Continuous Feedback is an approach to people management that emphasises the value of regular interactions with employees over a single, annual/biannual review event. It is a highly effective way of encouraging development, performance and engagement, no matter the size of the organisation.
The Value of Continuous Feedback
- Saves time: managers who made 1-2 notes about each employee per month were able to halve the time they spent entering end of year comments in annual reviews.
- Encourages better performance: employees receiving daily feedback from managers are 3.6 times more likely to say they're motivated to do outstanding work (and 6 times more likely to agree they receive meaningful feedback).
- Improves communication: 83% of companies saw the quality of conversations between manager and employee improve when continuous feedback processes were introduced
- Reduces turnover: Adobe reduced turnover by 30% by implementing continuous feedback processes
- Makes a difference: intelliHR customers were able to take issues raised through feedback processes and solve real problems, making their salespeople happier and improving the company’s bottom line.
- Shows employees they matter: A clearly defined process that is consistently followed demonstrates to employees that they and their voice are valued
Your intelliHR system comes with pre-built templates for gathering continuous feedback. We call them ‘check ins’ - short, convenient forms that can be automatically sent out at regular intervals (or filled in at any time through our self-service menu on the dashboard).
What does a check in do?
- Check ins are designed to spark feedback conversations between employees and their supervisors. The questions in these check ins can also be used as a guide for these conversations to make sure everything gets covered.
- They help to record small pieces of feedback while it's still fresh in the employees’ and managers’ minds.
- Written check ins provide employees an opportunity for self-reflection and to have their voice heard (Empowerment)
- They help to manage any issues while they're small (Course Correction)
- They help employees and their managers set priorities for the coming period (Goals and Engagement)
What should check ins NOT do?
- Check ins should support conversations, not replace them
- They shouldn't make people feel scared or worried
- They shouldn't be too hard to complete (too long, too complicated, too frequent, overly difficult questions)
Managers: getting the most out of a continuous feedback catch-up
- Prepare: read the responses from your employee, review any notes from last time, look at their goals and note down anything important that must be discussed
- Review: Evaluate how the meeting went. What went well, what could have gone better? There is always room to improve.
Logistics of Check ins
How often should they be run?
Most of our customers run them every 1-2 months. We find this is a good balance between gathering enough information without overloading people with requests. Regular feedback is easier to collect, digest and act upon, and it becomes the new norm very quickly.
The best rule of thumb is to only survey as fast as you can act. If someone provides feedback and doesn’t see any response before the next time they’re asked, they will be less likely to complete it.
What’s a good response rate?
While you might want to get everyone to complete these check ins every time, 100% participation is not realistic (and might provide poor data if you’re forcing people to participate).
90% of companies surveying weekly/monthly have response rates below 50%, so anything above 65% is pretty good. The larger the company, the lower the ideal participation rate (85% for <50 employees, 75% for 500, 65% for 1000+ are all quite standard)
How do we encourage participation?
Support from leadership is vital. This must be seen as important and something everyone does. It’s also important to maintain ongoing awareness of the process. Tell stories of how it worked and find ways to reward those who use if effectively.
Make it appealing by adapting the template to suit your organisation. Think about how you want respondents to feel and act when they receive this task and build the form around that. Our most effective check-ins have been changed from the base template to suit each business. This includes the instructions, the question wording and the look of the form. You can change the colours, images and language to match your culture (you can even add GIFs) .
It's not set and forget. Review and refresh your check ins, using feedback from the people completing them.
What’s a Good Check in?
As of June this year, intelliHR has issued more than 11 thousand check ins to 3774 people. The most effective check ins:
- Have clear instructions on what to do, how the responses will be used and what any number-based ratings mean
- Are short and simple with 5-8 questions
- All include the 1-10 Happiness rating and feedback questions
- Have been sent out on a regular basis (monthly) for at least the past 6 months
- Are customised to use language, colours and images unique to their organisation.
Tip: To get started on your own check in, check out this article on creating continuous feedback forms, or reach out to your Customer Success Team.