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Reality vs. apprehension – how positive feedback exceeds leaders’ expectations

The introduction of anonymous employee feedback is not only accompanied by positive expectations.
In the CompanyMood onboardings for managers, the advantages of the system are praised and the added value for the work in management is discussed. But not all managers are optimistic about the feedback they can expect. Some managers see the anonymity of the feedback as a problem. The statement

“They’re just using anonymity to let off steam!”

is mentioned more often by managers with negative feedback experience.

Most often, the comparison is made to social media. An account is quickly created and you can blurt out your personal opinion to the public without being recognised. What applies on Facebook & Co. can’t be any different in the corporate world. Or can it?

We investigated this question and analysed 340,000 anonymous evaluations from the last three years that were submitted to companies as feedback via CompanyMood.

The result clearly proves that the “Social Media issue” is not really applicable to the corporate sector:

66% of the ratings in the mood barometer were given as “happy” or “satisfied”. For 17% the mood was “ok” and only another 17% were “dissatisfied” or “unhappy”.

Our conclusion: Trust in employees is rewarded with constructive and positive feedback!
Top scores for managers, still potential for improvement in strategy.

In the course of the analysis, we went one step further and wanted to know which topics scored best in the 340,000 evaluations and where there is still a need for optimisation from the employees’ perspective.

We were more than pleased with the results (percentage of evaluation by topic):

  1. Managers (74,2%)
  2. Working environment (73.9%)
  3. Communication (73.8%)

Every cloud has a silver lining. Of course, there are also topics where employees see an urgent need for optimisation and action.

Here are the most negative rated topics (percentage of evaluation by topic):

1. Vision/Strategy (38.5%)
2. Salary (38.1%)
3. Workload (28.1%)

What can we learn from this?

Companies that use CompanyMood or other feedback systems to give employees a voice can be rewarded by are more modern and inclusive corporate culture with a high level of satisfaction with their managers.

At the same time, it becomes apparent which screws could still be turned on the company side. More than a third of the negative evaluations relate to the topic of vision/strategy. So the mighty “WHY?” seems still not clearly defined or communicated in many teams. This could mean that the much-vaunted “Why?” has not been defined or clearly communicated in many companies.

What does your own company stand for? What values do they live by, where is the company heading and how does it live up to issues such as environmental management, sustainability and social responsibility? A foosball table and a full fruit basket were certainly groundbreaking ten years ago in the course of the New Work hype, but are now part of the standard. Movements like Fridays For Future and also the result of the last federal election show that social and ecological issues are increasingly coming into focus. With regard to this development, employees’ demands on their own company are also increasing.

Comments largely positively motivated

After evaluating the individual topics, we turned our attention to the comments made.

More than 50,000 anonymous comments were submitted by employees of CompanyMood clients, regardless of the general mood rating.

Here, too, the positive outweighs the negative: almost 47% of the comments submitted were given the status “happy” or “satisfied”. This compares to 33.9% of negative comments.

Whereas appreciation used to be a major dissatisfaction factor, this has changed over the three years. In addition, the colleagues are often praised, suggesting the empowerment a good team can attribute.

Most positive comments about:

  1. Appreciation (75.1%)
  2. Colleagues (72%)
  3. Task/Activity (59,4%)

In the negative comments, the topic of vision/strategy is again explicitly referred to:

  1. Vision/Strategy (59,5%)
  2. Salary (55,4%)
  3. Work equipment (43,6%)

Analogous to these results, the global topic of Environmental Social Governance (ESG) is increasingly moving into the corporate focus. From social responsibility to ecological problems and social returns, more and more companies are becoming aware of their ethical responsibility. Living up to this responsibility and communicating it to the outside world has become more than just a moral obligation. This part of the corporate culture can and must also be regarded as obligatory in terms of employer branding and the associated recruitment and maintenance of personnel.


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