How Do We Get Feedback from Employees and Measure Satisfaction?

Thursday, September 3rd, 2020

The Problem
Now more than ever there exists a gap between employees and facilities since most employees are not actually working at the facility.  Communication has shifted to virtual meetings and an increased amount of emails in a decentralized environment.  Despite this, employees still want to stay connected to the company & facility and be given informatio n frequently, especially during these challenging times.

Why Solicit Feedback?
Information is powerful and allows you to evaluate, plan, and take action.  As a facilities manager, it is what you don’t know that can hurt you and your ability to keep employees happy and productive.  Making a connection with employees has always been a challenge for a facilities department.  Human Resources (HR) and internal communications departments generally make all of the connections while facilities typically is given attention only when emergencies present themselves.  Letting employees provide feedback on facilities services, conditions, and safety is important to justify renovation projects, evaluate vendors, and review other important building changes that impact them directly.  It shows that you care as an organization how they feel about what you are providing for them.  After all, the facility is meant for them, literally.

The Challenge
Let’s go right to the elephant in the room – people generally do not like taking surveys or providing feedback.  On top of that, they tend to only share when they are upset about something.  [An employee] is 21% more likely to leave feedback after a negative experience than a positive one (  Bad news typically travels much faster than good news as well, further digging a feedback/survey hole deeper to climb out of.  Dissatisfied [employees] typically tell nine to 15 other people about their experience, yet only 10% of happy [employees] leave good feedback (  So, the challenge is this, how do I get employees to take the time to give me feedback, both positive and negative with all of these things working against me?

A Tactical Approach
Traditional surveys generally take too long to complete and draw an employee’s attention away from their work.  Sure, we all like to try and multitask, but surveys get in the way and are generally not looked on favorably.  The approach needs to be simpler, don’t go for the home run – settle for a walk and manufacture a run over time.  It’s about quick feedback to tuck away and pull together.  Think about it, are you more likely to sit and complete a 100 question survey or answer a single question each day over 100 days?  Even better is when you can craft a quick one or two questions survey in the heat of the moment during or near an employee’s experience.  A quick question consistently solicited shows both a pattern of caring and respect for an employee’s time.

Leveraging Technology
Fortunately, technology, especially in communications, has a lot to offer to make it easy to reach employees and get their feedback.  The main enabling devices, of course, are a mobile phone and a computer.  While these provide easy access to taking online web surveys, employees are less likely to spend time on these as noted.  The more popular communication methods such as SMS messaging & push notifications along with social media apps such as Twitter and Instagram made their mark by being quick and lean.  With the tactical approach of quick, consistent, and in the moment, business tools and apps have a lot to offer.  There are tools that leverage SMS polls for employees (Trilio & Text Magic).  Add-ons (often with free versions) can be bolted on easily to existing business software such as Microsoft Teams and Slack to enable quick polls (Polly).  These tools can allow for quick and frequent 1-2 question polls/surveys that employees are much more likely to answer.

An emerging and popular tool now is essentially a “Concierge App” for your employees.  Using “no-code” software such as Modo Labs and AppSheet (Google), an app can be created by non-developers and maintained with delegated roles to update employees about current facility news and policies, push a quick 1-2 question survey, schedule on-site workdays, and even put in service requests.  Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) beacons can be placed in the facility to do a push notification letting employees know about changes made due to COVID-19 or new renovations/policies when they are in a certain area.  The right choice for  your company depends on the number of employees you need to reach, the cost of the solution, and the overall scalability and goals you have for reaching employees.


The general message is that you should ditch the old ways of trying to collect bulky surveys and look to connect with employees using quick and consistent feedback methods in good cadence.  Technology allows us several ways to do this from quick communication methods via SMS to comprehensive employee-based apps with robust capabilities.  The data you collect will allow you to be better connected with the employees using the space and services you provide for them.  This will result in a happier employee that feels well communicated to and has a safer feeling about the facility during these times.

About AMS CAD + CAFM Solutions
AMS CAD + CAFM Solutions (AMS) is a leading Premier Certified Business Partner with FM:Systems of 18 years that specializes in consulting, design, and implementation of facilities management software and technology solutions.   AMS is a full-service, goal-oriented CAFM/IWMS implementer that partners with customers to bring them best-in-class FM applications.  Our innovative solutions combined with our industry experience have helped many of FM:Systems’ largest and most successful customers including corporate facilities, pharmaceutical/research companies, higher education campuses, and health care institutions.

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