What is Employee Feedback Anyhow?
Employee Surveys are rapidly becoming replaced with Employee Feedback Platforms. So what are they, what's it all about and why the fuss?
Feedback is a term we use a lot, but mostly we use it to mean getting the opinions of others on something. That might be on a product, or idea, or concept. Market research typically talks about getting "feedback", and so do employee surveys.
However, in technical and audio spheres, where the term originated, feedback is something different. From Merriam Webster the return to the input of a part of the output of a machine, system, or process.”
"What was that?", I hear you say? OK, let me try and break that down a bit.
You've all heard a microphone "feedback" or a guitar, or maybe a hearing aid, right? What happens is something (a microphone plugged into an amplifier, or a guitar or a hearing aid) picks up what it is "hearing", amplifies and plays it back. What it plays back get's picked up again, it can be refining and boosting it, and it ends up in a loop, and that can get louder and louder.
As a musician I both love and hate feedback. As a guitarist I rely on it to get certain sounds (see 'Parisienne Walkways' from my all time hero, Gary Moore), and when it's a microphone I hate it as it plain hurts my ears.
The important takeaway from this is - it's a loop.
Feedback is not about putting something out there (a question or concept) and just gathering opinions. That's a survey, not feedback.
Feedback is where it goes around a loop. You can initiate feedback with a question, but the essential piece is what comes back can be bounced back and forth to hone it, fully understand it, explore it, resolve it, clarify it and reach a conclusion.
For too long businesses have subjected employees to surveys on their opinions but denied them any feedback. This is just scraping the surface and gaining a small percentage of the real data we need. We have to employ feedback to get underneath the skin of the issues and extract the real value for our organisations.
This is employee feedback and, if we are not doing it, to be blunt, maybe we are just going through the motions?
I'd love to have your thoughts on this subject.
Thymometrics - through real time, always-on surveys and feedback solutions, we provide revolutionary yet simple tools to empower employees and monitor wellbeing whilst providing managers with deep and useable insights to improve business culture, productivity and profitability.
Photo by Jospeph Gruenthal on Unsplash