Collecting Feedback in a Digital Age
By Mathew Love
They say that in the workplace, phone calls killed the need for in-person meetings.
Then, email killed the need for phone calls.
Now new chat tools like Slack and Facebook at Work are killing the email.
The push to digitize the way we work and interact with colleagues is rooted in a global drive to be more productive (and more profitable), but also in a sincere desire to make connecting with your colleagues more seamless.
That’s why, we are so astonished to see that in-person meetings still dominate the majority of of most workers’ daily calendar. Meetings to discuss upcoming meetings, followed by meetings to recap previous meetings.
Unfortunately, there are important reasons why you need to interact frequently with your team, managers and other departments. One of those reasons is getting feedback.
Getting feedback often happens via the analog approach of in-person meetings, but the effort it takes to get everyone into the same room, on the same page, or even at the right time, is certainly leading to some professionals questioning whether or not it’s worth it. Even when you attempt a conference call or Skype meeting, there’s always that pesky network disruption or a chance that one of the participant’s cats strolls across their keyboard and cuts them off.
Thankfully, collecting feedback has evolved rapidly in the digital age. And, with helpful and innovative tools (like BigTeam #shamelessplug) leading the way in gathering feedback from teams, customers and collaborators in a more efficient and user-friendly manner—the days of slow-paced, disconnected feedback are numbered.
However, many professionals still seem averse to welcoming this new age of feedback and seem adamant about clinging to the old methods. Perhaps they’re not quite convinced yet of the benefits, or maybe they haven’t been given the opportunity to give it a go yet. Whatever the case, here are five important points to consider when turning to digital feedback—adapted from Marc Sowik, Head Employee Feedback Researcher at Employee Research:
1. Digital feedback collection can and should increase the speed and frequency of data collection, thus potentially enabling a more conversation-like style of feedback to evolve. The emphasis here is on the speed and frequency of data collection—which will help facilitate a more conducive style of feedback to evolve, depending on the context of your project.
2. Using the right technology to gather feedback will also increase flexibility. In doing this, we’re able to ask our teams, customers and collaborators exactly what we need to, when we need to. This helps to respond to them with more authenticity because we have more up-to-date and frequent information from them.
3. Digital feedback methodologies allow us to ask more open response questions, and because the responder has more time to digest and reply to the question, we’re able to make sense of the data more easily. Open response information and feedback is often neglected in traditional feedback methods where quantifiable data is favored (including fixed surveys), but this is where the richness of feedback truly lies.
4. Transparency can also be improved through the use of digital feedback tools. Why shouldn’t each member of your team realize and have access to how everyone else is feeling about the project or product? This way, everyone on the team will feel the same accountability for their influence over the work and the project.
While digital feedback collection is based online and through the use of technology, it’s still important to keep the human element involved and be personal with how you approach it. Make sure that your tone of voice in asking questions still reflects the way you or your business communicates in person and ensure that you thank participants for making an effort to be involved.
Truth be told, collecting feedback in the digital age is as easy as you allow it to be. By choosing the right tool that guides you appropriately through the new, innovative ways of engaging with your teams, customers or collaborators—you’re already a few steps ahead towards feedback success.
Because we at BigTeam want to see you succeed—we’ve implemented a money back guarantee, as well as a cancel at any time policy, to make your decision to sign up as easy and risk-free as possible. Signing up with this process is the easiest for everyone and gives you 30 days to decide whether the platform is for you or not. If you’d prefer to do a trial instead, please shoot us a note at firstname.lastname@example.org now, and we’ll get back to you.