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Five questions to ask before implementing a performance feedback system

Taking a look at behavioral data may be the key to creating the most successful feedback system for your organization

Few professionals enjoy providing performance feedback. Those who do enjoy providing feedback probably haven’t attended formal feedback training and most likely don’t use behavioral data as a benchmark during the conversation. While often difficult to provide and receive feedback, clear and consistent performance feedback is an important part of any successful company. So it is in the best interests of managers and the company to develop and implement a useful feedback system that is tied to behavioral data.  

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Here are five questions you can ask yourself to determine the health of your current feedback systems and processes.

  1. Do we consistently train our employees to seek feedback?

    It’s one thing to tell employees to seek feedback and it’s another to have processes and training that consistently reinforce this message. Hearing this message a few times during onboarding won’t create a culture of employees who seek feedback.

  2. If we have a culture that values feedback, have we provided enough information about this process to our employees?

    Employees need to know the nuts and bolts of the feedback process. They need to know the norms of when, where, and how to ask for feedback. Saying you have an “open door policy” isn’t enough. Internally “advertise” when and how to get feedback.                                                                                                                                                                                             Measuring employee success.jpg

  3. What is the purpose of our feedback system?

    Compliance or commitment to change? Think through why you provide feedback in the first place. If it is simply a compliance issue – box checking mentality – productive behavioral change will rarely emerge as the result of feedback. Whereas if your company and employees are committed to a growth mentality, seeking avenues to make positive behavioral adjustments and flex new skills becomes part of the corporate DNA.

  4. If one of your top performing employees said, “If I told you I was quitting, what would you do to keep me here,” how would you answer that question?

    You need to know who your top performing employees are and make sure you are doing enough to keep them around. Top performers leave when they feel underappreciated or undervalued, so at the very least be sure you are publicly pointing out the things that your top 1% are doing right.                

  5. What assessment data are we using during our feedback conversations?

    Innovative companies who want to retain top talent use assessments to understand their employees’ behaviors. This data gives companies insight into employees’ natural workplace behaviors and sets them up for success by meeting their behavioral needs and matching their behavioral strengths to the role requirements. Using behavioral assessment data as a benchmark during feedback conversations allows managers to help employees flex their strengths, minimize caution areas, and compare corporate behavioral needs with natural behavioral abilities. 


Curious as to what behavioral assessments can do for your organization? Check out our Ultimate Guide to Behavioral Assessments to get the full scoop!

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At the individual level, great leaders use feedback processes to motivate employees, incentivize employees, repair relationships, and build skills through coaching. At the company level, feedback helps identify neglected areas in organizational development, assists with leadership succession planning, and helps retain and inspire your company’s greatest asset: your people.  

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Dr. Zach Schaefer is CEO of Spark The Discussion, a full service human capital consulting firm that provides Data Driven Talent™ solutions to growing companies. Spark is a Certified Partner with the Predictive Index®, and leverages their assessment suite to help companies hire, develop, and promote top talent. 

Zach is the founder and CEO at Spark the Discussion.

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