Comments make up an integral part of the feedback you receive from employees. They provide context to the driver scores and help you uncover underlying issues, which can help inform your action planning.
Viewing the comments on Strengths & Priorities
Addressing the priorities is a key part of improving your team's engagement. To understand the underlying issues behind any priority, we recommend the following click path:
- Click into one of the drivers that has been identified as a priority on your dashboard. This will open up the dashboard for this particular driver.
- Scroll down to view the comments associated with this driver. This will help uncover the underlying issues on why employees feel this way about the driver
- You can then click on the comments icon at the bottom of the comments list which will open up the comments page with a filtered view of all the comments for that particular driver
- Once the comments have been reviewed for the driver marked as a priority, we suggest adding some actions to address the driver. This can be done by clicking on the "Improve" icon at the top of the driver dashboard or by clicking on the "Improve" icon in the left menu.
Highlighted comments appear at the top of your comments page and are marked as "Highlighted". These are comments that Peakon has identified as being particularly useful because they meet the following three conditions:
- They contain direct advice. This means that they contain words such as "could" or "should" etc.
- They contain extreme scores for the question the comment was left on (high or low)
- They contain around 140 characters, which typically makes for a more useful comment
Highlighted comments are particularly useful when dealing with large volumes of comments, for example, a manager or admin member who has access to all segment data or to large segments of employees.
Topics are generated once enough comments have been collected for each driver question. Topics categorize your comments into common themes that Peakon identifies from your comments. This means that you can easily work through a large volume of comments by looking at the identified topics.
Managers of small teams will typically not have any topics populate on their dashboard, so this feature is more for managers with access to all segment data or larger segments of employees.
Topics are generated based on comments going back three months meaning they remain relevant and should help inform your action planning efforts.
Filtering and sorting
Managers of smaller teams where no topics have been generated are generally able to read through all comments. Peakon recommends following the click path of opening up the dashboard for those drivers that have been identified as priorities and viewing those comments in the context of the driver before creating an action plan in the Improve area.
It's also possible to access all the comments from the comments option in the left menu. This will then show a list of all comments with the Highlighted comments appearing first.
The filter and sorting options at the top of the page allow you to filter on comments by:
- Driver questions, open-ended questions, value questions
- Score category: promotor, passive, detractor
- Specific driver, open-ended, or value question
- Interaction (conversations)
- Sorting options: highlighted, date, and score
- Search box to search for specific terms
- Sensitive comments filtering by group
These filtering, sorting, and search options allow you to easily group comments together in a way that can help you manage your comments.
Some clients encourage their managers to use the acknowledgement and conversation features on comments. In this case, a manager may find it useful to filter on those comments with no acknowledgement or interaction, for example.
Dealing with unconstructive comments
Positioning Peakon correctly with your employees at the onset is an important step in mitigating unconstructive feedback that you may receive. However, unconstructive and trivial comments do appear from time to time: "Avocados are too ripe", "No oat milk, only almond milk in the kitchen" etc. Breaking this type of mentality without telling employees how to answer is the desired outcome.
If unconstructive comments start to become a problem, consider the following:
Reassess the questions being asked. If custom driver and open-ended questions are being asked, reassess whether the questions themselves are constructive. Poorly formulated questions can lead to poorly formulated comments being left.
Reposition Peakon and what it's intended for. This may involve:
- Sending out communications
- Training managers on how to deal with unconstructive comments, for example, can the employee themselves take the initiative to cultivate the change they seek? Start a supporting and constructive anonymous conversation that encourages the employee to take steps toward creating the desired outcome they seek (see Advice for using Peakon's conversation feature most effectively)
- Creating a video with messaging from senior leadership
- Adding a explanatory sentence in the custom text box of the survey email
It's also worth remembering the following when dealing with unconstructive comments:
- Use the Highlighted comments to sort through the most impactful comments
- Not all comments require a reaction. It's not always necessary to react to each comment
- Some employees simply want to vent, albeit about seemingly trivial things. Respect this. For them, simply having an outlet to vent and knowing that while nothing might come of the comment, the fact that it's being read in itself can be quite satisfactory for them.
- It's worse to have an employee who is unmotivated to give feedback.
Best practices for managing sensitive comments
Sensitive comments are those comments containing monitored words that may require a reaction.
In those instances where a sensitive comment has been detected, review the comment and establish whether a false positive has been detected. False positives can be unmarked as sensitive, meaning they will no longer appear in the filtered list of sensitive comments.
In the very most serious cases where a sensitive comments has been detected it may be necessary to take steps to reveal the identity of the employee who left the comment. In such instances, please refer to the last paragraph in the Sensitive Comments article which refers to the escalation policy.
Article: Key drivers of engagement: Priorities and Strengths
Article: Get ideas for developing your leadership skills with the Improve area
Article: Reviewing your comments' topics
Article: Highlighted comments
Article: Using conversations within comments
Article: Using acknowledgements in comments
Article: Advice for using Peakon's conversation feature most effectively
Article: Enabling and using the sensitive comments feature