14 Great Tools for Leadership Feedback

YEC (Young Entrepreneur Council) surveyed some folks about how they get leadership evaluations from their employess. Here are their answers:

What tools and systems do you have for employees to give feedback to leadership?


1. An Open Door Policy

One great way to encourage feedback is by adopting an open-door policy. Unless I’m dealing with client-related concerns, my team knows my door is always open. Keeping your door open welcomes discussion and builds an environment where employees will feel confident expressing their thoughts and ideas.
– Elle Kaplan, LexION Capital

2. Company Walks and Open Access to Leadership

We have an informal communication process that allows direct access to leadership whenever there is feedback to be given. This could be done during the company walk, where leadership often comes along to encourage these conversations. However, for virtual staff who want to provide feedback, there are tools like Skype, email and phone calls. All channels are welcomed by leadership.
– Angela Ruth, eCash

3. Spontaneous Walkabouts

There’s nothing like a stroll through the business to allow time for spontaneous conversations with staff. The have work issues on their mind and you can present yourself as genuinely curious about how they are doing — which one assumes you are, anyway. While this stroll looks casual, it has a serious purpose, so put on your listening ears and leave it at that. Don’t offer judgment, just listen.
– Brandon Stapper, 858 Graphics

4. A Suggestion Box

Our company culture is such that our employees feel comfortable, for the most part, coming directly to leadership with any feedback they have. I have an open door policy — all are welcome to talk to me nearly any time I’m available. We also have an old-fashioned suggestion box, which is attached to the wall in our operations department, as another route. We have also employed anonymous surveys with success.
– Kristy Knichel, Knichel Logistics

5. 15Five Reports

Everyone on our team fills out a 15Five report every week, which allows us to ask questions that will be seen by other employees but also questions that are solely sent to the leadership team for honest feedback. We love 15Five (especially their new high-five feature) and it provides ample opportunity to give someone credit for helping out or simply doing something nice.
– Kelsey Meyer, Influence & Co.

6. SuggestionOx

Something we instituted a little over a year ago was a virtual suggestion box with a free tool called SuggestionOx. The suggestions are completely anonymous unless the submitter wants to include their name. At minimum, we cover these suggestions in our quarterly retreat and discuss them with the entire team to get their thoughts. In most cases we take action on the suggestions.
– Kevin Getch, Webfor


7. TinyPulse Surveys

TinyPulse solicits frequent snippets of feedback as opposed to bombarding employees with one or two huge surveys each year. Having feedback spread out in this way allows leadership to receive timely and relevant insights from the team, letting each manager address problems and opportunities quickly. And the focus of one question instead of many usually yields much more honest, in-depth replies.
– Christopher Kelly, Convene

8. Know Your Company

We use a product called Know Your Company, very simple and inexpensive way to engage your employees without a heavy-handed mechanism. It works great and allows you to tailor the specific questions you ask.
– Tracey Wiedmeyer, InContext Solutions


9. Proactive Questions

No tool can replace the benefits of a real conversation that you start with your employees. I make time to ask my employees about how things are going, what they are happy about and what they’d love changed. We also discuss their goals for their position at SkyBell, and also their personal goals. This creates safety and trust, and promotes the flow of feedback to leaders.
– Andrew Thomas, SkyBell Video Doorbell

10. Slack

Our team recently adopted Slack for productivity management and a solid line of communication. However, it has also become a great center for employees to feed into an open-door policy where they can express their ideas, thoughts and feelings to management. Teams can create specific channels to chat within, and surveys can even be created within Slack to weigh engagement, happiness and so much more.
– Miles Jennings, Recruiter.com


11. WeVue Mobile Platform

We utilize a mobile platform called WeVue to provide a system of communication for our geographically dispersed team. We also use it to facilitate team input and feedback on all sorts of decisions, from strategy development to selection of our holiday cards.
– Chris Cancialosi, gothamCulture

12. GilbertEMS.com

I didn’t know how to ask for feedback from my staff that didn’t put them in an awkward situation, so I hired Ron Gilbert from GilbertEMS to help with getting me the feedback I needed to help grow our company by learning to become a more effective leader. Ron and his team would conduct surveys and meetings with the staff, without me present, and get feedback I wouldn’t normally receive.
– Derek Capo, eFin

13. Open Communication at a Weekly Company Lunch

While we send out occasional surveys for employees to give feedback, leaving time for face-to-face communication each week is the most effective way to find out what’s going on with your people. Our weekly company lunch begins with questions from our employees and provides an opportunity for everyone to voice their comments and concerns on everything from the company to our leadership positions.
– Hank Ostholthoff, Mabbly

14. Management Reviews

In our last round of performance reviews, we turned the tables and spent half of our time asking our staff to review us. We asked them tough questions, like “if you managed yourself, what would you do differently that we as managers aren’t currently doing?” It raised some eyebrows and made the team a little uncomfortable at first, but the questions spurred really valuable feedback.
– Alyssa Conrardy, Prosper Strategies

Young Entrepreneur Council

Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC) is an invite-only organization comprised of the world’s most promising young entrepreneurs. In partnership with Citi, YEC recently launched BusinessCollective (http://businesscollective.com), a free virtual mentorship program that helps millions of entrepreneurs start and grow businesses.

  • Gary

    Another good suggestion box option is Incogneato (www.incognea.to). It’s secure, anonymous, and lets you anonymously chat with your respondents in real-time. It includes lots of other features like a website widget, customizations, data exporting, voting and discussion, and box restrictions.

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