Feedback surveys are a great way to benchmark progress and help employees set personal development goals. We explore 5 types of feedback survey to help you create reliable, informative feedback which inspires a growth mindset.
Many companies have suspended performance reviews due to the pandemic. Google has suspended its employee reviews. However, employees require guidance about how to adapt to remote work. It seems almost paradoxical – remote teams do not want feedback just at the time when feedback is most needed!
Remote work is an opportunity to change our approach to feedback. Rather than being a dreaded date on the company calendar, feedback helps us pinpoint areas for improvement. A feedback survey can be a great way to do this. Software enables HR to include all company levels to contrubute – so that growing together becomes part of your company culture.
According to the website Corporate Communications Experts, the 3 types of feedback are:
1. Evaluation feedback
2. Appreciation feedback
3. Coaching feedback
Think about how you can apply these three for different scenarios.
Evaluative feedback lets your employee know what level you think they are working at.
A rating benchmarks employee performance. They are clear, and establish a position of openness. An evaluation works best if it is placed in context. Offering a written evaluation helps the employee make sense of the decision.
According to a FastCompany study, 62% of millennials felt ‘blindsided’ by performance reviews. Numerical ratings can seem to come out of nowhere!
To avoid this, evidence your rating with examples, for instance, ‘When you worked on this project, you worked excellently. However, when you worked on a collaborative project last week, you were less focused.’ This helps contextualize ratings for clearer appraisals.
The truth is, positive feedback makes us all feel good! And appreciative feedback has a positive impact on performance. According to a study by IBM, employees who receive recognition for their work were three times more engaged than those who did not.
Communicate positive feedback directly. Make it specific, for example, ‘Your research into this area of the project was essential’.
A coaching management style improves employees - especially remote workers. As employees encounter challenges, it’s important for managers to be constructive and help find solutions. Coaching managers are actively involved in their employees’ development- whether through frequent one-on-ones or helping them set SMART targets.
Managers create a strategy with employees. This works best through frequent check-ins, as managers are ‘part of the process’, not solely interested in the end results.
360 Feedback makes feedback more comprehensive. Employees from all levels of an organization provide feedback on an individual’s performance, including subordinates, peers, managers and senior leaders.
Often feedback can feel hierarchical – a judgement from above. 360 Feedback challenges this by including subordinates and peers. Employees improve for the benefit of the whole company - by developing their management or collaborative skills.
Working relationships between employees is responsive – as employees hold one another accountable. A healthy work environment encourages employees to be aware of each other’s development.
360 Feedback is great for remote work. It provides a nuanced picture of employee performance. With staff working from home, you sometimes get an incomplete view of performance. The perspective of a whole host of people from your organization means you are more likely to pinpoint areas for improvement.
Benefits of 360 Feedback:
Gives employees from all levels a voice
Inspires improvement in teamwork and management
Encourages a culture of accountability and open communication
More reliable review system
During the pandemic, teamwork is a crucial skill. Remote work is isolating, and great communication boosts morale. Moreover, collaboration is crucial to complex projects. Make sure you evaluate your teams, as well as individuals. If your sales team consistently performs excellently, recognize this.
Team evaluations affirm that skills such as co-operation are valued. Too often, employees can focus overmuch on personal accomplishments – when business success is always a shared effort.
Consider scoring teams on:
Ability to work together
Organizational skills and co-ordination
Quality of collaborative projects
This takes an evidence-based approach to performance evaluation. Some employees measure themselves against personal development goals or SMART targets. Feedback can look at tasks set to each individual employee and whether they performed in those tasks.
You can also align feedback with company-wide Objectives and Key Results. However, often targets are so broad (e.g. increase sales by 20%) that it is difficult to measure an individual’s performance against this.
Reviewing tasks set can be a great way to evaluate employee performance in a more tangible way. DIY Committee Guide highlights that “Evaluation is an assessment or judgement made by comparing what actually happened with what was intended”. By looking at an individual’s projects, you measure goals against results.
However, this feedback system is subjective. One individual might see their work as excellent, another may see errors. 360 Feedback addresses this – by offering a range of perspectives.
According to Cheryl Lasse at The Association for Talent Development, competency measures ‘how (behaviors) somebody does the what (task or skill). Competency assessments are crucial for highlighting skills gaps in a company.
So how to measure competency? Analyze how an employee performed on a task. What behaviors did they exhibit – did they work well with their team, did they prefer to work independently?
Starting with behaviors gives a sense of the whole employee, rather than a results-driven perspective. Did these behaviors set the employee up for success?
Self-assessments can evaluate competencies. Encourage employees to be honest about their working behaviors. Cheryl Lasse reccommends using findings to implement a career development plan – so that competency assessment is constructive.
Key Features of Successful Competency Feedback Surveys :
Encourage a growth mindset
Link task results to specific behaviors
Include self-assessment on online survey
Highlight skills gaps
Consider a range of skills and positive behaviors
To include competencies in a feedback survey, try using software. This streamlines the process of feedback surveys.
Performance review ratings are a tried-and-tested feedback survey method. But they are often off-putting for employees.
Rating scales are useful however, if used correctly. Using Likert scales, you can assess employees according to a range of parameters. Likerts assess probability, agreement, frequency and likelihood, as well as quality. The usual ‘Unsatisfactory’ to ‘Exceptional’ doesn’t have to hold employees back.
A range of measurements means managers assess staff from different angles, and so are less likely to fall prey to unconscious bias.
Here are a few questions on Likert scales that HR might consider for feedback surveys:
‘This individual works effectively with their teammates’ (Rank from Never to Always)
‘I expect this employee to complete tasks in a timely manner’ (Rank from Highly Unlikely to Very Likely)
‘This employee has shown progress in the past 6 months’ (Rank from Strongly Disagree to Strongly Agree)
Rating scales help you provide valuable feedback to your teams.
The best surveys cherry pick from the types of questions above. A Likert scale works for more concrete areas of performance, such as punctuality. A team evaluation helps recognize a completed project. Cast the net wide - you'll be more likely to get reliable insights into your employees' performance.
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The only way to truly understand and manage the employee experience is to learn by engaging with employees. Promoting a company culture wherein employees and leaders can maintain a clear channel of communication will create an inviting work environment.