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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!