Tag Archives: feedback

The end of feedback as we know it

Feedback, collaboration, communication, Outlook email, email, Office 365
Feedback and Collaboration

Real-time feedback vs Traditional Feedback

Traditionally, feedback has been captured much after the interaction has happened in the workplace. Organizations conduct annual 360 degree feedback to solicit information from peers on how employees are doing at their work. This suffers from a recency bias as well as doesn’t help the recipient as the window of employing the feedback in work has already passed by. That is where real-time steals a march over traditional feedback.

Visualize a sports coach observing a set of players in action and constantly giving feedback to bring about small incremental changes that can bring about big improvements in their game. Continuous, micro-feedback on a real time basis at workplace can do similar wonders. It’s contextual and highly relevant nature can bring huge improvements in the way we work.

Email is not just communication

Email has been the chosen medium of communication between people for decades, with web-based email offerings like Hotmail and Gmail increasing the popularity and user adoption.

Despite the advent of new communication tools like Yammer and Slack, email has been the numero-uno choice when it comes to communication in the workplace. The ease of attaching several types of documents, the security and the ability to add multiple users to communication threads has made it hugely popular amongst office folks.

I had my first email account setup on Lycos mail, back in mid-90s. While many such email providers have disappeared with the advent of new players like Gmail, email as a medium has thrived. The leading players have even gone onto make it all the more useful by adding features like auto-response and in-built “mentions” for quick parallel messaging tracks.

A sponsored 2010 study on workplace communication found 83% of U.S. knowledge workers felt email was critical to their success and productivity at work. By another estimate, we spend about 70% of our daily time reading and responding to emails but there’s an inherent drawback in email based communication. Unlike, face-to-face meetings and conversations where verbal feedback (and non-verbal cues) are possible, email doesn’t provide a way capture the feedback. We end up not leveraging several opportunities of giving real-time feedback on the work that’s happening over emails and miss out hugely on collaboration.

Real-time feedback within email

Communication without feedback is less of communication and perhaps even lesser of collaboration. Truly collaborative work can happen when there’s feedback going back and forth between employees working on a common project or task. That’s how we evolve and become better at our work!

Well, now it’s possible to give feedback on work being done over emails through new age tools like FeedForward. FeedForward subtly blends with your work email and becomes almost “hidden” thereby creating an unobtrusive user experience. Microfeedback on every piece of work on a continuous basis can actually help employees get a real-time perspective on how they are faring in the project and improve. The biggest advantage is it saves one from a situation of hesitating to give feedback in face to face situations, even when there’s strong reason and need for doing so.

On an average, we receive over 150 work emails every day but not all require our complete attention and response. FeedForward intuitively understands which emails require an action and captures these opportunities for giving feedback. That way, the recipient doesn’t get overwhelmed with too many cues for giving feedback. This particularly strong ability to capture highly contextual feedback makes FeedForward a true companion app at workplace.

Know more about how FeedForward can truly transform the way you collaborate within your emails in 2018!

Happy New Year!

Real-time Employee Insights for Effective Learning & Development

HR guru Dave Ulrich once famously said ‘Abolish HR!’ ringing the alarm bells for the imminent loss of credibility of HR in organizations. To view it in the right perspective, out of all the functions in an organization, HR is the only one farthest from access to and usage of any form of real-time data. Sales has real-time customers and lead funnel data, finance has revenue and expenditure data and production has inventory, work-in-progress and finished goods data at their fingertips at any point of time. Unfortunately, HR has no real-time data around the employees on their competencies, skills, behaviors or values that the organization expects them to exhibit.

While HR is the custodian of competencies, there is no way for HR to know at what level the competencies are at a point in time in the organization. In the absence of credible data, many an HR initiatives fall flat on their faces.

Data driven HR, HR Analytics, HR Insights
Data-driven HR

However, with the advent of next-gen feedback solutions it is now possible to collect data around employees through feedback gathered from their peers on a continuous basis. Feedback can be collected seamlessly from employees which increases higher response rate and collects data that is contextually relevant. This data can then be analyzed using Artificial Intelligence and Deep Learning methods to give important evidence-based insights into many facets of HR viz. Performance Management, Reward & Recognition, Learning & Development amongst many others. This article focuses on how continuous feedback can be used to power success of Learning & Development in organizations.

HR undertakes several Learning & Development activities for the enhancement of competencies necessary for carrying out the jobs well by employees. These activities are then calendarized for the year and communicated to various departments for them to nominate employees. While a lot of effort goes into this exercise, such activities are often plagued with no visibility of what programs will work the best to address skill gaps, loss of retention of learning objectives after the activities are over and no investment in competencies necessary for the future skill roadmap of the organization.

With continuous feedback, it is now possible to have real-time data that sharply focuses on programs that enhance the skills of employees, increase retention by continuous inputs around manifested competencies & behaviors and apportion budget on ‘missing’ skills in the organizational skill inventory. Such insights are available through rich analytics which the HR can use to be really future ready.

Continuous Feedback System
Continuous Feedback System

The continuous feedback system is a great way to enhance the L&D effectiveness of an organization. The cloud-based solution is easy to deploy, upgrade to keep up to the changing organizational dynamics and comes at a fraction of cost compared to conventional enterprise HR software.

It’s time for HR to take cognizance of the power of real-time data through continuous feedback and be in step with the other functions like sales, finance & production in the organization.