As we navigate remote work trends and other changes to how business is conducted, getting feedback from your employees is an invaluable resource. Your employees tend to have a front-row view in your organization. They can be the first to spot potential problems, obvious issues, and opportunities to improve. But what’s the best way to get this kind of feedback from your employees? Q&A sessions!
The benefits of Q&A sessions with employees
We know that employee feedback is more important than ever. We also know one of the best ways to get this feedback is through Q&A sessions.
Here’s why these question and answer periods are so beneficial:
- They demonstrate your willingness to listen
- They promote and foster communication and discourse within your organization (topical get-to-know-you questions are great for this!)
- Q&A sessions can encourage employees to speak up when they might be reluctant to do so on their own
- They help address issues within an organization before they become bigger problems
- With anonymity options, employees are even more likely to offer honest feedback
Answering employees’ questions
Another one of my favorite things about Q&A sessions is their ability to work both ways. Not only can you ask your employees questions and get real-time feedback, but it can be structured so you’re the one answering questions instead!
Maybe your employees have questions about upcoming changes, current programs, work structure, or any number of things that play a role in how a business operates.
But with designated question and answer sessions where your team is given the go-ahead to ask about the issues they’re most concerned with, you’re giving them the opportunity to speak up, be heard, and get the answers they’re looking for.
Getting better feedback during Q&A sessions with employees
Keep in mind, not just any Q&A session will do. For a question and answer period to be successful, it needs these 5 things:
Before you set out on planning a Q&A period with employees, consider why you’re doing so. We covered the benefits of these sessions, but which ones speak to you? What are you hoping to get from this event? With that in mind, you can create a more effective Q&A session with the type of feedback you’re hoping for.
A list of questions
Once you’ve established your “why,” you can create a list of questions in line with that goal. A list of 5–10 is a great place to start.
Here are some examples of questions often used in this format:
- This or that questions: “Would you prefer to work one less hour per day or have two paid days off each month?”
- Yes or no questions: “Do you feel like this organization supports your professional development?”
- Open-ended questions: “What is your most recent professional success?”
- Scale questions: “On a scale of 1–10, how satisfied are you with your current position?”
Then, you can go ahead and use this information to improve and make changes wherever possible.
A time limit
We’ve all been there: you’re stuck in a never-ending meeting and itching to move on to the rest of your day. As these meetings go on, we become less engaged and interested in whatever’s being discussed. If you’re the meeting host, you could start to notice lots of fidgeting, stretching, yawning, disinterest, and disengagement.
In fact, your audiences’ attention span starts to drop off within 7–10 minutes, according to multiple studies.
To keep your meetings engaging and effective, setting a time limit is crucial. Not only that, but actually sticking to this time limit demonstrates to your team that you respect their time.
One way to help you stick to this time limit is showing up prepared. Having your questions ready, your technology set up, and a clear goal in mind for the meeting.
An anonymity option
If your employees are nervous to voice their honest opinion, you have no hope of receiving effective feedback. This is where an anonymity function in Q&A sessions comes in handy!
That brings us to our final must-have for an effective employee question and answer period:
The right tools
With most of us working from home right now, technology that facilitates more effective remote work is more important than ever! If you’re hosting a Q&A session, you need reliable, fast, and simple tools to help you get the job done.
Live polling software lets you ask your audience questions and display the results in real-time. With the ability to text questions or comments and the ability to moderate questions as you go, you can engage everyone in the room and get more accurate feedback.