What do you do when employees share less-than-flattering feedback in confidential surveys?

Managers will often want to try and figure out who said what with the intention of wanting to help that individual and solve the specific problem. While that is a good inclination and an important part of a supervisor/employee relationship, that’s not the goal from a feedback program standpoint, nor should it be. The true value of an employee feedback program is understanding the collective experience of the community of workers. It will always be more complete than what any single individual might relay.

By understanding this collective experience and finding out what *according to the group* is working and what *according to the group* is not working, companies can address the issues that are going to have the greatest positive impact for the greatest number of employees. We want employers to get the biggest bang for their buck for the time, effort, and resources they are willing to devote to an issue.

Continue to have one-on-one conversations to find opportunities for problem-solving and supporting individual team members. But, when you read the feedback left in confidential surveys and come across an employee comment that packs a bit of a punch, remind yourself to view it in context of the collection. Is this one person’s experience? Or is there a trend emerging with similar remarks? There’s a significant, and important, difference.

Focus your efforts on improving the collective experience of the community of workers, and you’ll find that engagement levels will rise. And, as your company culture improves as a result of addressing the more widespread concerns, the individual who left that less-than-flattering feedback may find their own individual experience has improved, too.