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7 Best Types of Employee Feedback Tools for Better Engagement in 2024

March 21, 2024

Combine the pandemic with the Great Resignation and the Baby Boomer retirement crisis, and it's clear - it's a topsy-turvy time for employees and people leaders. This means, there's never been a more important time to hear from your workers.

Luckily, the evolution of many employee feedback tools is making it easier (and more accessible) than ever.

Employee feedback tools take the question work out of your human resource teams and work culture development.

Instead of following industry trends or going with your gut, you can engage your employees and hear directly from them what they want, need, fear, and enjoy about your company.

However, there are dozens of employee feedback tools to choose from, and making a final decision can feel overwhelming.

We're here to help remove some of the chaos from your decision-making process and set your team up for success.

Below, we'll walk you through everything you need to know about employee feedback tools, including what they are, why you need them, how to choose the best one, and your top options in 2024.

What Is an Employee Feedback Tool?

An employee feedback tool is a software program designed to help gather employee feedback and streamline the process of giving and receiving feedback within a company.

These tools go beyond traditional annual performance reviews, gathering employee feedback and enabling a culture of continuous feedback.

Here's a breakdown of what employee feedback tools offer:

  • Structured Feedback Mechanisms: These tools provide standardized formats for employees to provide feedback to managers, peers, or even anonymously. This can include surveys, questionnaires, or open-ended prompts.
  • Two-way Communication: The platform facilitates a back-and-forth dialogue around feedback. Managers can gather feedback, respond to employee concerns, clarify expectations, and offer coaching based on the input received through the feedback process.
  • Data Analytics and Reporting: Many tools compile and analyze feedback data, providing insights into employee sentiment, strengths, and weaknesses across teams, and tracking employee progress over time. Analyzing employee feedback can be instrumental in informing HR initiatives and driving positive change.


Here are some of the key benefits of using employee feedback tools:

  • Improved Employee Engagement: A critical driver of employee engagement is feeling heard and valued by their employer. Regular feedback loops foster a sense of ownership and purpose.
  • Enhanced Performance Management: By providing ongoing feedback and coaching, managers can help employees continuously improve their skills and performance.
  • Identification of Areas for Improvement: Feedback tools can surface areas where the company culture, processes, or communication strategies might need improvement.
  • Boosted Employee Retention: Employees who feel their voices are heard and valued are more likely to stay with the company.

While gathering information from your employees, you might discover that employees want a peer-to-peer recognition platform or a more comprehensive anonymous employee feedback and recognition program—and you can turn to other employee feedback solutions to solve these needs.


Why Use an Employee Feedback Tool?

The workplace is changing faster than ever thanks to ever-evolving trends and technology, and your business can't afford to wait for (or rely on) industry studies and data. You need actionable insights to know how to boost employee satisfaction and engagement, and you need it as fast as possible.

Employee listening tools help you gather and measure employee feedback, and collect real-time insights from your staff. You can poll employees as often as you want and create a work culture of transparency and accountability with open communication.

Here are a few examples of things you could learn with the anonymous employee feedback tools:

  • Discover if managers are under (or over) performing
  • Learn how the morale at the business is doing
  • Find out which benefits your employees want
  • Gauge overall levels of job satisfaction
  • See if diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) training is working
  • Uncover if there are any issues, discrimination, or unconscious bias
  • Learn if employees are engaged with their work

Discovering this information proactively is better than waiting to hear it during an employee's exit interview.

However, remember that your employees' wants and needs aren't set in stone. What's important to them in January might not be important in September, and your business needs real-time insights to make the best decisions.


RELATED: Stay Interviews: What are They, Why They’re Important, and 40 Example Questions


How to Choose the Right Employee Feedback Tool

With so many options on the market, finding the best employee feedback tool for your company can feel like looking for a needle in a haystack.

Many have look-a-like features and functionality, while some charge enterprise prices for a slightly upgraded experience.

How do you know which is the right employee feedback tool for your business, and what should you know before you make a big investment?

Below, we'll walk you through the core criteria you should use to evaluate employee feedback tools. None of these characteristics are necessarily more important than another—just keep them all in mind as you assess solutions for your business.



It doesn't matter how fancy or easy to use it is if you can't afford it. Decide on your budget, and then start looking for tools that'll make your accountants happy.

Later, you can decide whether you want to pay a bit extra for a handful of features or if you'd like a cheaper, more simplistic employee feedback tool.



Make a list of the features and functionality you want in your tool. It's easy to get lost doing head-to-head comparisons to see which tools have the most features, but you don't need the most features—you likely just need a core set of elements.


Ease of Use

Your employee feedback tool should be easy to set up and navigate without an engineering degree. It needs to have a simplified user interface (UI) that your human resources team can understand, and it needs to produce simple surveys (or tools) your employees can access without watching a 5-minute how-to video.



Some employee feedback tools offer a white-label experience, letting you customize the platform with your colors and branding. This isn't a must-have for any company, but if the user experience is important to your business, you might want to invest in a tool that provides this functionality.



Find a solution that allows you to create custom surveys pre-built templates for surveys, feedback, and employee recognition. Building these on your own might sound simple, but it's nice to have a starting point when launching a brand-new employee listening tool.



Look for solutions with the integrations you need to work with your current tools and processes. You don't want to have to shift your workflows to accommodate software—you want the software to shift to accommodate you.



Employees will likely be sharing sensitive information, and sometimes it might be personally identifiable. Use a solution with top-notch security protocols and user permissions to prevent sensitive data from getting leaked.



Inevitably, you'll need help from time to time. Partner with an employee feedback solution with world-class, responsive support teams. These individuals should be friendly, patient, and proactive in helping you build out your program and troubleshoot problems.



You don't just want piles of raw data—you want insights. Look for solutions that'll help you digest the feedback with charts and customizable visualizations.


7 Types of Employee Feedback Tools

While there are countless feedback tool providers on the market today, let's first discuss which types of survey tools are out there.


1. Employee Engagement Surveys

Use quick, real-time pulse surveys to collect honest employee feedback data quickly. You can send these employee surveys out on a regular cadence (weekly, monthly, quarterly) or use them one-off to problem-solve or identify growing issues before they become full-scale challenges.

While one-time surveys can reveal powerful insights, it's even better when you compare surveys over time to discover trends. Is your workforce becoming more or less engaged? Are they comfortable working at your company? How does the new acquisition affect overall employee happiness, morale, and engagement?

Find an employee engagement survey platform that comes with all the pre-built tools you need. These should include templates, customizable surveys, sending capabilities, analytics, and automation.


2. Performance 360 Feedback Tools

360 feedback tools allow your employees to give real-time feedback and provide honest feedback for managers, leaders, and coworkers. This feedback could be requested (by an individual or management), and it can also be anonymous.

Providing 360 feedback lets your employees learn about their strengths and weaknesses from the ones who know them the best. You could use open-ended survey questions or scoring to learn more about employee performance.

Management can use the feedback from these tools in one-on-one meetings, interviews, and promotion discussions. Bring up employees' feedback, and ask them what they think about it. Do they agree or disagree?


3. Social Feedback and Communication Platform

360 feedback tools let your employees provide feedback in a private (or anonymous) way, but a social feedback (or peer recognition) tool makes this process public. Consider it a social platform for celebrating individual and team wins.

Public recognition and feedback help boost employee morale. Individuals like to feel seen for their hard work, and it means the world to them when someone else notices (and speaks up).

Provide a safe place for this kind of open communication with a social feedback and communication platform—it's a private space for your employees to chat and comment at work.

Unlike social media platforms, this information stays private, and other people can't join the conversations.


4. Recognition Program

Launch a formal employee recognition program at your company to proactively celebrate their wins, anniversaries, and milestones. Recognition isn't exactly an employee listening tool, but it's a way for you to communicate that you recognize and care about your employees.

Consider awarding employees with swag, custom merchandise, trophies, or gift cards to spend as they like. These might seem like small gestures, but every thought counts—especially when employees feel you're going above and beyond your obligation to recognize their work.


5. Employee Listening Analytics and Reporting

All the employee feedback and listening tools in the world won't do you any good if you don't have the functionality and know-how to digest the data you collect.

Find an employee feedback tool with advanced analytics and reporting. It should allow you to build custom and automated reports to learn about unique insights and changes over time.

Each survey and tool you use measures employees' responses at a single moment in time, but your workers aren't this simple or static. Their thoughts, opinions, and behaviors change from minute to minute and day to day.

Regularly surveying your employees and comparing feedback with analytics tools helps you uncover the true trends and insights behind the raw numbers.


6. Anonymous Feedback Box

Sometimes, you don't need a thought-out survey—you just need a way to collect employee feedback and let employees anonymously provide feedback and ask questions. Some employees might want to vent, and others may want to ask sensitive questions that they don't want to be tied to their names.

Some leaders worry that anonymous employee feedback software opens up the floodgates to trolling and negative comments, but that's not always the case.

Employees could be embarrassed about a question they have—whether that's because it exposes too much personal information (like regarding mental health or a disability) or makes them seem unintelligent or weak.

There are no bad questions, especially when it comes to employee engagement and work culture.


7. Two-Way Conversations

Expanding upon anonymous employee feedback, you want a tool that lets you engage your employees with follow-up answers (whether that's anonymous or not). Listen to their thoughts and concerns, and have a one-on-one conversation about it.

Some concerns are better addressed with a larger audience in a team meeting or all-hands, but others you'll want to take offline and handle in private.

Employee feedback tools with two-way (or more) conversation functionality allow you to keep your discussions in one centralized location for easy reference and follow-up—and it also keeps it private from other third-party applications.


Best Employee Feedback Tools on the Market


Of course, choosing the best employee feedback tool depends on your specific needs and company culture. But we've put together a breakdown of some of the top options categorized by their strengths.


Enterprise Platforms:

Culture Amp:

Culture Amp offers a wide range of features, including pulse surveys, 360-degree feedback, OKRs, and goal setting. It boasts robust data analytics and reporting capabilities.



Qualtrics is another powerful employee feedback platform with features like surveys, pulse surveys, and engagement measurement. It provides advanced text analytics to identify themes in open-ended responses.


Powerful data analysis and reporting, comprehensive features.


While these types of solutions are adept at a wide range of capabilities, they oftentimes also bring a large price tag and a steep learning curve. Without the right time and training, these tools can be more costly than they are beneficial.


Just the Basics:


SurveyMonkey is an online survey tool that offers design, distribution, and analysis features. It provides a user-friendly interface and support for a broad range of survey types (from engagement and satisfaction to training feedback and event planning). It provides quick insights through easy-to-use analytics and customizable survey templates.


Google Forms:

Google Forms is a free and easy-to-use option that's ideal for basic surveys and internal data collection within an organization that already uses Google Workspace products.



These platforms offer straightforward design features and scalable pricing making them an excellent choice for small startups who need a reliable, easy-to-use platform.


These platforms can have limited features and basic reporting, leaving them less ideal for companies who are looking to drive significant change in employee engagement.


Just Right:

Terryberry's Be Heard Platform:


Terryberry's employee survey tool Be Heard, focuses on capturing real-time feedback and insights from your employees. Use our intuitive drag-and-drop survey builder to create questionnaires that align with your business's brand and design. It makes it easy to create and distribute surveys, and the dashboards provide easy-to-digest insights.


You have plenty of options for your surveys:

  • Engagement Surveys: Offer a scientifically grounded baseline to measure employee engagement levels.
  • Pulse Surveys: Enable real-time, actionable, anonymous surveys focused on topical areas, supporting data-driven decision-making to address immediate concerns or trends.
  • Experience Surveys: Focus on measuring key moments throughout an employee's journey with the company, from onboarding to exit, to ensure every stage is acknowledged and optimized for a better workplace experience.
  • Always-On Feedback: Provides employees with a continuous channel for raising questions or issues through a two-way chat feature, maintaining anonymity to encourage honest communication.
  • 360 Feedback: Offers a comprehensive feedback mechanism aligning individual behaviors with organizational goals, promoting a company culture of continuous improvement and alignment with core values.



Beyond Be Heard's surveying functionality, Terryberry offers a complete, end-to-end employee engagement platform. Whether you want to engage teams with employee recognition, rewards, wellness, or communication, we offer all the products and features you need in one comprehensive package.

Terryberry's survey tool is ideal for medium to large enterprises looking to deepen their understanding of engagement within a comprehensive employee recognition program. Its robust analytics and customizable survey capabilities make it perfect for organizations with complex hierarchies or diverse teams that require nuanced insights.


Drive Better Engagement with Terryberry

Terryberry provides solutions to help drive performance and retention through effective employee engagement. These solutions include:

Ready to learn more? Schedule a demo with our team to get a hands-on walkthrough of how Terryberry can transform the culture of your workplace.


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