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Why HR needs employee feedback

Posted by: Emma Upton
19/04/21

Employee feedback is a vital component of successful management. At WRS, we conduct annual employee opinion surveys and feedback forums, including our ‘CEO for a day’ forum where we ask our employees, “If you were WRS’ CEO for a day, what would you do?”. The purpose is to understand what improvements could be made and, in my role as Head of HR this is vital to direct my efforts. Generally, I’m looking for trends in the data to determine if there is some commonality in the feedback. Thereafter, this is where I can focus my attentions and have the most impact.

Our most recent employee survey was conducted in February 2021. The survey is designed to measure five key areas: progression, engagement, management, training and communication. We commonly see that we score highly on staff engagement and were pleased that, even in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, this was still the case. 86% of staff agreed they were engaged in WRS and their work, and 86% of staff also said they feel WRS has a good team spirit and community.

Focusing on management, we scored highly on approachability of management but, on the other hand, only 43% of staff said they have monthly one to ones with their manager. This struck me as being low and, what’s more, it’s a trend across different divisions, meaning that a number of different managers are failing to have individual meetings with their staff on a monthly basis. However, there could be any number of reasons for this, but further investigation is needed to tell the whole story. It could be that we need to train our managers and educate them on this, or it might be that some employees don’t want or need one to ones as regularly as once a month. In the past 12 months, WRS has implemented a formal review process, annually for our support team members (for example, finance employees) and twice yearly for the consultants. For some, this may be enough. My next step in this instance is to take a focus group from across the business to understand what is required in terms of management meetings and assess from there.

Another area for me to investigate is our commissions and incentives, where the majority of staff said they felt under-rewarded. Alongside commission, we reward staff with holidays, lunches and events to celebrate our success, but in lockdown it’s not been possible to do as much of this and this may have contributed towards the result. We have put several other awards and incentives in place to recognise the achievements of our team members and we have also changed the way we give pay increases, so that it is a transparent system based on achievement. This demonstrates that we are determined to improve the way we operate when we need to, for the benefit of our team members.

The final area to mention is linked to communication, where 93% of staff agreed that the WRS management team had shared messages well during COVID-19. This was vital and a real testament to our hard work. You might have expected that, with everyone isolated at home, we would have found it more difficult to communicate, but our team members have embraced technology to allow us to stay connected. Alongside this, everyone has made an increased effort to keep in touch with each other, perhaps because the work community became even more of a vital source of support during the lockdowns.

So, there’s a lot to learn from employee feedback and more work to be done. At WRS, we are committed to continuous improvement and we believe that we should keep learning and keep trying to get better. In HR, it’s so helpful to get feedback directly from our team members to guide the next initiative. I’m never afraid to admit there might be things I’ve overlooked, but when brought to my attention I will work on creating robust policies to help WRS improve its practices and overcome any challenges.

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WRS can save you time and money by supporting internal resources, providing you with the best pre-qualified candidates when you need them. We are a workforce solutions company with offices in Europe, the Middle East, APAC and the Americas, supporting the needs of businesses around the world. We employ specialist sector consultants, who can help you to identify the expatriate and local personnel you need to keep your business moving forward.

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