When speaking with program managers about how their stakeholders must feel about their program and their services, I am amazed at how many who state, “they must be happy – I don’t hear anything different.” We are all very familiar with the saying “no news is good news,” but we also know that is not necessarily true.

So how do you know whether the lack of news is good or bad? Ask your stakeholders!

Engagement managers. Input from internal stakeholders such as engagement managers who utilize your program is critical, but their time is also valuable and limited. Programs usually request their feedback on the contingent worker in the sense of “are you happy with their deliverables or would you engage them again,” but you may not ask about the program and the process to engage the workers. Obtaining their feedback could help you identify areas to focus on or areas that need to be corrected.

Staffing suppliers. Often, program managers assume suppliers are happy just to be a part of their program. However, that doesn’t necessarily mean they are happy. When I was a recruiter, there were certain programs whose requisitions I would ignore, because I knew their time to respond to resumes was terrible and they never provided feedback after an interview. I found that focusing on other clients’ requisitions was a much better use of my time and my candidates’ time. If this were your program, wouldn’t you want to know this? Suppliers will not usually come forward with any type of negative news, so providing them an avenue to give this feedback — and making sure it’s known as a “safe” way to share — will be welcome.

Contingent workers. Another critical audience to obtain feedback from are the contingent workers. Understanding how they view the program and your organization is extremely important. Regarding the program, what was the onboarding process like, timecard approvals, and although not completely in the program’s control, what about their paychecks? Do your processes allow the time card entry and approval to be easily done and payment processed so the contingent worker is paid timely? And then you’ll want to ask for organization feedback, such as whether the workers felt they were productive from day one (didn’t have to wait for a desk space or equipment), about culture, how they were treated, etc. Remember, contingent workers talk to other contingent workers and your goal should be that your program and your organization are a destination of choice for their next assignments.

How should you obtain this feedback? A survey asking a few critical questions is a great option and very easy to manage. However, be mindful of the time it will take for the person to complete your survey. One company shared with me a survey it was quite proud of — but when I looked at it, I found it consisted of more than 100 questions! The goal, of course, was to obtain great insight, but what the company didn’t think through was how long it would take the recipient to complete. Not surprisingly, no one completed the survey.

Nobody wants to hear bad news or that they are not performing to expectation, but you cannot change something if you don’t know about it. In order for a program to be successful, it must drive adoption. You strive for stakeholders, suppliers and CWs to use your program’s processes and procedures. Even a best-in-class program will fail without adoption. Using feedback to ensure users are happy will help your organization increase your adoption rate.