Develop Trust to Get Better Feedback

Trust isn’t earned easily, but with some good habits on the part of survey professionals and management, your company can earn it.

In private life we don’t always want honest feedback, but in business we need to get as much as we can. We need our employees and customers to tell us if we’re getting fat and lazy.

Are you getting honest feedback from employees or are they just telling you what they think you want to hear?

All survey professionals are concerned about response rates and validity. In employee satisfaction surveys we find that many people will adjust their answers to what they think management would like to hear. They don’t trust that their answers won’t be used against them. And even if the surveys are anonymous, people will adjust their answers to avoid offending someone.

When people don’t know the purpose of the survey or trust the people conducting it they will not provide honest feedback.

3 simple habits that develop trust

Trust doesn’t come easy, but it is a consequence of the good habits that every survey professional or manager should adopt:

  1. Explain why you are asking, and what you are going to do with the answers. What is your reson for conducting for this survey? If you don’t do this people will try to guess your reasons and you will lose control. Be very clear and precise on what you are planning to do with the feedback.
  2. There is absolutely no point in any survey if you do not do anything with the results. And if you want to build trust you have to tell the respondents what you have done. Follow up your survey by summarising the survey and explaining what decisions and actions are being made based on that feedback.
  3. Be consistent. Make sure that people recognize your surveys and trust that they will get the same information and follow-up every time. Try to get the whole organization to be consistent about how it conducts surveys, so that trust keeps building. Inconsistency will cause doubt. If you have to depart from the norm; explain why.


Have your employees surveys generated trust for you yet? Contact us for a free Precision Feedback demo.



This post is originally from the Questback blog.