HR Management & Compliance

Best Responses to Negative Employee Feedback

When you give your employees a chance to give you their feedback, there is a good chance that some of it will be negative. Instead of getting defensive, you must handle negative employee feedback in a better way. How to do that? Read on.

Source: Ivelin Radkov / shutterstock

5 Ways to Respond to Negative Employee Feedback

Don’t React Immediately

When you get negative feedback, understand that employees are pointing out flaws and issues with management. Don’t consider it a personal attack.

When you receive negative feedback, don’t rush into responding right away. Take a breather and relax. This ensures that your emotions don’t get the better of you. You don’t want to say something to your employees that you will regret later.

Ask the Right Questions

To fully understand the employee feedback survey, you need to ask the right questions. When you get the feedback, ask:

  • Is the feedback factual or not?
  • Are there any instances to support the negative feedback?
  • How can you change things to resolve the mentioned issues?

After that, ask your employees:

  • If they have examples to support the feedback
  • For suggestions on how you can change or improve
  • Which areas of the organization it is affecting the most

Once you get clear answers, you will get a better idea of how to approach the problem.

Focus on Important Issues

Don’t try to fix everything at once. Focus on a few key issues that were repeatedly raised by the employees.

Gather as much data as you can for the issues you want to focus on. There is no right or wrong way to choose what you want to focus on first. You can choose either issues across all the departments or the top problems that each department faces.

Clarify with Employees

Before you take steps to work on the issues, get clarification from the employees. You and the employees may have different ideas about the same thing.

For example, the employees say they are not happy with the flexibility offered at work. You might think they want to choose their working hours, but maybe they want the option to work from home few days a month.

Unless you clarify the core concerns, you won’t reach the right solution.

Speak with Actions

Show your employees that their feedback matters. There would be no point of asking for feedback if you don’t work on resolving the issues.

Come up with solutions that you think would work best. Schedule a follow-up meeting, and discuss if those solutions would work. Brainstorm with your employees, and discuss potential solutions to the raised concerns.

Listen and acknowledge their suggestions, and implement their ideas if you think they would be effective. This gives your employees a sense of ownership and will also increase employee engagement levels.

Key Takeaways

Not everything will necessarily work like a well-oiled machine in an organization. There will be some kinks to smooth out, but employee survey software can help you identify them and right the wrongs. Implementing this tool will create a happier and more engaged workforce.

Bhavika Sharma is a survey designer at SurveySparrow—Online survey tool, where she designs surveys that work by making them more conversational and engaging. When she isn’t designing killer surveys, she loves to travel, searching for adventure and meeting new people. Her travel experiences have taught her the importance of conversation, and that is what she brings to the table while creating surveys or content for her readers.