Centralized Feedback
FeedBear's idea board is the perfect tool for collecting and managing employee ideas. Here are some of the features that make it so effective:
- Create unlimited idea boards to centralize feedback from both your team and customers.
- Allow comments and voting on ideas to identify the most popular requests and the ones that will have the biggest impact on your business.
- Organize feature requests by votes, popularity, or current status to ensure you're focusing on the most important ones.
- Reduce duplication by automatically surfacing similar ideas and suggesting them to users as they attempt to post a new one.
- Merge and reorganize ideas easily, so your team members are always in complete control.
- Choose whether to keep your idea board internal or public, allowing for collaboration between product, support, and customer success teams.
A Customizable Roadmap
With FeedBear's customizable roadmap, you can create and manage a visual product roadmap that aligns with your team's goals and customer needs. Here's what makes it stand out:
- Use a customizable product roadmap in a Kanban-styled board to easily track planned, in-progress, and completed tasks, ensuring team alignment toward common goals.
- Customize columns and statuses to communicate your needs effectively, making it easy for your team to understand priorities and progress.
Announce New Features
Keep your customers in the loop by updating them with FeedBear's built-in changelog. Let them know about all the progress and changes you're making. It's super easy and hassle-free!
Engage Your Customers
By using FeedBear's idea board, you can show your customers that you value their feedback and build a strong sense of community and loyalty. Use comments and discussions on the idea board to identify the real problems and needs of your customers, and announce new features and releases to generate excitement and ensure they receive real usage from customers.
FeedBear can be seamlessly integrated with popular tools like Trello, Jira, Intercom, Slack, and Zapier. Connect FeedBear with your existing workflow and make sure everything is working together smoothly, making it even easier to prioritize feature requests and stay on top of customer feedback.
An Affordable Solution
FeedBear offers simple pricing plans that include your whole team, making it more affordable than most alternatives. Here's what you can expect:
- The Startup plan starts at just $49 per month for up to 3 team members.
- The Business plan starts at $99 monthly for bigger teams, with unlimited team members.
- Despite the incredibly low price point, FeedBear offers a wide range of features and benefits, including all integrations.
Overall, FeedBear is the perfect solution for collecting and managing employee ideas. Its user-friendly design, centralized idea board, customizable roadmap, and changelog feature are a must-have for any startup looking to innovate and grow. Sign up today and see the difference it can make for your business.