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How to Handle Negative Feedback From Employees

Learning how to handle negative feedback is never easy. It can be difficult to hear what you or your company is doing wrong. Whether you get this negative feedback from employee surveys (either annual or pulse surveys) or from employees communicating openly in employee apps like Beekeeper, it can’t be ignored or overlooked. Negative feedback is important, but what you do with that feedback even more so.

Own It and Address It

Hiding negative feedback isn’t the answer, especially if it comes from an employee survey. While you may not want to broadcast negative results, it can actually make employees trust you more. Share negative feedback with the company openly and honestly. Don’t try to sugarcoat it. Address it, own it, and then move forward. Negative feedback teaches you what needs to be improved. Handling negative feedback correctly will make your business more productive and profitable.

Encourage It

Negative feedback should be encouraged. While you can encourage employees to share negative feedback with their supervisors, that may not result in effective results. Surveys are a good way to allow employees to share negative feedback, but feedback may be limited by the questions asked. Online communication platforms allow more opportunities for employees to voice their criticisms in a safe environment. People tend to be more open when they are on informal communication channels, and even more so when they are rewarded for their honesty.

Learn From It and Move Forward

The most crucial step in dealing with negative feedback is to learn from it and move forward. 48 percent of employees would stay with a company that asks what they want and actually reacts to the answers. Moving forward doesn’t mean immediately implementing new policies or taking immediate action. It is about researching more into ways to improve. According to a Gallup poll, employees want resolution, and the best way is through action planning. So once you’ve addressed feedback and are ready to move forward, start planning!

The Exception: How to Handle Negative Employees

Most of the time, negative feedback is productive and crucial to the improvement of your organization. But there are occasionally times when you have to learn how to handle negative employees. They complain, and when their issues are addressed and corrected, they find something else to complain about. The issue here isn’t negative communication—it’s a negative employee. In this case it’s important to deal with employee. You don’t want their unproductive negative feedback to impede on valuable communication from others.
Every organization will face negative feedback at one point or another. If you aren’t, it’s possible employees don’t feel comfortable expressing feedback. It may be time to implement additional options, including a communication platform like Beekeeper. Your organization needs that feedback, and Beekeeper can help.

Want to learn more about how to  listen and engage frontline workers? Submit the form below to find out more about Beekeeper – the employee app that stands out among workforce solutions and communication tools for internal teams.