Getting employee feedback is vital for the ongoing development of your online recognition programs.
By working on obtaining employee feedback on your recognition programs, you will be able to:
· Clarify recognition program expectations.
· Learn about problems with existing recognition programs.
· Build confidence in using your recognition programs.
· Generate innovative ideas for progressing recognition programs.
· Discover things you could never have known about.
You have so many ways to solicit employee feedback and I will explore some methods you can use.
What About New Employee Program User Surveys?
Why not get some new employee perspectives on your recognition programs? They don’t have the stilted or biased views of long-term employees. They will be super excited to take part in giving their views in the first few months.
Imagine if you found out from them in the first 90-days:
· Has the new employee felt welcomed and appreciated through your programs?
· Have any of their peers recognized them during their first 90-days?
· What were they specifically recognized for?
· Has their immediate supervisor or manager recognized them in the first 90-days?
The insights gained from this survey will give you direction for how managers and coworkers need to interact with your recognition programs in welcoming and encouraging new employees.
Set Up Rotating Pulse Surveys
The significant benefit of pulse surveys is that they are short and quick. You can highlight how they take 3-minutes to complete and invite as many staff to participate as possible.
Pulse surveys allow you to narrow down and focus in on one or two areas at most. They can be a short as just 1 to 3 questions and as long as 4 to 5 questions.
You’ll find Pulse surveys are very thermometer like surveys asking employees to give a level-based response. They can use 5- or 7-point Likert scale, three faces with smiley, neutral, and sad mouths, and even a scale of 1 to 10.
If you want to monitor the progress of a new recognition program, then a pulse survey is a great way to gauge perceptions and areas needing refinement.
General Program Satisfaction Surveys
Most often you want to find out general satisfaction with your employee recognition programs.
You can do this anytime an employee engages with a particular program and randomly request feedback from a sample of employees. Your goal is to find out their overall experience with a program:
So, you might ask, “How would you rate your experience with our career milestone program? Very satisfied, Satisfied, Neither satisfied nor dissatisfied, Dissatisfied, Very dissatisfied.”
Satisfaction surveys also want to find out the employee effort spent in solving a problem with a recognition and reward program.
You could ask, “Our recognition program employee contact center made it easy for me to resolve my issue.”
Why not ask employees what their likelihood is to recommend your recognition program to their peers?
Your question might look like, “How likely are you to recommend our organization’s recognition program to a peer?”
Never set up your program satisfaction survey questions where employees feel forced or expected to respond to every question. Give the option for employees to opt out of answering a question. Not responding is still a response.
Keep your questions simple and to the point. To make it easy to respond, use graded levels of response like using Likert scales versus making people answer yes or no. It is also important to allow opportunities for employees to give open-ended responses.
The Infamous Employee Engagement Surveys
Most employee engagement surveys are annually, but some companies continue to conduct them biennially. Unfortunately, employee engagement surveys are always lagging indicators of recognition in your organization.
They do not give many valuable insights into your recognition programs. However, they at least give a retrospective comparison, year-over-year, of how well recognized employees feel at your organization.
Often organizations purchase proprietary engagement surveys to compare across an industry. But if you get the chance to mold the questions being asked superficially about employee recognition, change whatever you can.
Try to drill down in asking specific questions that will help identify how well employees perceive their manager in giving amazing recognition. If you can, find out how employees feel about recognition from their peers, too.
Always be careful in using double-barreled or two-part questions. The classic that I have repeatedly seen on engagement surveys is, “Do you feel recognized and rewarded for doing good work?” Which is it? Recognized or rewarded?
Eliminate leading questions, such as “Should managers wanting to advance their position use recognition programs more often?”
Never use loaded questions like, “Do you enjoy receiving gift cards?” If you have never received one, you’ll find yourself stuck trying to respond.
Refrain from using absolutes. “Do you always recognize people on a weekly basis? (Yes/No).”
And Then There’s Focus Groups
When you’ve got a specific need to address and you want ideas, recommendations, and frontline experience, then focus groups with managers and employees are vital.
Like all feedback methods, set a specific and singular purpose for holding focus groups. No more that 8 to 10 people in a group and only address one or two program needs at most.
Get them to share the positives and the negatives and always ask them for recommendations of one thing they feel could be done to make your recognition program better. Never go overboard with trying to get more input than is helpful.
Set clear rules of engagement and advise that none of their names will be associated with any of the feedback received. Record the feedback received on flip charts and audio record for back up.
Always invite their willingness to take part in focus group sessions in the future.
Conduct Manager Interviews
Getting a sample of one-on-one manager interviews is also a useful method to collect employee feedback. After all, they receive feedback formally and informal input from their employees on your recognition programs.
Get a few exemplary manager users and those that are not such great users as managers to interview.
Find out the limitations and barriers that restrict these managers from using the recognition programs. What would managers need now to better improve their program usage? How can the company support them in encouraging better and more frequent employee participation with the recognition programs?
Just use a few of these to round off your employee feedback on your recognition practices and programs.
Always explain why you are conducting these surveys, focus groups, and interviews. And make sure you tell everyone what you intend to do with the information.
While you are at it, make sure you give everyone who participates feedback on the results and outcomes of their input.
Recognition Reflection: How, and how often, do you seek employee feedback on your recognition programs?
Roy is no longer writing new content for this site (he has retired!), but you can subscribe to Engage2Excel’s blog as Engage2Excel will be taking Roy’s place writing about similar topics on employee recognition and retention, leadership and strategy.