If you want to know how your employees are doing, you must ask them consistently and afford them anonymity. Here’s how.

One of the best ways to boost employee engagement and productivity is to make a concerted effort to listen to what your employees are saying – or rather, want to say. This is important for management, including HR, because if you’re not listening to your workforce, you have no idea how they’re feeling about their work experience. It’s essential to check in on employees – “not to check up on them, but to make sure they are clear on what they need to do to accomplish their goals,” says Damon John, a businessman, investor, television personality, author, and motivational speaker.


It’s equally important for employees to feel like they are being listened to. “Having their input taken seriously not only gives the team more pride in their work, but a motivating sense of ownership,” says John.

How best to listen? Sure, it’s important to have face-to-face conversations with individuals throughout the company. But there’s no way to ensure you’ll speak to everyone you need to. And sometimes people feel they can’t speak their mind in those situations. One study found that 85 percent of employees are withholding critical feedback from their bosses.

The Power of Anonymity

It’s essential to solicit anonymous feedback of the sort enabled by the EmpowerPoints survey tool. The EmpowerPoints system asks your employees one simple question each week when they log in using their computer, tablet, or phone. This makes employees are much more likely to participate. What’s more, anonymous employee responses allow for honest feedback and further encourages participation.

Why is it important for employee survey responses to be anonymous? Because only then will most employees be completely forthright. “If people at work feel like they’ll get in trouble if they come to you with an issue, or that it’s futile, they won’t come,” says Mel Robbins, a motivational speaker and CEO of The Confidence Project, a media and digital learning company working with Fortune 500 brands, and the author of “The 5 Second Rule,” the No. 1 audiobook of 2017. “Without open and transparent communication, there is little room for innovation, collaboration, and engagement with your employees.”

Finally, survey your employees frequently enough to avoid nasty surprises that can arise over weeks and months. Marathon Health is a Winooski, Vermont-based company that helps employers provide workers with personalized health care plans. They don’t just survey employees annually, they do it periodically throughout the year, says Matt Riley, SHRM-SCP, Marathon Health’s vice president of people operations. The EmpowerPoints survey tool goes one step further, allowing you to keep your finger on the pulse of your workforce with even more frequent feedback: weekly. In our experience, the more you survey, the better.