Maximize the Value of Feedback

Friday, April 12 2013

Feedback for your business is just like the thermostat in your office. It monitors the temperature and gives the information to the climate control system, that is essential to keep you comfortable. The success of your organization depends on feedback; where and how you get that feedback is vital to maximizing its value.
Sources of Feedback

Your most important source of feedback is your customers. You need to know how well you are serving their needs and wants, and where there is an opportunity to improve.

Next, consider those frontline workers, who serve clients. If their ability to serve is inhibited and their job satisfaction is reduced, customers will detect it, share their frustration, and act accordingly. Feedback from employees permits you to satisfy their needs, and enhance the customer’s experience.

Actively seek feedback throughout the organization, including the CEO. Everyone has ideas about how to improve organizational systems.

Nature of Feedback

  • The right type: Gauge employee engagement by asking the right questions about the work place climate, including relationships with colleagues.
  • The right way: Use a powerful tool, like the CORE™ assessment, that explores these issues with questions, allowing both quantification and open-ended responses. Quantified results deliver clear facts. Open-ended questions elicit feelings, providing subtle clues to underlying needs.
  • The right quantity: Sample enough to get a true picture without creating overwhelming data. Statistical techniques can pinpoint the optimal sample size and create confidence in the accuracy of the results.
  • Right timing: Make it convenient to respond by selecting times and places where people don’t feel burdened. Also, consider the timing of feeding back the results to key decision-makers and the respondents. People who provide feedback want to hear about the results. If the results are delayed too long, their value and accuracy will be discounted.

Responding to Feedback

Feedback has no value unless it leads to improvement. Start with the most positive results and ask, “How can these strengths help us capture more opportunities?”

When results point to weaknesses ask, “How do these make us more vulnerable to threats?”  Most sources of weaknesses are found in organizational systems.

Every decision maker should be charged with crafting goals and plans based on the results, and then taking clear, definitive actions. Attribute actions to the feedback. Finally, gather comparative feedback to ensure improvements have really occurred.

A positive, process of continuous improvement in your organization requires that you ensure you get high quality feedback and use it to maximize your results.