Many small businesses operate with a simple formula that works, for the most part – one person, the entrepreneur/founder, at the helm – and a team of associates who help them achieve their goals and keep the business running. But they often miss a crucial part of the work equation – feedback.
Feedback can be the difference between a company of tightly knit employees and a company staffed with a rotating cast of workers. It’s important to build feedback cycles into your business; feedback between your business and its customers, and from employer to employee, and of course, vice versa.
Eliciting feedback from customers isn’t always as easy – people come for the product they want, and they don’t want to fill out a lot of paperwork concerning their visit. It’s important to make it easy for customers to reach out to you, either through social media or through quick email blasts. Here is a great list of feedback platforms that make it easy for customers to provide feedback and easy for you to manage – many of the applications are set up through your website or social media platforms. Which ones work best for you?
Also, starting a program of feedback in your office will pay out in the long run – you’ll have employees who understand their role, where their career is heading in the organization, and how they can improve. If you’re not already on a schedule of yearly reviews for each employee, make sure one is established. At Advantage, we have a form that the employee fills out in which they rate themselves at various skills – the reviewer fills out the same form, and both parties discuss their ratings and why they were chosen. I find it’s also important for employees to be able to openly give feed back to management without fear of repercussion – establish anonymous surveys driven through inexpensive online survey tools such as SurveyMonkey and distribute them to your employees yearly or after implementing new policies so that managers, policies, work environments and more can be evaluated and adapted.