Feedback exchange within an organization is vital. Companies that provide regular feedback to their team members have 14.9% lower turnover rates than those that don’t.
Unbiased and genuine feedback sharing bolsters employees’ morale, improves their relationships with peers and managers, leads to enhanced performance, and is at the heart of the organization’s success.
How does this work? When a person regularly receives an evaluation of their work, knows the company’s goals, and how exactly they are contributing to the achievement of the goals — this transparency allows for trust toward management and enhanced involvement of the person in the life of the organization.
So, regular feedback exchange will help you create a healthy work environment and boost employee engagement.
One way to incorporate a continuous dialogue between employees and management is by introducing Feedback Fridays. It’s a dedicated day, not necessarily Friday when you and your colleagues exchange opinions and performance information.
An all-company Zoom meeting, a survey on a feedback platform, or one-on-one sessions with employees — you can decide which format will suit your goals best.
Let’s explore what Feedback Fridays can translate into for your company.
Benefits of Feedback Fridays
The Feedback Fridays concept ensures that the feedback exchange takes place regularly. This helps put out fires before they become infernos, preventing unnecessary complications. Whether it’s done every week, month, or quarter, regular check-ins help spot and solve problems quickly.
Moreover, ongoing feedback alleviates your employees’ minor frustrations at an early stage and allows for the celebration of small victories on a weekly basis. This fosters a sense of accomplishment in your team members and diminishes impostor syndrome’s grip.
Let’s take a closer look at the benefits of Feedback Fridays:
Elevated Communication and Collaboration
Feedback Fridays contribute to building trust and psychological safety within the company. When your employees know there is dedicated time to give and receive feedback, they feel more supported and empowered to take risks and voice their opinions. This trust enables open and honest communication and creates a positive work environment.
As your employees provide feedback during a Feedback Friday team session, they engage in discussions that require active listening and thoughtful responses. This process encourages mutual respect and understanding, thus improving collaboration.
Boosted Improvement and Growth
By actively engaging in feedback sessions, employees gain valuable insights into their strengths and areas for growth, fostering a growth mindset. Moreover, these meetings are not only the time for constructive criticism but also for praise — try celebrating even small wins, and you’ll encourage your employees to grow and enhance their skills.
Amplified Employee Engagement and Satisfaction
Feedback Fridays provide a platform for open communication. Your team feels seen, heard, and valued. That’s when you see a boost in engagement. Regular feedback signals a commitment to their development, increasing satisfaction while offering clarity and empowerment.
These sessions promote stronger relationships and collaboration among team members. When employees feel connected and supported by their colleagues, it positively impacts their morale and overall satisfaction with their work environment.
Feedback Fridays is a way to promote feedback culture, where team members can make their voices heard on any day of the week as often as they want. It’s a win-win — you get to know your team’s sentiments while they get feedback and perhaps praise on their work.
Either way, if you do it right, your employee will leave the session engaged, motivated, and ready to push boundaries.
Steps to Implement Feedback Fridays
Before you jump headfirst into scheduling meetings or creating surveys, it’s essential to take a step back and plan everything — write guidelines for giving and receiving feedback and set up rules.
1. Setting Clear Guidelines and Objectives
Both you and your colleagues will be or already are sharing feedback. To ensure the process is efficient, it’s a good idea to create guidelines all can follow. Here is an example of what your feedback guidebook can look like:
Ensuring your sessions are effective
- Align feedback with company goals and values — it’s crucial for reinforcing a sense of purpose and direction. This way, you can communicate expectations, motivate employees, and ensure their efforts contribute to the organization’s success.
- Focus on solutions. This empowers your team member to take ownership of the challenge they are facing. By guiding them toward identifying and implementing solutions, you encourage their growth and active engagement in overcoming obstacles. Plus, this way, together, you contribute to achieving the company’s goals.
Creating a psychologically safe and nurturing environment
- Narrow it down. Ensure your feedback focuses on no more than two issues at a time. Otherwise, the person will feel discouraged and not at all motivated to rectify their behavior.
- Refrain from criticism in public. Criticism in a group setting can be demoralizing and embarrassing for the person receiving it, potentially damaging their self-esteem and confidence. Hold off on negative comments in public as it can also affect the person’s motivation and overall performance.
- Focus on the positives. If you provide twice as many positive comments as critical ones, your colleague will more likely receive your criticism with an open heart and be inspired to remedy their issue. Here are some positive feedback examples you can take a look at.
- Allow response. Delivering feedback should be a dialogue, even if it’s an employee probation review. Encourage your team member to express their view on the issue.
- Words to avoid. It’s best to refrain from specific statements or words because they can derail your conversation, demoralize your coworker and undermine the trust between the two of you:
- always and never. A person might have made a mistake several times, but you can hardly say they’ve always been like that.
- honestly. This implies there have been times you weren’t honest with your coworker.
- people say that. That’s plain gossip. Try to avoid it.
- Finish up with the next steps. Together, decide what the next steps will be for your coworker. One small step will promote accountability and follow-through, increasing the likelihood of positive change and growth based on the feedback received.
2. Choosing the Right Format
Setting a dedicated day for feedback creates an opportunity to develop an open feedback culture where each coworker feels free to address their team member or manager and share their opinions, ideas, and ways to solve pressing issues.
For the feedback to be constructive, it’s best to select the most suitable format. These are some of them:
These are brief and frequent surveys used to gather real-time feedback from employees.
They will provide quick insights into your coworkers’ opinions, engagement levels, and satisfaction, allowing you to make informed decisions. When crafting your survey questions feel free to use our Employee Engagement Survey Questions guide.
One-on-One Feedback Sessions
These sessions involve a direct conversation between a manager and their direct report. They create a private and personalized environment for you to discuss a recent project or a person’s performance or address specific issues.
For a more effective session, it’s best to come prepared. One way is to look at different one-on-one meeting templates to see if you could use some questions from them.
Peer-to-Peer Feedback Sessions
In these sessions, colleagues provide feedback to one another, fostering a culture of mutual support and growth. For instance, a team member might give peer feedback to another team member, acknowledging their strong communication skills and suggesting ways to further enhance their presentation abilities.
Team Feedback Sessions
Team feedback sessions involve gathering the entire team to discuss collective performance, share successes, and address challenges.
These sessions promote transparency, collaboration, and accountability among team members. You can hold a team feedback session to evaluate a recent project, highlight areas where the team excelled and identify opportunities for improvement.
Depending on your intentions, you can send regular pulse surveys to assess your employee sentiment or schedule one-on-one, team, and peer-to-peer sessions to exchange feedback in person. Alternatively, you could announce a Feedback Friday and encourage employees to meet with you or each other on this day to share their feedback.
3. Announcing a Feedback Friday
Before launching your Feedback Friday, send out an all-company communication announcing this initiative and share the feedback guide you have created by the time. Encourage your team members to ask questions about the initiative and consider conducting a meeting to outline the key points.
The bottom line is that your team members should understand that this is a great opportunity for growth and feel free to voice their opinion.
Feedback Friday Ideas
The events you plan for your feedback day don’t have to be formal meetings or 50-questions long surveys. You can add creativity to make them more engaging, let your employees open up a bit, and share feedback productively.
Here are ways to invigorate your Friday Feedback exchange and make it effective:
Create a laid-back atmosphere
While feedback is crucial, it can be challenging to elicit honest input in a tense or overly formal setting. By designing meetings that encourage relaxation, you enhance the likelihood of receiving genuine and valuable feedback.
- Incorporating casual outfits. Encouraging casual dress for feedback meetings will help you create a relaxed and open environment where your coworkers feel at ease and are more receptive to suggestions. By allowing them to wear casual clothes, you let them feel safer and more like themselves, which spurs them to be more outspoken.
- Organizing snacks. Food has a remarkable ability to create a sense of comfort, build rapport, and contribute to uplifted company morale. So, snacks will make for a pleasant addition to your meeting.
- Conducting voice-only meetings. For remote teams, having another video call might lead to frustration and a desire to get back to work or head into the weekend. This is simply “Zoom fatigue.”
- To alleviate this, avoid excessive camera usage and consider organizing voice-only rooms for the Friday feedback sessions, allowing participants to maybe have a snack or walk around their home to feel more at ease.
Try various formats
- Suggestion box. You select a specific area in the office for feedback, and employees anonymously share their input by placing it in a suggestion box. You then set a time frame, such as two weeks, for gathering feedback.
- At the end of the period, all submissions are reviewed and discussed with comments from all employees involved during a Friday Feedback meeting. This option is applicable for distributed and remote teams as well, where you can use Google Forms for feedback.
- An online forum. Your employees will be able to comment on various topics, providing constructive criticism while avoiding personal attacks. This allows for diverse discussions, ranging from lunch preferences to desired workplace skills.
- Feedback flows freely, and all ideas are valued and taken into consideration. You can use tools like Slack or Miro for this purpose.
Celebrate your employees
Giving kudos enhances your team’s motivation, increases productivity, and overall contributes to a stronger work culture. A Great Place to Work 2023 study has shown that 69% of respondents are willing to go the extra mile at work after they receive a ‘thank you’ from their manager. Here are a couple of ideas you could try incorporating:
- Have your CEO give kudos to people personally. NetApp created an initiative known as “Catch Someone Doing Something Right” that you can incorporate as part of your Feedback Friday.
- When your employees witness a colleague surpassing expectations, they have the opportunity to inform the CEO, who then on Friday, can personally contact and express gratitude to the employee for their exceptional contributions.
- Organizing a Snap Cup. The idea has been borrowed from Vantage, who have a delightful team tradition where team members anonymously write messages of praise on slips of paper and place them in a cup.
- During a team meeting, the manager reads aloud the messages of praise, and everyone snaps their fingers as a gesture of appreciation for their colleagues’ exceptional work. It’s one of the great employee recognition ways you can use.
- Giving kudos online. Some employee survey tools offer a feature of giving kudos to your coworker. For example, Beams lets your employee award a badge to their colleague praising their leadership skills, or teamwork, or ability to help, among others. They can also leave a warm message to go along with the badge.
Feedback Fridays contribute to building trust and psychological safety within the company, fostering open and honest communication, and creating a positive work environment. These regular sessions encourage active listening, mutual respect, and collaboration, improving teamwork.
By actively getting involved in giving feedback, your employees will experience growth, gain valuable insights, and receive recognition for their achievements. All of this will lead to amplified engagement, satisfaction, and stronger relationships among your team members, ultimately enhancing the performance and overall work environment.