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Continuous Feedback – What’s the big deal?

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Importance of Experience

Everyone is asking for your feedback. You order coffee and Zomato asks you how the delivery experience was, while the restaurant asks you how the coffee tasted. Travel by Uber and they want to know how your experiences was. If you don’t rate an experience with 5-stars, what can they do to make your experience better, they ask? Every app you use on your phone asks you whether you’d like to rate them on play store / app store. It will only take a minute, they say. Or would you like them to remind you later?

And remind you they will.

Employee = Customer

While the examples I cite above are about continuous customer feedback, it is no secret that best workplaces don’t differentiate between their employees and their customers. As a result of that, they have a similar approach to seeking feedback from employees and acting on it. To put it simply, like every business leader knows that customer feedback cannot be taken lightly (or for granted), almost every leader at a great workplace knows that feedback from their employees is the most effective way of knowing whether the business can be sustained. At Great Place to Work®, we refer to this phenomenon as ‘Employee is Equal to Customer’. Simple yet, surprisingly, overlooked very often.

This isn’t another article that talks about how organizations are moving to a continuous feedback mechanism. That is well known. However, what I find most interesting is that some of the most popular continuous feedback mechanisms don’t seek feedback from employees – they ensure that employees get enough feedback. There is no denying that we need to monitor employee performance and do so continuously to ensure that it only gets better and employees feel more engaged with the roles they play. But if you’re not equating your employees to the way you’re treating your customers, you’re missing a big piece of the puzzle.

Worried about ‘too much feedback’?

The need of the hour is to set up a feedback mechanism through which employees share how they feel about their experience in the organization on a continuous basis. Employee feedback is one of the leading indicators of your organization’s business performance. No matter how much feedback you give your employees, the war for talent is lost if the employee doesn’t have a continuous, and loud, voice.

Best workplaces aren’t afraid of the employee voice, in fact, they want more of it. They aren’t worried about ‘too much feedback’ from employees because none of us worry about ‘too much feedback’ from our customers. But most importantly – the leaders in these organizations are open to communicating, to having difficult conversations and to moving away from top-down communication as being the only form of communicating with employees.

Continuous Employee Feedback Mechanism

Josh Bersin describes the evolution in the employee feedback landscape when he speaks of ‘A Continuous Response Strategy’. In fact, he likens the transformation of the employee experience landscape beautifully to that of customer engagement. He proposes three steps by which a continuous feedback mechanism can easily be established to understand employee experience – collecting signals, prioritizing areas of action, and establishing mechanisms of implementation at various levels. Simple yet so effective.

The potential of receiving and acknowledging continuous feedback from employees is exciting! Opportunities for collaboration and collective effort are endless and chances to transform into best workplaces are remarkably high. As a leader, all you need to do is break out of the traditional mindset that only you can give feedback. 

Take the leap – set up a mechanism of seeking continuous feedback and watch your workplace culture transform.

Sreemoyee Sengupta

 Project Manager, Great Place to Work® India

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