The Digital Feedback Revolution

  • Brace
  • October 10, 2018
  • 9 min

Digital is better, and that counts for daily life and in the workplace. But if you’re afraid that our robot overlords will completely take over your meetings and one on ones with your team, think again. Technology is a great help for feedback measures and strategies, but they are still driven by leaders and managers. A well-orchestrated interplay of digital processes and personal feedback culture offers unbeatable potential for companies, leaders, and teams.

The Digital Transformation Needs Feedback

You’ve already heard a lot about the digital turn. From flexible work models and agile teams that are pushing the envelope, to decentralized workplaces, which have only become possible due to technological solutions, the brave new digital age workplace offers endless possibilities. But it also needs innovative strategy to unlock its full potential. Top-down management is giving way to flat hierarchies, and a culture of attendance and time cards is being replaced by trust-based models of work. This new landscape requires new feedback strategies, if leaders are to stay ahead of the game.

Feedback Culture is Key

The digital transformation has made it clear that every strong company needs a vibrant feedback culture to excel. Like with any change, the transition from analog to digital has been met with hesitance and insecurities. New work forms, approaches, and responsibilities for employees has left many with new questions and concerns.

Feedback is a great way to address the new workplace, and it doesn’t need time consuming practices like all encompassing questionnaires or hours long meetings. Rather, in the spirit of the digital transformation, feedback should:

Be quick and two-way. Digital feedback tools like kununu engage use efficient, easy weekly surveys to allow staff to give real time input regarding their satisfaction with the workplace, projects, or other important factors.

Offer space for discussion. Anonymous platforms for discussion and presentation of ideas, issues, or even solutions, are also available with digital tools. These let staff safely create and post topics of concern and initiate the change they would like to see.

Give workers a sense of agency in the workplace. By enabling voting and interaction with the office, feedback can connect workers to their company, and make them active participants in workplace improvements and productivity.

Feedback tools let employees contribute to their workplace culture and give leaders a way to benefit and learn from this connection. New concerns that workers have surface quicker and can be instantly addressed before they grow, while the mood of the workplace becomes visible and actionable. Managers should of course communicate how any new software functions and what the strategy is for acting on employee insights, but with this in place, digital feedback tools show great improvement for employee, workplace, and company.

Digital feedback tools give employees the chance to be active in company culture, and help employers to increase employee engagement.

Benefits and Drawback of Digital Feedback

Digital is the future, but that doesn’t mean analog has been completely exhausted. On the contrary, it’s the mix that makes it work.

Make fast feedback possible

Real time feedback works best with digital tools. These tools create efficient channels of communication without extra work or questionnaires. This allows external workers, employees in home office, and digital nomads to easily respond and give input as to how a project is going or what can be improved. If someone’s ready to go, they don’t even want to have Facebook delays, much less laborious processes of communication for just a quick comment or question. In the worst case, if there are too many hindrances, employees will just keep their feedback to themselves.

Transparent processes

Quick response and feedback leads to transparency, when done properly. Results from surveys should be available for all to see, and the action plan of managers regarding feedback shouldn’t be kept behind closed doors. Open communication drives a strong, vibrant company culture.

Keep the conversations

Some things will always remain analog. Where more complex steps are required or a subtle message needs expressed, personal meetings and feedback remain irreplaceable. For quarterly employee reviews where raises are discussed, or at team recaps of projects, goals, success, and areas for improvement, nothing is more effective than the personal touch. Digital feedback can provide useful insight to back up these conversations, while face to face interaction excels at revealing new perspectives and bringing the employee and workplace further.

Is There Extra Work With Digital Feedback?

HR departments and leadership are often anxious that digital feedback will mean more work, effort, and hours. After all, someone has to watch the tool and process the feedback, right? Luckily, this isn’t the case. Digital feedback tools such as kununu engage take care of most of the work on their own, collating data, generating results and ratings, and automating the feedback process. On top of this, the value of early warning can’t be overestimated. It is much easier to regularly check the survey report and quickly address problems than it is conduct large, cumbersome yearly reviews, where issues only appear long after they’ve grown into something worse and more expensive.

Interdepartmental Potential

If not everyone knows what the others are doing, then failure is inevitable. This wisdom is as applicable to teams that need to work together, as it is to special departments and HR. If HR isn’t aware that a team is lacking people or talent, it can have dire consequences for employee development and recruiting. Fortunately, digital feedback can provide the help needed.

  • Data is quickly available to HR
  • Moods and Trends can be easily identified and analyzed
  • HR can take effective and informed action with workshops, education programs, or hiring much needed team members

By enabling staff to directly participate in company culture and the work process, digital feedback tools raise employee satisfaction and employee engagement. In return, engaged employees provide extra value to the company and workplace: A win-win for all.

Methods for Digital Feedback

Not all digital is the same digital. Like with analog feedback, digital solutions come in many shapes and sizes. Among the most common methods are real time feedback and survey reports.

Real time feedback and digital discussion boards

Regular, quick input is more productive than long meetings, this is the idea behind instant, real time feedback. Tools like kununu engage offer multiple feedback options that only require a few minutes out of the day. Employees can provide input on how their current mood is, how satisfied they are with their tasks, and anonymously suggest ideas that coworkers can vote on based on relevance and importance. Regular participation is the heart of real time feedback, allowing it to quickly generate a clear picture of the mood in the office and contribute to the development of company culture. After all, open feedback builds open and transparent communication.

Recognize and apply potential. Feedback tools prepare all the necessary data, and generate a clear read out. With this in hand, you can quickly recognize what’s going well in the team and what isn’t.

Mood survey and survey reports

Short, sweet, effective. That’s how the mood survey should be. Where analog methods can drag on, mood surveys quickly and accurately gather the opinions of the workplace. How does the company view the success of new solutions? Are company culture goals making progress? How are new service strategies coming across to customers? Are new employees satisfied with the onboarding program? Concrete questions about specific projects and processes are quickly and clearly answered in the mood survey. Through tracking these in a survey report, they make trends and comparisons legible and actionable.

Do you want to know more about this topic? No problem! You can find our complete feedback guide here. 🚀

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kununu engage is an application that allows you and your entire company to share continuous and anonymous feedback about what working in the company is like. This insight and transparency can help a company function better and build a stronger company culture.