We are working at QIMA, a company focused on quality control and supply chain audits. We are currently building an awesome SaaS platform called QIMAone.
Challenge: One of the values of the company is “Grow together”. It means to cultivate talent with fairness and fun! We also want to answer the needs of the team because we have discovered that some people in the team would like to receive regular feedback. But how to do it properly?
The feedback is obviously one of the best tools to help us to continuously improve ourselves. Positive feedback contributes to increase our happiness at work by reassuring us about what we do and about our contribution to something meaningful and useful. Indeed, in order to move forward, we need to know our weaknesses. Some are especially obvious to us, others on the contrary, are much more complicated to identify. To answer those needs, we chose to conduct an effective feedback workshop.
Historically, the effective feedback is a tool used by the management to help teams to improve. The manager as a senior worker can share very valuable feedback with his direct reports. It is always good to have different perspectives and to gather feedback from our counterparts as well. That is why the entire team should also be part of this exercise.
In this article we will share the way we conducted our workshop for effective feedback:
- Introduction and rules
- How to help the team to create an effective feedback
- The support
- Way of improvement
Effective feedback Workshop
Introduction and rules
The introduction of the workshop is very crucial. All the participants have to feel comfortable to be able to open up to the other members of the team. For this, you can begin with an ice breaker. Moreover, a feedback is often something given in a private conversation. Doing it in a team’s meeting should be done carefully.
Then you should explain the rules to facilitate the exercise:
- The team must understand and forgive the other members if the feedback is not perfectly formulated. The exercise of the effective feedback is not easy for a beginner.
- Positivity needed! The meeting has to be optional to let only the people who want to receive feedback to attend. It's an invitation, not a convocation.
If the team is not comfortable with crafting feedback you can give a lesson before the meeting.
How to craft a good feedback?
First, feedback is something that we give to each other, it’s an invitation and not a requirement. Stay factual, in a feedback you should not talk about the person but about the facts.
Feedback is often split in 4 parts:
- The appreciative message: Every participant has initial good intentions so start by encouraging a positive behavior by giving an example. This positive acknowledgment is a very good frame to start.
- The expression of a wish: this part is the most critical and we need to be careful with the formulation. The teammates should mention what they lack without judgement and with kindness.
- The alternative proposition: Here we’re looking for a proposal, an invitation to change something in the future without requirement. Thanks to this step, feedback becomes truly constructive because it includes suggestions on how to improve.
- To conclude, it is completely up to the feedback-receiver to accept or leave away the feedback.
Be careful with the so-called “Sandwich feedback“ which can lead us to bad reactions. A sandwich feedback is easily identified by the word “But”: “i like when you cook but not when you sing at the same time”.
As support for this meeting, we chose to use a Miro board with a simple matrix with team members.
To help the team to formulate good feedback we have displayed guidelines for each feedback:
- What I like about you is...
- I wish...
- What if…
And like any exercise, nothing better than an example of feedback to illustrate
If the exercise itself is interesting for the members of the team, its full power is released if it is done regularly. It allows team members to set goals with deadlines. Regularity also helps to develop the soft skills of the teams in terms of how to give feedback, but also how to receive it and takes full advantage of it. The first iteration might not be 100% fruitful because of a learning curve, but with practice, it becomes less scary for everyone.
The continuous improvement process should cover all the skills of a team. Improving soft skills is as important as improving technicals skills. Who better than the members of our team, with whom we spend most of our time, can give us kind and effective feedback? If you want to go more deeper on how to deal with feedback and management you can read the book of Kim Scott “Radical candor”.
“Grow together” is one major value at QIMA!
Written by POQUET Charles, Scrum Master at QIMA. ✍️