CEO of Teamwork.com Peter Coppinger discusses the process of learning to improve from negative employee feedback and what the results of the company’s second team-wide survey revealed.


I’m committed to making Teamwork.com a company that has a reputation for building an exceptional software suite–and being a highly desirable place to work.
I believe the only way to achieve that goal is to listen to my team, collect responses as well as comments, and then take decisive action on that feedback.

Negative Employee Feedback Provides an Opportunity to Learn

If you read last week’s post, you’ll know that in September 2016 we sent an eNPS survey to our team and got some devastating results. Because we wanted more information about the results, we decided to ask for additional feedback.
Just a few weeks before Christmas, the entire team was given a second eNPS, and we started with the same question:

On a scale of 1 to 10, how likely is it that you would recommend Teamwork.com as a place to work?

Everyone was assured that the second survey was 100% anonymous and that the results would be shared in an internal blog post.
Unlike the initial survey, however, I also decided to include the question “why” in our second team survey, so that everyone would have the opportunity to explain their answer. I felt it was crucial to add this question because, without it, any attempts to improve would be based on guesswork.

What Did the Results of Our Second Employee Survey Reveal?

Given how disappointed I was with the initial survey results, I was quite apprehensive about what our second eNPS with the added “why” question would reveal. Thankfully, the results showed that we had increased our score and reduced the number of detractors from 9 to 3.

eNPS Benchmark Survey Monkey
I was relieved with the result of our second survey, but I knew my work didn’t end there.

what to do with negative employee feedback

The Importance of Open Communication

Ultimately my goal is to reduce the number of detractors, convert passives into promoters, and ensure all current promoters stay satisfied.
I decided that the best strategy was to stay connected and keep the conversation going.
Here’s what I said to the team in an internal blog post with the survey results:

Your feedback is genuinely welcome, but please identify yourself if you are asking for a specific action. Make your concerns/great ideas/feedback known to your manager and/or avoid cryptic statements if you want your concerns addressed.

We’re on the right track, ‘up and to the right’ is a good direction, here’s to doing even better in 2017!

In my opinion, the most effective way for any leader to improve employee enagagement is to get team feedback, look honestly at the results and then take action.
The most valuable lesson I learned from initiating and following through with employee input was that I needed to ask the right questions in order to get accurate, actionable feedback. A simple rating scale could not provide enough data to take effective action.
After the second eNPS, I decided that in order to get more authentic feedback from everyone, I needed to open up the lines of communication beyond a one- or two-question survey. In order to do this, I introduced another initiative called Feed the CEO Monkey–a Google Form where Teamworkers can leave comments, ask questions or send suggestions.
I promised the team that no matter how hard or uncomfortable the questions were, I would answer every question honestly in internal blog posts.
I’ve been asked some interesting questions and gained some surprising insights from the introduction of Feed the CEO Monkey–all of which I’ll discuss at length in next week’s post.
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Otherwise, I’ll see you back here next Thursday!