Member Since: 15th Apr 2008
Everyone’s looking for a way to build a thriving and enjoyable workplace, where employees are engaged, fulfilled and committed. There isn’t one magic answer, but I believe strongly in the power of communication, and specifically, feedback.
I work with my team – alongside our client organisations – to put in place the mindsets, habits and processes that create a workplace culture of feedback. We do this through training, consulting, advising and implementing 360 Degree Feedback programmes that are customised to each organisation’s business goals and values.
Building a culture of feedback happens when feedback becomes ‘the way we do things around here’. Most people spend most of their time at work, whether at home or in the office; our goal is to help build Better Workplaces through Feedback Culture.
Since the early 2000s, I've worked with over 200 organisations, supporting them with feedback for employees, teams, managers and leaders. Projects have included 360 Degree feedback design for performance, development, talent identification and succession planning. My background in Learning and Development has helped me to understand our clients' needs, and I have learned so much from them. For me, our clients are our heroes!
Senior Consultant & CEO Track Surveys
19th Jun 2016
Great article and I agree that there's no magical formula for how much learning is formal or informal - it depends on the type of organisation and skills involved.
You may be interested in an article I've written recently on this - and how we in L&D can support a lot of the informal learning that goes on in organisations.
Here's the link, let me know what you think:
5th May 2016
Thanks Shonette/Andrew. I can see where you're coming from.
Do you think that just getting on with it means that the right things are learned? Not a leading question, am genuinely interested in your view.
5th May 2016
Thanks for your comment, Charles. What's your view on the informal learning side? Do you think we should try to measure it, or just let it happen organically?
5th May 2016
Thanks Russ. I do think this is something that is simple in concept, but can go awry sometimes. My experience is that it goes awry when we overcomplicate it?
I would love to read your case study when you publish it.
13th Apr 2016
Yes, I absolutely agree. A key part of our role in L&D is to be closely aligned and talking to senior leaders so we understand the strategy of the organisation - we can then, through using metrics, our expertise, research and professional discussions, make sure our organisation is planning for future change and roles.
12th Apr 2016
More generally, organisations are simply not good at developing the skills of their current workforce, and this leads to having to recruit externally - some of which is international.
Many companies struggle to measure or value
the skills of current employees - and that sounds like hard work. On the surface, it's seems to be a lot easier to advertise the best bits of a job, and pick from a line up of new people, than go through the effort of assessing, training and engaging the people we already have.
Of course, this ignores the huge cost of recruiting
externally, the cost of on-boarding and
losing people who don't fit in the culture of
We in L&D need to be able to provide solid data on current skills and capabilities, matched to
future needs (although these will change quickly) in order to support the organisation to develop its people from the inside, rather than relying too much on external hires.
19th Feb 2013
Thanks David, it's a great idea and brilliant for increasing communication but organisations will have difficulty giving more control to employees. They will also worry about any potential legal issues that might arise from using this type of open feedback approach as part of the performance appraisal system.
These things normally involve some kind of compromise, but in theory getting feedback from everyone you work with - on a regular basis - has got to be a good thing.
31st Jul 2012
I like your summary of the key things that make performance management effective, and would include all those elements!
In particular, research is showing that regular goal setting and reviewing, plus feedback, is much more effective than the dreaded once a year appraisal meeting.
Feedback of course is a critical tool for both the employee and their manager in getting a more rounded view of the employee's activities and performance when the manager is not there to observe. It's like a compass; regular checking with feedback gives an indication of progress and can help to re-align activities when necessary. 360 Degree Feedback, from various stakeholders, in a structured format, is helpful.
We have found that another very useful form of 360 Degree Feedback is for colleagues to be able to 'post' instant feedback online when they observe their colleague in action. People are encouraged to notice their colleagues doing things right, and to post up their observations as soon as they make them. This is motivational for their colleague, but also feeds into the regular goal reviews and discussions with the employee's manager. It's a nice angle, particularly as it works a bit like Facebook, so fits into the more interactive, social model of performance management.
The other key point I would make is that the performance management system needs to be both tailored to the goals and processes of the individual organisation, whilst being simple enough for people to use and understand.
Of course, the more employees and managers use the system, the easier it becomes, so a good performance management system should create a virtuous circle of activity and engagement.
15th Sep 2010
Thanks Mike, this is helpful.
This year, we've been doing a lot of 360 Degree Feedback training for our clients and their employees, and because our tools are delivered online, we've started to run online training events.
We've found that a combination of Webex and phone calling works well. Any ideas on how to do this more effectively would be welcomed.
From the trainer point of view, it's not always possible to follow your running order exactly, especially when a learner asks a question and you head off in a different direction. I have found a mind-map that show all the areas I need to cover really helps, and I can tick off each item once it's covered, but it's not linear so I can easily see what I haven't covered yet!
I look forward to seeing other people's tips.
15th Dec 2009
So true, Ian, it all comes down to 'what's in it for me, but some people don't always recognise the benefits that their own change in behaviour will bring to them...that 's the self-awareness bit, I guess.
Like the light bulb joke, thanks, I will distribute among my L&D, Coaching and HR colleagues!