Fast Feedback in the Workplace

Colleagues at an office meeting


Fast feedback is all the rage. At tech companies, engineers build and release new products quickly so they can gather user feedback and make swift changes, an approach at the center of Eric Ries’ famed book The Lean Startup. Now companies want to bring the principle of fast feedback to H.R.

Rather than checking in only once a year to assess employee morale or performance, businesses are wanting to speak with employees more frequently. Performance reviews are a good example. Companies like Accenture, Adobe and GE have moved away from reviews once a year to quarterly check-ins.

Taking faster, frequent check-ins on employee engagement is the latest trend. One tool companies use to do that is Glint. Similar to products like Culture AmpTINYpulse and HighGround, Glint software specifically for employee engagement. The tools allows companies to obtain an ongoing read on how employees feel about their jobs. Glint was founded in 2013 in Silicon Valley and has United Airlines, eBay and LinkedIn as a few of their clients.

EBay began using Glint in November 2015. Heather Neville, the head of HR operations for eBay, stated that the company had to stop using a competitors of Glint because it would take months to see any survey results. Today, eBay runs engagement surveys with their employees three times a year and receives results immediately. New employees also receive two pulse-checks in the first 90 days of hire. Throughout the year, eBay also releases ad-hoc surveys “to test a particular theory, go deeper on an aspect of culture or conduct an ethics survey,” said Neville.

The polls only take three minutes to finish, and they ask employees to what extent they agree with statements like, “the work I do at eBay is meaningful to me,” “I’m excited about our future,” and “eBay has a great culture.”

Clint is used by eBay to foster more communication across ranks. When an engagement survey closes, “managers host a conversation with their direct teams to talk about the results, drill deeper and get more insights,” Neville says. Good managers probe to learn and create an improvement plan if morale is low for a period.

Neville oversees the use of Glint by almost 2,000 managers at eBay. The tool even helped Neville discover a blind spot of her own. When Neville has gone on vacation in the past, she wouldn’t put her team members’ contact information on her automatic out of office email reply. “I was trying to protect them,” she says. However, the results of a Glint engagement survey showed that some of the team members were concerned that Neville didn’t trust them to take care of business while she was out of the office. The feedback led her to change her approach from out of the office. She also thinks getting fast feedback through the tool has started more broad conversations about her and team members’ expectations. “I think it’s the right dialogue to be having,” she says.




Source: Jeff Kauflin, Forbes