Do you have a feedback process that your employees are thankful for?

Posted by Devin Harris on November 21, 2019

With the Thanksgiving holiday fast approaching, it is a natural time to reflect on what one has to be thankful for. In our personal lives, the answers may vary slightly, however, things like family, health, and prosperity often top the list (along with turkey, pumpkin pie and football of course)!

In the workplace, gaining insight into what employees value is more complex. Compensation and benefits are obviously quite important, however, things like flexibility, work with a purpose and work-life balance often rank ahead of salary.[1] What is clear is that traditional models are not working. According to Gallup, 85% of employees are not engaged or actively disengaged[2]. Many employees are showing up but not giving their best ideas and efforts. Or worse, they are actively working against the organization and have one foot out the door. Businesses in the top quartile of employee engagement are 17% more productive and 21% more profitable than those in the bottom quartile.[3]

One of the simplest ways to make a lasting impact on employee engagement, and in turn company performance, is to provide an effective vehicle for communication. If employees don’t have clear line of sight to what is expected of them and how they can improve their performance, maybe we should tell them! Seems simple, right?

Unfortunately, traditional talent management systems (TMS) were designed in the same mold as traditional enterprise software. The challenge lies in the fact TMS were created as systems-of-record; not tools for engaging employees. TMS were designed for administrative reasons – to capture data, complete forms and route approvals through complex workflow processes. A once-a-year review by a manager is not effective in providing timely, encompassing feedback.

By contrast, an agile performance solution enables in-the-moment feedback and coaching. This facilitates the delivery of more relevant and actionable feedback, such as continuous coaching, 360 feedback and project-based objectives. Peer recognition tools with public visibility that enable an employee to send instantaneous recognition to a peer should also be a part of the mix.


This type of solution is inherently more supportive of the modern workforce in an agile world where employees work on a variety of projects with different lengths and diverse team members. 80% of office workers would prefer feedback in the moment rather than a progress review after a certain number of months[4].

With respect to collecting specific employee feedback, traditional models offer an annual employee engagement survey process, which is not an effective approach for an agile workforce. It only takes a snapshot view of engagement at a particular point in time and can be influenced by what is going on at the time of year it is distributed and completed by employee. Also, results are delayed (often 3 months or more) before leadership sees them, thus companies run “blind” for an entire year until the next survey.

It is crucial to deploy real-time employee feedback and recognition tools to measure engagement and employee sentiment on a continuous basis. There’s an understanding that the workplace has changed, employees want more frequent feedback and are more engaged when that occurs. Consider the following:

  • 69% of millennials think the performance review process is flawed; 62% of millennials felt blindsided by a review
  • 85% of employees would feel more confident with more frequent interaction with their managers
  • 70% of young employees still feel confident that the process can help them learn and grow. They’d just like to see some changes made. [5]

Given its connection to the organization’s engagement platform, feedback can be collected and directed to specific teams and work units, for example:

  • Pulse Surveys – Short, frequent surveys sent to the whole company or smaller teams of employees. Designed to get agile, timely feedback based on current initiatives
  • Life Cycle Surveys – Automated surveys that are triggered at events/milestones in an employee’s tenure with your organization (i.e. job candidate, new hire, 10-year, exit)
  • Pulse Reporting – Enable sophisticated reporting across employees, functions, teams, projects spanning both ratings and unstructured feedback/comments
  • Action Planning – Dynamically generate action plans based on key themes, trends emerging in your sentiment data.

At the end of the day, employees want to do meaningful work for an organization that they can be proud of. Providing intuitive technology that facilitates two-way communication removes barriers and cuts down on time spent on non-strategic administrative tasks. Further, it gives employees clarity on expectations and allows them to be heard. That is something we can all be thankful for.



[1] Source: “Performance Reviews Get a Failing Grade”, Adobe

[2] Source: Fast Company

[3] Source: Forbes

[4] Source: Gallup’s State of the Global Workplace Report

[5] Source: Gallup’s State of the Global Workplace Report



Devin Harris, Senior Marketing Manager at Vibe HCM has worked closely with the strategic benefits of employee-focused workforce technology for over 15 years. Most recently, he is examining the business outcomes that organizations achieve by deploying HCM Engagement platforms.


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