“It’s not what you say that matters — it’s what you do.”
Asking questions through Know Your Company is only half the battle. You’ve got to act on the feedback in some way. No matter how many specific questions you ask, what you do with that feedback will always carry more weight than anything else.
In Know Your Company, we help you act on feedback through our “Follow-up” feature. Once everyone on the team has responded to a Company Question, you can send a “Follow-up” note that shows folks that you’re listening.
Now, you may be wondering… Well, what does “following-up” on feedback exactly mean? Do I have to implement every single piece of feedback suggested?!
Not at all. Below, we’ve written some best practices for following-up on feedback and using our “Follow-up” feature well…
1. Recognize the messenger.
Thank someone for giving their feedback publicly, even if you don’t agree with it. When you recognize a person by name, with genuine sincerity, it encourages everyone to continue offering up new ideas and viewpoints – especially when you do it publicly. Most of the time, when an employee gives feedback, they are merely looking for this recognition: Acknowledgement that they have been heard. Validation that you are listening. Gratitude for weighing in. Remember this.
Start by writing: “Thank you…” or “This meant a lot to me to read because…”
2. Close the loop.
Explain why you’re not doing something — or what I like to call “closing the loop.” It’s one of the most effective ways to cultivate an open, honest work environment. If you receive a piece of feedback that isn’t practical or doesn’t align with the company’s direction, tell your employees that. Expose your decision-making process. If you don’t, employees will wonder, “What ever happened to that idea I suggested?” They’ll assume that you’re not open to receiving new ideas, and they’ll hesitate to bring up feedback the next time around.
Start by writing: “Here’s why we’re not doing this…” or “While I understand where you’re coming from, here’s why we’re going in a different direction…”
3. Share progress that’s already underway.
An employee suggests an idea you’re already working on or thinking about. Or, someone is unaware that progress is being made in a certain area. In either scenario, share that progress when you follow-up. People are only aware of progress if you tell them.
Start by writing: “Thank you for sharing that – we in fact are working on…” or “Here’s the progress we’ve made to date in this area…”
4. Talk about your lessons learned.
Sometimes, an employee will give you feedback that opens your eyes to something you didn’t know or something you didn’t notice. Be sure to point out what those lessons learned are. It’ll further show your team that you want them to be raising questions, suggesting new ideas, and helping you see things more clearly.
Start by writing: “__’s response is making me think about these things differently…” or “I’ve learned a lot by reading these responses. Specifically…”
5. Knock out a quick win.
If someone shares a piece of feedback that does merit being implemented, follow-up and let everyone know! There are few things as powerful as taking action on something small. When you do something that an employee suggests, you’re literally sending the message: “I want things to be as YOU would like them to be.” That’s compelling. Actions truly speak louder than words in this case.
Start by writing: “This is excellent. Here’s what we’re going to change because of it…” or “Because of this feedback, we’re going to do this…”
Hope these five tips help, as you follow-up on feedback!