Peakon provides the unique ability to enter into a dialogue with employees, in response to the comments they provide through the survey. Doing so, the employee information remain confidential, but can still provide the extra detail that you sometimes need to understand and address an issue. Here's how it looks:
This powerful feature needs to be used responsibly, however. When you reply, Peakon clearly states to the employee that they are anonymous. Yet, you should be considerate that it may come as a surprise to employees – given that this capability will not have been part of surveys the employee has completed previously.
Here are some guidelines to using conversations most effectively:
- Never ask an employee to reveal themselves. Peakon is a platform to provide anonymous feedback for a reason, and this would be a serious breach of trust. The most likely response from an employee would be to avoid answering future surveys and to escalate the situation to HR.
- Do not challenge employees. If a member of your team raises something that you disagree with, Peakon is not a good place to argue with them. It's simply not a healthy discussion to have online, let alone when one of the parties is anonymous. In such cases, employees tend not to respond, and refrain from providing comments with their scores in the future. In these situations, often the best response is to wait for your next team meeting before saying to the group that e.g. "a few people have raised something in Peakon that you'd like to clarify as there seems to be a misunderstanding." Then go on to share your point of view. Note that it's very important not to single out an individual by saying "someone wrote in Peakon..."
- Try to discover whether this is a common issue. Sometimes it takes an individual to flag something before you can discover if this is a common problem that many of your team care about. If you feel this may be the case, you could respond with:
"Thanks for raising this, it's something that I'd certainly like to address. In doing so, it would help me to know if you think others on the team feel this way. Could you share your thoughts here?"
Notice that the sentence is purposely phrased as a question. Not surprisingly, we see far higher reply rates in conversations when the manager poses a question rather than just a statement.
- Feel free to ask for suggestions on how to improve. It sometimes takes a while for employees to truly believe their feedback will lead to action. However, when they do, you will tend to find that comments become more solution-oriented. One major benefit of the conversations feature is that you can speed up this process. E.g. by replying with a question like "Thanks for raising this. I'd really like your thoughts on how it could be addressed. Would you care to share some ideas here?"