How metals companies benefit from employee feedback loops

Tony Barnes
| 8/18/2023
How metals companies benefit from employee feedback loops

Metals companies are turning to technology to solve business challenges, create greater efficiency, and increase productivity.

The Crowe 2023 technology in metals survey results show that respondents listed automation and efficiency as their top answers when asked how they’d like to see technology address business issues. However, the survey results also revealed that most metals leaders are struggling with technology adoption uncertainty among their employees.

One way metals leaders can overcome adoption uncertainty and empower workers is by establishing an employee feedback loop.

An employee feedback loop can help leaders make improvements. After gathering information about what is and isn’t working in terms of how employees are using technology, metals companies can apply those insights to implement necessary changes that better support employees and achieve the desired results.

When metals companies introduce a new system without engaging with workers to see how it’s going, they risk not realizing the full benefits technology can offer. In addition, employees can become frustrated with new and unfamiliar systems and even disengage from the work.

An employee feedback loop gives metals leaders greater insight into what might increase productivity and communicates to workers that their contributions and opinions are valued. Feedback loops can be valuable for systems already in place and before an implementation begins. Even more, feedback loops can help leaders better understand what employees like or dislike about the current process and tools.

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3 ways metals leaders can gather employee feedback


Sometimes the best place to start gathering employee feedback is simply by observing. Engaging with employees directly and asking them questions about their experience provides valuable insight, but there are also things employees won’t share or be able to put into words. It’s helpful to start by observing – not with a critical eye but with a curious one. Leaders should watch where employees are getting stuck and where they are thriving with using the technology. Then they can ask more in-depth questions and gain even greater insight.

Questions to ask while observing:

  • How are employees engaging with technology, and where are they having problems?
  • Is the process that’s been implemented running as smoothly as it should?
  • Is the work taking longer than expected?


Asking employees complete a survey is a beneficial way to gather feedback regarding something specific. When metals leaders have taken time to observe, they can better formulate survey questions that could help them take a deeper look into the issues they’re seeing. Many companies implement changes before taking the time to survey employees to get their feedback, resulting in lost time and cost spent on misguided efforts or the wrong issues.

Surveys should include multiple-choice or limited-response questions. The goal is to gather quantitative data and discover trends. For example, if one employee is struggling with a certain application, surveying multiple employees about their experiences with the same application is a helpful way to gauge whether the technology needs adjusting, conducting training to increase companywide understanding would be useful, or the issue is isolated to a single employee.


Sitting down and talking directly with employees is one of the best ways to discover what might be causing roadblocks, what they think about their employee experience overall, and if they have any ideas for improvement. This step is especially important if metals leaders aren’t seeing the anticipated results of their technology implementations. Talking to the people who interact with the application can bring deeper insight into why.

Strategies for asking helpful interview questions:

  • Ask open-ended questions about an employee’s experience with technology to gain deeper insight into why something is or isn’t working. A yes or no question brings confirmation, but understanding the root cause can help bring a more effective solution.
  • Ask the same question in different ways or ask follow-up questions to help an employee think deeper and more critically. Hearing something phrased differently can help spark new insight.
  • Ask, “What else?” Or say, “Tell me more about that.” Give employees the opportunity to share more. Don’t assume a single response includes all the information that might be helpful.

Recognizing common themes in employee feedback

Once metals leaders have gathered employee feedback, they should analyze the data and make decisions about how to move forward based on what they’ve learned. It can be overwhelming to receive feedback, especially if employees are discouraged and facing challenges. However, not everything needs to be addressed at once. Leaders can start by looking for the biggest, most common themes and issues that can be fixed quickly. By going beyond what challenges need to be solved, leaders can uncover new areas of opportunity.

A feedback loop should not be an isolated event. Creating a continual feedback loop that delivers information before, during, and after implementation can help increase the effectiveness of the technology. Because things change over time and technology is advancing at a rapid pace, it’s critical for leaders to keep an open line of communication with employees.

Start gathering employee feedback today

Getting started can be as simple as looking around, seeing what you notice, and asking employees a question here and there. But the full benefits of an employee feedback loop come when a system is in place to consistently gather feedback and analyze it to make improvements and increase productivity.

At Crowe, we know implementing and using technology can be challenging, but creating a feedback loop can help the process flow more smoothly. If you need help getting started or have any questions along the way, reach out today. Our team of specialists is here to help.

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Tony Barnes
Tony Barnes
Principal, Microsoft Cloud Solutions Leader