From idea to action: 3 companies where employee feedback drives real change

by Joyce Famakinwa
August 22, 2018

The best companies know that getting feedback from employees can lead to the change that thrusts the organization forward. The question is, how can companies put the right processes in motion to gather that feedback?

They aren’t exactly using carrier pigeons or passing notes. From employee engagement software to anonymous surveys, some tech companies stay true to their nature and make tech a part of the solution.

We talked to three LA companies to learn how they collect employee feedback and make sure those ideas are turned into action.

 

Wpromote team
photo via Wpromote

Wpromote wants to make both small and large companies act and move like major enterprises. The digital agency works with startups and Fortune 500 companies alike to develop a robust marketing strategy that touches everything from email and SEO to social, content, and programmatic. Lizzie Maher, a recruiter on the people operations team at Wpromote, told us about the systems they have in place to make sure their 350-plus employees aren’t lost in the crowd.

 

What processes or technologies does the company use to make sure employees are heard?

At Wpromote, we’ve successfully implemented the use of TinyPulse to effectively and securely gather any questions, comments or concerns our employees may have. This technology allows us to send a single question “pulse” to all of our employees on a weekly basis. In order to ensure our employees feel comfortable responding and voicing their opinions, all of their answers remain anonymous and sent to our COO, Michael Block. The curated questions are not only useful for employees but also for managers and senior-level staff to assess how the company is cohabitating and collaborating as a whole. We understand that voicing an opinion or concern at work can be nerve-racking, which is why using TinyPulse gives every employee an equal opportunity to share what’s on their mind.

We understand that voicing an opinion or concern at work can be nerve-racking, which is why [we give] every employee an equal opportunity to share what’s on their mind.”

How do you ensure feedback leads to change?

We are fortunate to have a COO who is truly invested in the satisfaction of each employee at our company, which is why he takes the time each week to review and privately respond to the TinyPulse responses, despite the fact that we currently employ over 350 individuals across eight offices nationwide. If a response requires additional attention or investigation, he takes the time to assess the situation as objectively as possible and suggest solutions that satisfy all parties involved. While the anonymous feedback is a great way to learn about ways that we as a company need to improve, not every situation can be solved from a simple message, which is why Michael offers to meet with the concerned employee in person if they feel comfortable.

 

Can you identify a change driven by employee feedback?

One of the best ways that we can show our employees that their feedback is not only being heard but also implemented is through a TinyPulse dashboard called “Wall of Wins.” Here, the employees can read about the various suggestions their colleagues have submitted and learn about how management incorporated them into our workplace environment.

Recently, a colleague of mine suggested that due to our company’s rapid growth, it would be beneficial to raise the per-person budget for team events. The feedback was well received by upper management, and they increased our budget by 150 percent.

 

Matchcraft team
photo via Matchcraft

An early arriver to the LA tech scene, Matchcraft has been partnering with resellers and digital agencies around the world for more than 20 years. The company's adtech platform helps companies manage and scale hyper-local search, display and social solutions for their advertisers. Head of People+Culture Nicole Webb and People+Culture Manager Alisa Redgrift talked us through how internal surveys have led to a host of improvements — including dogs at the office.

 

What processes or technologies does the company use to make sure employees are heard?

We employ tools like Survey Monkey, which helps us set up quarterly surveys and other surveys as needed. These quarterly surveys help us prepare and monitor our employee happiness index. We also use ReviewSnap, an annual review process that includes a self-evaluation, a manager evaluation and one-on-ones between employees and managers. We also have internal semi-annual reviews and monthly all-staff meetings that involve our entire employee population, spread across seven countries.

We host brainstorming sessions and conduct surveys to ensure that all of our employees’ opinions and suggestions are heard.”

How do you ensure feedback leads to change?

We propose goals that are structured, clear and realistic to execute. We pull action items from every quarterly survey and implement changes based on feedback from our team members. Examples include dogs in the office, 401(k) match, team-building activities and work from home Fridays.

 

Can you identify a change driven by employee feedback?

We used survey feedback to determine that the majority of our employees wanted to bring their dogs to work. The data from this survey also determined which days of the week Matchcraft would allow these pets on site.

We also host brainstorming sessions to ensure that all of our employees' opinions and suggestions are heard. In the past, Matchcraft’s team building activities, such as quarterly recesses, happy hours and holiday parties, have been chosen by the employees through such feedback channels.

 

Centerfield team
photo via Centerfield

Centerfield’s data-driven marketing and sales technology use real-time, biddable media to make it possible for companies to better target top-tier potential customers. Gena Romano, the company’s director of human resources, talked to us about how they’ve created and maintained an office environment where employee feedback is welcomed.  

 

What processes or technologies does the company use to make sure employees are heard?

We use a third-party company to manage anonymous surveys sent to employees in each department. These surveys gauge employees satisfaction with managers, new processes or projects. We also have a robust, three-month leadership training program that focuses on how managers can be strong leaders, create a safe environment for feedback and provide clear goals for tracking. This training prepares our managers to be well equipped in ensuring our employees are heard.

 

Action plans are created and, during the town hall meeting, feedback is shared with the group.”

How do you ensure feedback leads to change?

After every survey, the results are analyzed by HR and the executive team. Action plans are created and, during the town hall meeting, the feedback is shared with the group. Action items are reviewed with the teams in a group setting which we feel keeps accountability in place. With our leadership training, the managers are paired with one another as accountability buddies and are tasked with keeping each other on track for maintaining a comfortable and open feedback environment.  

 

Can you identify a change driven by employee feedback?

Clarity around bonuses and commissions. We heard the group’s feedback on clarity and rolled out a new communication tactic to make sure every employee and manager had a complete understanding of how bonus or commissions are calculated and paid.

 

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