How to provide continuous feedback

jennifer Bjorkman | June-07-10




Dear Expert…

How can our organization set up a regular and continuous feedback loop between employees and management? We find it difficult to provide timely and regular feedback even though we know this is an important component of our business. We also want to find a mechanism for staff to be able to communicate with management on their performance and comment on potential improvements for the company.

Any advice would be appreciated.

By: Monica Beauregard


Two-Way Performance Discussions

During regularly scheduled progress review meetings – add a component to this meeting where the manager asks the employee some key questions such as:

1) what tools or resources can I provide you to help you do your job more effectively?
2) what barriers are stopping you from being effective in your position
3) what feedback to you have for me to help me be a better manager for you?

Depending on the culture of the company and the outcome of providing this feedback, it may take some time for trust to build up to get more “open” meetings. The key for this to work is that the manager must encourage feedback and must be willing to try to address what is brought up i.e. don’t ask the question if you don’t want to hear or deal with the answer. It helps to use a form of appraisal tool during these meetings to help guide manager, but not too onerous that people rarely meet because completing the form and meeting takes too much time.

Brainstorming Sessions

Regularly scheduled Brainstorming meetings (this is more common for smaller, project based companies) and often has a catchy name that reflects the culture of the organization and makes it fun. The idea is for a group of employees and managers to meet to discuss any ideas for the company. The concept is that no idea is insignificant and everyone is encouraged to participate in a group format meeting. It helps to set some ground rules in advance to ensure the environment is conducive to idea generation. This format works very well to discuss new ideas for the company, barriers people are facing, and some solutions. I heard of one organization recently that took this concept one step further to include feedback on people. Each meeting there was one person selected in advance to give feedback (good and constructive) to everyone around the room. Then the following meeting it was someone else’s turn, etc. For this, many ground rules had to be set up such as, no one could respond – they could only listen, there was no recourse to the person giving the feedback, the feedback needed to be constructive and job related, etc.


Monica Beauregard is a Human Resource Management Consultant based in Toronto, ON.


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