Staff feedback, ideas and forums

Evaluate staff feedback and ideas


When you receive ideas from your employees try to interpret the feedback fairly and objectively. Some feedback is likely to be critical so you should analyse it in terms of the facts presented and avoid letting your feelings or opinions cloud your thinking. By setting up an ideas evaluation process you will add transparency for staff and build their confidence to submit feedback and ideas in the future.

Establishing an ideas evaluation process

The ideas evaluation process you need will depend on the size of your business and the amount of feedback you receive from staff. If volumes of feedback are relatively small you might be able to manage the evaluation process personally.

If you have a larger business, you may need a scheme administrator, who will manage the ideas evaluation process - including communications - and an evaluation team made up of representatives from across your business.

Evaluation criteria for staff feedback

Some evaluation criteria you could use to help you assess employee ideas include:

  • cost reduction
  • generating business income
  • increasing market share
  • improving customer service or relations
  • improving the working environment or work/life balance
  • enhancing the reputation of the business
  • improving decision-making or reducing risk
  • improving the efficiency of working practices/processes

It's important that you define what these broad criteria mean to your specific business and that you brief your evaluation team accordingly.

If you ask for ideas on a particular area, then you may need more specific evaluation criteria.

It's also important to make sure employees understand that suggestions for small changes are as welcome as big ideas. Sometimes small changes can have a major impact on the way the business operates.

Sorting feedback into actions

When you have received employee feedback you may have quite a bit of sorting to do to identify key themes. Group those suggestions that relate to each other together and place them in categories or subcategories if required. You can then mark whether each idea requires action or not. If an idea is marked as no action, you should outline the reasons for this so you can explain it to staff.

Once you have identified your individual actions you can develop an action plan that will help you plan and implement the ideas for improvement.

Acknowledge staff feedback

Communicate your evaluation of ideas and show the difference the ideas have made to your business.

If you implement any ideas on the back of staff feedback, make sure that you recognise and reward employees whose suggestion it was. This will help generate a positive business culture of engagement and encourage other staff to provide valuable feedback and ideas.