Co-created leadership and horizontal structure: hearing the employee’s voice

Listen to your employees’ voice: develop your internal evaluation system


Internal company evaluation system enables employees to share their perspectives on their work experiences with their leaders — with a focus on their happiness, relationships, and overall experience with their employer.

What is internal company evaluation system?

The main aim of the internal company evaluation is to assess what is working well and what not, and then to determine what changes are needed, particularly to advance equity and excellence goals. Internal evaluation involves asking good questions, gathering fit-for-purpose data and information, and then making sense of that information. Feedback acts as a bridge between employees’ satisfaction and managers’ expectation

Internal evaluation is most effective when the organisational conditions are supportive and staff members are encouraged to develop the capabilities to do it well. There is no one way of developing these conditions and capabilities, but there are some actions and decisions that are likely to help.

Allowing employees and human resources to express their opinions, it is possible to receive feedback that will help make the right decisions to improve the employee hiring, management and retention procedures. Asking to the workforce what they think about benefits, leadership, structures and job satisfaction, it is important to get information on team morale, management effectiveness and hiring methods.

Effective internal evaluation is always driven by the motivation to improve

How to implement an effective internal company evaluation?

Show Interest.

The best way to get true feedback from your team is to create a culture of open and honest communication. To do this, it is necessary to start by showing a genuine interest in how workers are doing, in what is causing them problems, and how to solve them.

Pay Attention to Non-Verbal language.

If you regularly see body language or non-verbal reactions that convey distrust or frustration, there are probably problems inside the company, and you should take the time to understand better what it does not work.

Gathering employee feedback can be done in several different ways.

Anonymous Surveys

Anonymous Surveys are one of the simplest and most popular ways to gather feedback from employees. Proponents of anonymous surveys say that the confidential nature of these surveys allows employees to express their opinions without fear of backlash. The types of surveys are very varied and the questions must be adapted to the company.

The questions can be grouped into 3 topics:

  • Organizational well-being (e.g. health and safety at work and work stress; discrimination);
  • Degree of sharing of the evaluation system (e.g. My organization and my performances);
  • Evaluation of the hierarchical system (e.g. My boss and equity);

It is also good to ask for the personal data to be able to make a more accurate final analysis.

Set of Open and Close-Ended Questions

When building surveys, questionnaires, or other forms, it is important to have a mix of questions.

Close-ended questions will allow your team to gather specific information that is easily reportable. Close-ended questions make surveys quick for respondents so that it does not eat up much of their work time.

Regardless of the form of the question, questions should always aim to bring out constructive feedback.

Constructive feedback includes details about the context and people involved in an event or behaviour. Employees should be encouraged to give details about how policies, behaviours, or patterns have impacted them.

Idea or Suggestion Boxes

This is a simple way to keep leadership constantly open to input from employees. Employees who are hesitant to express unpopular ideas may want to leave feedback in an anonymous way, but feel like surveys haven’t been a good format to express their idea.

Feedback Meetings

Employee feedback meetings are a great way to connect staff and managers together in more effective ways.

Some companies bring in trainers to train staff in effective listening and constructive feedback. Communication training aims to encourage a culture of open dialogue. With transparent communication, companies can better shape their culture around connection, respect, and mutual understanding.

One-on-one meetings are just as important as group discussions. Checking in with employees to see how they are working, to let them know that they are appreciated, and to show that managers are always open to their opinion. Feedback goes two ways — managers give feedback to their employees and vice versa. If there is a culture of this two-way relationship, it will encourage open dialogue that will deter bitterness and frustration.

Collecting and analyzing feedback

Collecting and analyzing feedback are the initial steps to increasing employee satisfaction. The information gathered from surveys must be channeled into action.

Share Results

Share Results With Employees to increase transparency and trust.

Assess the Importance and Urgency

Assess the Importance and Urgency of Commonly Reported Complaints While analyzing feedback and patterns of employee churn, companies can determine which issues are worth addressing, how urgent they are, and the timeframe and resources needed to implement change.

Necessary human resources

Managers, who organise the internal company evaluation system, and employees, who participate in it.

Skills that managers & employees need to develop in order to implement the practice

Organising, facilitating making in practice the internal company evaluation involves a variety of skills, such as:

  • Communication
  • Proactivity
  • Empathy
  • Active listening

Necessary material resources

Online or paper survey about employees’ satisfaction or/and an online platform for the internal evaluation system

Expected impact

Some important findings of the study show that it is unable for any organization to be a distinctive and effective result producer without extraordinary input from its employees, which is impossible without knowing their requirements for working in the environment.

The benefits given by the use of internal company evaluation system:

The employees will be more loyal, and will feel more engaged and involved in the development of the company.

Employee productivity increases, employees that enjoy their workplace miss fewer days and keeps productivity high.

Comprehension the current dynamics of the workplace. Internal company evaluation system will reveal stress-causing issues and underlying friction between workers.

Employees have a great influence on the development of the company. If they are dissatisfied, they can unintentionally damage it, or worse, they can damage it on purpose. You could prevent many problems before they will have a negative impact on the customer.

Internal company evaluation system strengthens team processes as well as their performances.

Researches confirm the benefits for companies that use and internal company evaluation system:

Nearly 70% of workers are likely to stay with an employer for at least three years when onboarding it a positive experience

Example(s) of prior application

Company name: Gruppo HERA

Number of employees: 8.000
Location: Emilia Romagna, Italy

How the WPI was implemented?

The company was born in 2002 out of the aggregation of 11 municipal companies operating in Emilia-Romagna, first corporation of its kind nationwide, over time Hera has embarked on a journey of consistent and balanced growth. It works mainly in the environment (waste management), water (aqueduct, sewerage and purification) and energy (electricity, gas distribution and sales, energy services) sectors.

The internal working climate survey represents a fundamental tool in the processes of continuous improvement, involvement and enhancement of workers, two of the operating principles envisaged in the Charter of Values of the HERA Group. Its application began in 2005 and the realization is carried out every two years to allow the implementation of improvement actions.

The reference index used to evaluate the results obtained is the ESI (“Indice di Soddisfazione Complessivo dei Dipendenti” Overall Employee Satisfaction Index), an indicator composed of several elements divided in two areas: the satisfaction and motivation of the people. The survey focuses on 4 topics: the role of each within the company, the work environment, the direct superior and the corporate culture.

Results obtained

Since the first climate survey carried out in 2005, employee satisfaction has increased by 14 points.

Reference (website):

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