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People Management

7 Employee Feedback Tools That Significantly Improve Engagement

June 27, 2022
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8 mins

These seven employee feedback tools are empowering people-first managers to understand their employees and act on feedback before it's too late.

Lawrence Barker
These seven employee feedback tools are empowering people-first managers to understand their employees and act on feedback before it's too late.

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People-first companies have a huge competitive advantage today. 

In the current economic climate, full of resignations and layoffs and hiring challenges, putting your people first—in actions and not just in words—is a huge opportunity. Investing in your employees is the key to retaining current employees and attracting future hires.

Employee engagement might sound like a nebulous concept, but it’s a proven way to measure how your employees are feeling and to find ways your Human Resources (HR) team can help. 

Gallup’s research found that highly engaged employees have 41% less absenteeism and a 17% increase in productivity. The impact of engagement is felt by customers as well—engaged employees lead to higher customer satisfaction and increased sales. All of these factors together lead to 21% greater profitability. 

Having highly engaged employees is a win on every level. How do you get there? 

Employee engagement software is one of the best ways for your HR team to understand engagement across your organization. 89% of HR leaders agree that ongoing peer feedback and check-ins are key for successful outcomes. Employee feedback tools are a way to add a rhythm and structure to the feedback process, making them an integral part of your people operations. 

Quote from SHRM on employee feedback


Why invest in an employee feedback tool?


An employee feedback tool gives you a structured, organized way to collect feedback. 

It’s all good and well to say that you care about your employees’ feedback. Everyone says that. But unless you have a way to collect input from across the company and—most importantly—actively act on that feedback, simply saying you care is not enough. 

There are many ways to encourage your employees to give feedback. Investing in an employee feedback tool that you use regularly turns feedback into a foundational aspect of your company culture. It sends a clear message to your employees that you are committed to hearing and acting upon their feedback.

Employee feedback tools make it easier for you to aggregate and report on results from across your organization. Most of them will present, highlight, and summarize key learnings for you.

These tools also make it easier for your employees to provide feedback. Giving unsolicited feedback to your manager, with no predefined structure or expectations around it, takes a ton of courage. Replying to a survey that you know goes out to everyone is a much lower hurdle. 

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How to pick the right employee feedback tool

Picking the right tool depends a lot on the specific functionality that you need. 

There are many different types of employee feedback: 

  • Short and quick pulse surveys to help team leads and managers know how their employees are feeling.
  • Company value surveys, which are more comprehensive and detailed.
  • 360 performance reviews, which take into account performance, career development, and progression.

Before you start looking through lists of tools, it’s important to know where your priorities are and what types of features you need. It often helps to make a list of must-have features and a list of nice-to-have features. Whenever you try a tool out, you can adjust your list and compare tools against each other using the same criteria. 

What are the best employee feedback tools?

1. Kona


Purpose
: Emotional daily check-ins that garner feedback, track and prevent burnout, and improve employee wellbeing.

Channels: Slack integration and web dashboard. 

Kona is a well-being and burnout platform for people-first teams. The Slack integration sends a daily emotional question to every team member — “how are you feeling?” 

This daily interaction provides the feedback remote organizations need to help teammates bond, improve teamwide vulnerability and trust, provide managers with context as to how their direct reports approach work and give organizations a bird’s-eye view into their employee's level of burnout. 


Notable features

  • Real-time burnout alerts and wellbeing trends in a health dashboard. 
  • Pre-meeting context for one-on-ones and stand ups.
  • Visibility into team needs and moods in real-time. 
kona check in for employee feedback

Pricing

  • Free forever with unlimited seats, $99/mo. for Starter Plan, $6/mo. per user for Pro Plan. See pricing

Use Kona for free. Schedule a 15-minute onboarding or add to Slack today

2. Culture Amp

Purpose: Develop your company culture to improve employee engagement, performance, and employee development.

Channels: Web, with integrations to Slack and Microsoft Teams.

Culture Amp is an employee engagement tool that helps you invest more in your people, manage your company culture and improve your employee retention. Their platform includes solutions for the whole employee lifecycle, from gathering employee feedback to managing performance reviews, 1-on-1s, and long-term development. 

Notable features

  • Turnover prediction, based on engagement and performance data. 
  • Daily micro-learnings to help managers encourage specific habits.
  • 30+ customizable survey templates to measure employee engagement. 
culture amp platform for employee feedback


Pricing

  • Culture Amp offers different packages depending on the company size with no pricing available on their website. 

3. 15Five


Purpose
: Improve performance by running performance reviews, employee engagement surveys, and upskilling managers at all levels. 

Channels: Mainly on the web, integrates with a variety of other tools (such as Slack and Microsoft Teams).

15Five is focused on transforming performance across all levels of an organization. It offers a variety of products tailored to that end, ranging from tools to manage 360 performance reviews, run engagement surveys, and track OKR achievement. 

They have a holistic view of performance, starting with developing your managers’ leadership skills and ending with individual career development for every employee. Many of their solutions are especially useful for remote teams, with 1-on-1 templates and a High Five feature to recognize accomplishments.

Notable features

  • A multi-faceted approach to performance reviews, which includes role clarity, strengths discovery, and career vision.
  • Engagement assessments with convenient and actionable reports.
  • OKR tracking and goal achievement across the whole organization.
15 five feedback software


Pricing

  • Starts at $4 per user per month. 15Five’s full Enterprise package, with all features, is priced at $14 per user per month.

4. TINYpulse

Purpose: Increase employee retention and improve performance by building an impactful employee engagement strategy.

Channels: Web, plus integrations to Slack, Microsoft Teams, Gmail, and Workday.

TINYpulse is a platform that offers employee engagement surveys and 1-on-1 coaching for managers. It includes great analytics and an accessible dashboard, with science-backed questions and survey templates to make it easier to get started. It also marries goal tracking with performance reviews, so employees can see how they’re progressing and how they impact company goals. 

Notable features

  • Real-time anonymous feedback surveys.
  • Customizable 1-on-1 agenda templates with goal tracking.
  • Way to recognize individual accomplishments and analytics on company-wide values.
tinypulse feedback software


Pricing

  • Pricing is not available on their website. Contact them for more information. 

5. Kazoo


Purpose
: Create a connected culture with an all-in-one employee experience platform.

Channels: Web, with a variety of integrations including Slack and Microsoft Teams.

Kazoo offers an all-in-one employee experience platform that includes a variety of features. It covers goal and OKR tracking, peer-to-peer recognition, 1-on-1 meeting management, feedback, incentive programs, and employee engagement surveys. 

Notable features

  • Easy-to-set goals on individual, team, department, and company levels.
  • Continuous surveys, with the option of anonymous feedback. 
  • Predictive analytics nudge managers with suggested actions based on employee feedback. 

kazoo employee feedback software


Pricing

  • Depending on the set of features most relevant to you, pricing starts at $2.50 per employee per month. The entire platform starts at $10.50, adjusted based on the number of seats purchased.

6. Officevibe


Purpose
: Engage, recognize, and enable leaders and teams through employee experience.

Channels: Mainly on the web, with a number of integrations (such as Slack and Microsoft Teams).

Officevibe is another employee experience platform that includes a variety of features, from pulse surveys to peer-to-peer recognition. It also includes a conversation engine and feedback guidance for managers. Officevibe gives you tools to both measure employee engagement and upskilling managers.

Notable features

  • Short and automated pulse surveys that generate insights regularly.
  • Peer-to-peer recognition through Good Vibes.
  • Manager templates and a team hub to always keep track of team issues and development. 
officevibe employee feedback software

Pricing

  • Pricing is free for up to 10 people and then starts from $5 per person per month. 

7. SurveyMonkey


Purpose
: Run a variety of surveys—including employee engagement surveys—with minimal effort. 

Channels: Web.

SurveyMonkey is an enterprise survey tool designed to cover all of your surveying needs. Their Engage product is tailored to HR teams who want to send out employee engagement surveys across their companies. Engage aims to make engagement surveys as easy as possible with automated send-outs, professional templates, and in-depth analytics. 

Notable features

  • Pre-built employee engagement surveys with custom branding.
  • Automated process to run the survey at a regular cadence.

surveymonkey employee feedback software

Pricing

  • Pricing is based on company size and ranges from $450 to $999 per month, for up to 500 employees. Larger companies have custom pricing. 

What do you do with the feedback you receive?


It’s essential that you act on employee feedback. 

Soliciting feedback without acting on it can be surprisingly harmful. Giving feedback makes people vulnerable. It requires overcoming our natural inclination to avoid confrontation or avoid saying something critical. If your employees do this and then nothing happens with their feedback, it can quickly cause frustration and resentment.

One more time for the people in the back: Whenever you ask for feedback, it’s critical to acknowledge and respond to it. Here’s how:

  1. Start by acknowledging the feedback. Thank your employees for taking the time to share their thoughts.
  2. Analyze and aggregate the feedback. Look for trends and commonalities to identify key strengths and areas for improvement. 
  3. Translate those learnings into action points. The more specific, the better. If one point of feedback is that there aren’t enough opportunities for career development, maybe you can start investing in a Learning & Development program. If your employees are struggling with stress, you can start working on wellbeing initiatives
  4. Communicate action points to everyone who gave you feedback. It’s vitally important that everyone knows what your takeaways were and what will change due to their feedback. 

Working with surveys is convenient because you can run them at regular intervals and measure how sentiments change over time. 

Surveys are also a great way to hold yourself accountable. If you start every survey with a report on what changed based on the previous results, you’ll see that engagement, interest, and the desire to give very open feedback will increase. 

You can’t improve what you don’t measure


Employee feedback tools provide a ton of support in establishing a successful employee engagement strategy. 

When you come across a tool that seems to offer the functionality you need, it’s a good idea to test it for a few weeks or months and observe what type of impact it has. You want to find something that has a high adoption rate, that people in your company find easy and simple to use, and that has a meaningful impact on your company culture. 

A great employee feedback tool will help you transform your company culture, retain employees, and increase their engagement—without everyone feeling like completing surveys is another item to add to their to-do lists.

Meet the Author

Lawrence Barker

Lawrence uses his decade of customer experience leadership to create content for B2B SaaS companies that love their customers. He writes on a broad range of topics, all with the aim of helping human-centered companies attract the right customers and empower them to be successful.

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