Feedback Now: Because we all <3 spreading feedback

What do you get when you cross the anonymity of 360 Feedback with the social media savvy set?

Anonymous social feedback is having a moment. Step outside of your office or cubicle (or ask your kids) to hear the buzz about the new crop of apps that allow widespread anonymous feedback (, YikYak). Many media reports highlight the controversial usage of these apps for gossip, mockery or worse. That doesn’t mean the apps or the concept of open feedback are going away.  In fact, we likely see this concept moving mainstream.

performance feedback

Feedback is such an integral part of our communication paradigm that it’s truly amazing that we still struggle to get it right.  And it’s not just the Millennials who have the potential to misuse and abuse these tools. Until recently, HR has been leery of building instant on, open feedback tools for fear of such inappropriate feedback. This is despite the huge internal demand for such feedback tools from both those wanting to give and receive feedback. As more organizations embrace these tools, HR has become responsible for training feedback providers on an entirely new level.

Providing instant feedback that is immediately visible to both receiver and the rest of the “group” can be intimidating and hard to get right for even the savviest of straight shooters. Receiving feedback through this platform can be a harrowing experience, stressing even the most open and enlightened recipient.  Although in-person feedback takes guts and tact, instant feedback in an app or site presents its own set of challenges for both the provider in creating a message that is thoughtful, clear, constructive and compelling; and for the receiver in interpreting, absorbing, strategizing and taking action.

Currently, there are a couple of variations of “Feedback Now” tools that are trending with our clients:

Scenario 1Opening Up the Feedback Process to All.

In most traditional 360 feedback or multi-rater performance review processes, individuals are invited to provide performance feedback. This solicited feedback is captured during a performance review process and either provided to the Manager to summarize, or shared directly with the employee. viaPeople’s Feedback Now breaks down feedback barriers and allows employees throughout the organization to voluntarily provide feedback to others without waiting to be asked.

Feedback Now offers these unique features:

  • Organizations choose to control the visibility of the feedback (i.e., anonymous, attributed to the source, visible to both employee and manager) based upon their culture.
  • HR monitors the feedback provided through administrative tools.

Scenario 2. Real Time Feedback

Our clients who are working hard to build and maintain a culture of feedback and development have sought out ways to facilitate on-going, real-time feedback. viaPeople’s Feedback Now tools make it easy for employees to Give and Receive performance feedback when they need it most.

  • Employees give feedback to others and can share recognition with managers to reinforce high performance.
  • Like, employees solicit feedback from others from their team of specific individuals on the specific things that matter to them.

Although this type of open feedback environment sometimes causes HR to have nightmares about what might be shared, providing support and training to employees goes a long way to ensure the organization is ready for this type of feedback.

Tips for your Feedback Now system:

  1. Incorporate unsolicited feedback into your annual performance review to give Managers additional data points and ultimately provide a more comprehensive performance review. Be sure to include training for feedback providers and employees who will be receiving the anonymous feedback.
  2. Give employees the tools to solicit feedback on their own – in real-time and on any performance matter. Provide guidance by allowing them to choose from a set of questions or write their own and link their question to the organizational values and/or competencies. Allow them to choose whether the responses are provided anonymously or in an attributed fashion.
  3. Provide a positive platform for giving shout-outs and bravos that build the shared sense of team and confidence throughout the organization.

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