At the Learning Hub we really put an effort into feedback activities and in actually doing something with the data we gather.
It has become a normality for us.
How we handle feedback
Gathering feedback is an essential part of our way of working. We do this internally on a (bi)-weekly basis during our retrospective meetings (see previous blogs about Scrum and Agile).
At The Learning Hub we have an open feedback culture. Everyone can give each other feedback whenever they want. Although it is not always as easy as it sounds. We have a mixture of personalities and level of expertise, but no hierarchy. Our main challenge is accepting that feedback is given based on performance not personality. We are all just too friendly for each other. It helped to formalize it by introducing a Retro board where everyone of the team can leave comments or ideas in different ‘categories’: things we need to start doing, things we need to do more, things we need to continue doing, things we need to do less and things we need to stop doing. Every one or two weeks (depending on the subteam) we go over this board and discuss the topics that have been added in each of the categories and add next steps that need to be taken. This way of working improves our effectiveness and contributes to the quality of our work and it helps us to keep being transparent towards each other.
Elements we have discussed on our Retro board are rewritten into User Stories. For example, a card has been added to the category “MORE”. The card says “explore more authoring tools”, which leads to a User Story with a concrete milestone and a responsible “Create a POC in Tool x”.
In addition, we also use the 360-degree feedback for our internal evaluations. This feedback process includes feedback from colleagues, a supervisor, subordinates and even self-evaluations. And if someone still hasn’t found the right moment to give feedback to a colleague, he/she can state it in the weekly sprint planning, which is our weekly meeting at the beginning of our sprint to discuss the past assignments and to assign new tasks.
Feedback from our customers
Gathering internal feedback is one thing, but we also learn a lot from feedback from our customers. To gather this feedback, we set up follow-up interviews (warm evaluations) with our customers after our trainings, workshops or projects. We recently increased the frequency of these interviews, not only because the customer could better remember the positive and also the negative points; they could give us more clear examples because it was all still top of mind. We decided to have a warm evaluation after the delivery, an evaluation after 6 months and yearly evaluations with our customers and we really consider and take in what they have to say.
The feedback conversations even led to specific action points. For instance, we set up a community within our MS Teams environment and asked our customers, who use the same LMS platform, if they wanted to join that community. The scope was clear: making sure our customers interact with each other so they can ask questions about problems that occurred or can share tips and tricks about the LMS they use.
We also received feedback that the second part of our online ‘How to Choose your LMS’ trajectory could always improve more with regards to interactivity. We immediately discussed this within our team and tried to find solutions to improve this online interactivity as we value the given feedback. We already came up with a solution to create a Rise module so that participants can refresh their knowledge of the content explained in the first part of the trajectory.
In addition, we wanted to do something extra for our customers, what led to our ‘Knowledge Sharing’ sessions to bring our clients up to date with the latest and new possibilities in their LMS. We continue experimenting and testing in our own environments, so we can share our outcomes and the possibilities of the system with our customers. Every month we are releasing one or multiple possibilities (within the same theme). If it is something that the customer can do him/herself, we add instructions for that specific feature. The choice if the customer wants to use this information or not is entirely up to him/her.
And now… DIY!
How can you implement this into your own work environment?
A few tips:
- Start asking feedback from your vendors (such as us), customers or users by using the various tools you have available.
- Add structure to your feedback process and define it. For example, plan a bi-weekly feedback session.
- Provide clear topics that should be tackled during these sessions (for example: start, stop, more, less).
- But most importantly, link actions to what you hear in these sessions and make these actions visible. Make discussing and following up on these actions part of your feedback process.