The key to gathering feedback is not in the feedback itself, although the information is useful. The key is how well what is heard and learned is shared with stakeholders and how well the action that will be taken is communicated.
This process of collecting feedback, sharing it with stakeholders, and communicating the action plan back out is what we call closing the feedback loop.
The Feedback Loop Consists of Five Parts:
Listen Valuable information can be learned during conversations and meetings with employees. Formal and informal situations can be opportunities to listen for feedback.
Probe Ask questions to gather more information. Now is not the time to provide suggestions. When your questions are met with an “I don’t know,” ask, “What would you do if you did know?”
Restate Repeat back the information you are hearing in your own words.
Clarify Confirm with the individual you have heard them correctly. Clear up any misunderstandings you may have. Ensure a precise understanding of the feedback you were given.
Follow Up Use the information collected to reward and recognize others and focus on areas identified for improvement. Close the loop by sharing the action that was taken after feedback was provided.
Feedback Loops Are Everywhere:
- 1 on 1 connections: Formal and informal conversations with individuals provide us with data to be immediately used to improve employee engagement. Follow-up on the information you gathered to close the loop. If an employee expressed need for a tool to get their job done, provide the employee with a time frame for when they will receive what is needed.
- Action Planning: Action plans are created by identifying one or two priorities from feedback previously received from stakeholders. After the action plan is created, share the action plan back out to the original stakeholders who provided feedback. This communication with those original participants closes the feedback loop.
- Results Rollout: The purpose of a rollout is to share information with stakeholders to collect input for improvement. Present the results, celebrate the wins, and ask for suggestions. As a team, identify only one or two crucial action items to focus on over the next 90 days and share those goals with all stakeholders. After the meeting, administer an evaluation of the meeting.
- Team Meetings: Information is often collected during focused team meetings. The host of the meeting should provide a summary of the meeting including key takeaways and identified action items within 48 hours. An efficient way to close the feedback loop after a team meeting is by sending an email to attendees, with action items highlighted
Feedback loops provide us with a lot of opportunities. We get to highlight what’s working and how we are excelling. We can ask specific questions to improve a targeted area. We get to choose an area to focus on and what specific actions to take based on feedback.