If you want to have a great culture, you need to ask your employees—often—for their opinions. What’s going right? What could be better? Regular feedback is essential for keeping your culture strong and for keeping employees engaged and happy. This is doubly true for virtual businesses, where problems can more easily go undetected.
But collecting feedback is only one half of the equation. You also need to demonstrate that your employees are not just speaking into a vacuum. As a virtual company, Centric Consulting uses company-wide feedback methods to improve culture and engagement, while proactively addressing concerns.
You should engage at least one tool that allows for anonymous feedback, because the only way you can truly uncover and address issues is to get the full, unvarnished truth of how people are feeling. Even when you encourage a culture of transparency and make it okay to give feedback without fear, human nature is hard to overcome. Anonymity helps employees feel they can voice concerns honestly without putting their job or relationship with their team or manager on the line.
Josh Bersin, founder of Bersin by Deloitte, an HR research firm, captures the importance of anonymity: “At work, the ramifications are different. If you down rate your boss or say something critical about him (even in a constructive way), you may be labeled a troublemaker, which now reflects poorly on you.”
Knowing this, Centric’s internal company satisfaction survey is anonymous. External public feedback sites like Glassdoor are also anonymous and worth keeping an eye on for valuable insights. Yes, you will get the occasional unfair, untrue post. But overall, external sites help you pinpoint your consistent wins and misses. If you are truly living your core values and building the culture you want, you shouldn’t fear being completely open for the world to see. Plus, in the age of social media, openness and transparency are a given—you don’t have much choice in the matter.