8 Steps to an Effective Employee Feedback Strategy

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Feedback is one of the most powerful leadership tools at our disposal. It has the ability to transform productivity, performance and employee engagement, particularly in remote and hybrid environments, but still, it remains broadly underused. In my experience, most leaders understand the benefits of mastering employee feedback, but very few are using it to its full potential. Leveraging feedback to create high-performing teams is not something that happens by chance. We need to be intentional about this at all levels of the business. And it starts with an effective employee feedback strategy. 

Today, I’m going to take you through an 8-step plan for creating an employee feedback strategy for your organisation, and highlight some tools and frameworks you can use to ensure feedback is having a positive impact across your teams. Consider it a roadmap for high performance with feedback as your vehicle. By the end, you should have everything you need to make feedback your team’s superpower.

illustration of people working together to create a giant jigsaw puzzle
Frankli provides dedicated digital channels for giving, receiving and requesting feedback

8 Steps to an Effective Feedback Strategy

To keep things as simple as possible, we designed our plan around an easy-to-remember acronym, F.E.E.D.B.A.C.K. Let’s take a quick look at the 8 steps, then we’ll dive into each one in greater detail. 

F - Find out more about feedback

E - Evaluate your current feedback processes

E - Encourage your people to embrace feedback

D - Digitise feedback for your teams

B - Blueprint your feedback strategy

A - Adopt feedback frameworks

C - Coach your managers

K - Keep feedback top of mind

Step 1: Find out more about feedback

To fully embrace feedback, we need to have a really thorough understanding of its value, purpose and challenges. Drawing on some brilliant research, Frankli’s feedback playbook is a great starting point for further learning. As well as offering feedback tips and examples for people at employee, manager and leadership level, it highlights some of the most insightful feedback statistics from the past couple of years.

Here are three to begin with;

  • Only 26% of employees strongly agree that the feedback they receive helps them to do better work (1)
  • 92% of employees agree that constructive feedback, when delivered correctly, is effective at improving performance (2)
  • Employers that act on employee feedback are 3 times more likely to hit financial targets (3)

Step 2: Evaluate your current feedback processes

Next, we want to look at how feedback currently flows in our organisation;

  • Are employees happy with the frequency and quality of feedback they receive?
  • Is feedback having the desired effect on productivity and engagement?
  • Is feedback being delivered in a consistent way?

The responses to these questions will be really valuable, particularly for leaders in remote and hybrid teams. eNPS scores and key business outcomes will also help you identify room for improvement. Consider running a survey to find out how your people feel about current processes, and whether they’d like to see changes made. If they would, make sure to implement those changes!

Step 3: Encourage your people to embrace feedback

In order for feedback to be truly powerful, we need buy-in from all of our people. It’s up to leaders to communicate its value to managers and employees, whether it’s mentioned in company values or company goals, or regularly referenced in team meetings. Providing and highlighting key channels for feedback is a great way to embed feedback in your company culture, which brings us nicely onto Step 4. 

Step 4: Digitise feedback for your teams

Even the most diligent among us need prompts to ensure that the most important work gets done, and feedback is no exception. A specially-designed tool like the Feedback space in Frankli provides a channel for exchanging and requesting feedback, and helps make this feedback more powerful by reporting on it within the 1:1 Meeting and Reviews spaces.

Not only does this streamline the process of exchanging feedback at all levels, it shows your people that creating a culture of feedback is a top priority, and helps this culture thrive in remote and hybrid settings. Integrations also help teams exchange feedback in the flow of work. For example, Frankli’s Slack integration makes it really easy to praise a colleague in the moment. And all the research suggests that your people will welcome a digital approach to feedback - in one study, 70% of employees said they were more likely to share insights and concerns with management through a digital feedback platform (4).

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Step 5: Blueprint your feedback strategy

As I said in my introduction, feedback isn’t something we can leave to chance. People need clear guidelines on what role feedback plays in the day-to-day running of the business, how frequently it should be exchanged, what channels should be used for it, how and where it should be stored, etc.

If you’re using a platform like Frankli, the software itself is your blueprint - it tells your people everything they need to know about how feedback should work across their teams, and prompts them on how and when to use it. If not, it may help to write down specific guidelines for how feedback should be used, and share it with your managers.

Step 6: Adopt feedback frameworks 

When it comes to improving the quality of feedback on an individual level, frameworks are key, so make sure you set your managers up for success by providing guidance and training on these. Our favourite frameworks for giving constructive feedback are the Start-Stop-Continue, Situation-Behaviour-Impact and Radical Candor models. We also find templates really useful when crafting feedback. We’ve got am extensive library of examples for the most common types of feedback - you can access it for free at frankli.io.

Step 7: Coach your managers

The best managers are comfortable giving, receiving and requesting feedback, be it positive or constructive. They know when to give it, and can quickly craft the kind of feedback that has a positive impact on the recipient’s performance. This requires a very specific set of skills that few people are naturally gifted with. 99% of your managers will need support from you in order to truly master feedback, especially if they’re working with dispersed teams.

This support might include the frameworks mentioned in Step 6 and the digital tools mentioned in Step 4. Effective manager-to-employee feedback is important for a lot of reasons, but particularly for establishing fairness across the business. Coaching your managers on feedback best practices ensures that all employees are receiving equal access to valuable and consistent feedback that can help them improve their performance and advance their career. 

Step 8: Keep feedback top of mind

Where does feedback go after it’s been offered? This is something we’ve thought long and hard about at Frankli. It’s not enough to ensure your teams are regularly exchanging high-quality feedback. The feedback needs to be available when and where important conversations are taking place and decisions are being made. That’s why, in Frankli, we seamlessly weave feedback into rituals like 1:1 meetings and performance reviews.

A couple of examples;

  • In 1:1 Meetings, feedback shared and received by the attendee is automatically accessible. 
  • Many of our suggested talking point templates include questions designed to explore the effectiveness of current feedback processes. 
  • Relevant feedback is also highlighted when completing reviews, either regarding your own performance or a team member’s performance.

Rolling out a new feedback strategy seems like a huge undertaking, but actually, it’s quite easily broken down into manageable steps. Consistency will be critical to your success, so don’t forget to put some of our suggested measures in place to ensure feedback is being used to its full potential. Remember, the goal here is to create a rhythm for exchanging feedback, so it becomes part of the fabric of our organisation. 

Frankli helps teams maximise the potential of feedback by providing dedicated digital channels for giving, receiving and requesting feedback, and integrating feedback with rituals like reviews and 1:1 meetings. Find out how.

Sources:

1. Gallup, How Fast Feedback Fuels Performance. 2. Jack Zenger and Joseph Folkman, Your Employees Want the Negative Feedback You Hate to Give. 3. Perceptyx, Employers That Act on Worker Feedback Are 3x as Likely to Hit Financial Targets. 4. Apollo Technical, 11 Remarkable Workplace Communication Statistics to Know in 2022.

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