Welcome to Top 10, Recruiter.com's weekly rundown of the best of the best in recruiting! Every Friday, we release a list of some of our favorite people, things, and ideas dominating the industry. From awesome tech tools and cool companies to great books and powerful trends, no stone in the recruiting space will be left unturned.
This Week: Top 10 Employee Feedback Tools
In this year's crop of the top-rated CEOs on Glassdoor, the most-approved execs are all connected by shared commitments to transparency, employee recognition, and employee development. Take a look at the comments left by employees of these organizations, and you'll see these three things praised most commonly – and vocally – of all.
If you want to be a top CEO – or just a good leader who inspires their team members to be productive and engaged at work – you'll need to become a champion of transparency, recognition, and development. Employee feedback platforms are invaluable in that journey. Platforms that facilitate dialogue between managers and employees and between coworkers can keep an organization transparent, make recognizing employees more convenient, and help companies develop tailored career paths for each of their employees.
Which platforms are worth your time? Every company has its own specific needs, but we're willing to bet that everyone can find at least one platform they can use in the following list of our 10 favorite employee feedback tools:
Readers.com CEO Randy Stocklin says his company turned to TINYpulse years ago to help gain insight and feedback from employees – and it's worked out pretty well for them.
"TINYpulse allows team members to rate questions anonymously and lets team members share information, suggestions, and comments about any subject that they want to comment on," Stocklin says. "After receiving those answers and ratings, we share them at every monthly meeting and talk about them with our team. We believe in open communication in everything we do, and TINYpulse gives team members the confidence to share how they feel without the pressure of their name being exposed."
Waggl specializes in small "pulses," brief surveys you can send out quickly to employees and which they can answer with little effort, making it ideal for agile feedback delivery. One of our favorite features of Waggl is its reporting, which uses the collected feedback to produce smartly designed infographics that look nice enough to share on the company blog! We also like Waggl's voting feature, which allows employees to upvote one another's answers to open-ended questions (anonymously, of course). Rather than a bunch of disparate suggestions, leaders and managers can see what really matters most to employees overall.
3. Google Surveys
While specialized employee feedback platforms have a lot to recommend, there's always the option to keep it simple: For some companies, Google surveys are more than enough.
Sophie Lhoutellier, HR manager at Badger Maps, likes that creating surveys through Google is "fast and easy, which saves the HR team a lot of time." She also likes the surveys' customizability, scalability, and anonymity – not to mention the comprehensive reporting functions.
"The results are automatically put into graphs and charts, so it's easy to uncover patterns or trends and make the according improvements and changes," Lhoutellier says.
William Gadea, creative director and founder of IdeaRocket LLC, agrees with Lhoutellier's assessment, adding, "It's extremely intuitive, presents attractively, and of course, the price is right."
4. Happster by Aventr
Like Waggl, Happster's feedback tool involves an employee voting function – but its voting operates a little differently. Happster users are given a monthly allowance of upvotes, which means they can't simply upvote everything. Instead, they have to think carefully about what feedback is most important to them and deserves their endorsement. The result for leaders and managers is that they can be sure the upvotes reflect employees' most pressing concerns.
Also cool is Happster's "sentiment engine," which scores feedback as either negative or positive in real time. In this way, it subtly prods people to make sure they're offering constructive, useful feedback, rather than simply raining on everyone's parade.
15Five condenses pulse surveys, performance check-ins, one-on-one meetings, and peer recognition and feedback into one quick weekly survey. Employees answer a list of customizable questions every week about how they're feeling, what they're doing, and the suggestions they might have, and managers get easily digestible snapshots of their team members' work lives.
HighGround is designed specifically for real-time coaching, which makes it a boon for any organization aiming to make more transparent the connection between employee performance and rewards like raises, bonuses, and career advancement.
"We use our platform as an in-the-moment tool to ask, 'How's it going? How are you feeling? How are you doing? Here's coaching. Here's feedback.
Here's recognition," says Kent Frazier of Lieberman Research Worldwide. "Those conversations happen as part of normal, everyday discussions, and they're archived on the platform. [Performance management] is not a once-a-year conversation that everyone dreads."
Beth Perkins, talent acquisition manager for Delphic Digital, likes Reflektive for how "lightweight and easy to use" it is.
"They built a Gmail plugin so you can send feedback right from your email, no need to log into a separate system," Perkins says. "We're able to set up one-time and recurring polls to track our [employee net promoter score] and other important engagement metrics."
If your company uses Slack to communicate, Polly's a smart integration that allows you to create polls in Slack in real-time. It's perfect for simple, quick, whole-team check-ins – but don't let its simplicity fool you. Polly's pretty powerful in the analysis department, generating reports that can help you track important engagement trends over time.
Great for fostering peer-to-peer feedback and recognition, Bonusly works by allotting team members a certain number of points per month. Employees then award these points to their coworkers for specific achievements. Employees can also save up the points they earn from their peers and redeem them for rewards, like gift cards and other goodies.
(Thanks to Matt Bentley, founder and owner of CanIRank, who put Bonusly on our map.)
10. Tap My Back
Tap My Back is a fun, visually friendly app that allows employees to recognize one another by "tapping" each other – kind of like tapping the pictures you like on Instagram. It's intuitive, mobile, and social-media-esque, which makes it easy for employees to pick it up and get going. Managers can set which specific tasks employees are allowed to recognize one another for, and an engaging badge system keeps employees coming back for more.