The most effective ways to follow up on your team's feedback

Mikaela Clavel
January 8, 2024
The most effective ways to follow up on your team's feedback

Who doesn’t want to get better at what they do? It’s a no brainer, right? Most of us want to improve, work smarter, and be the best versions of ourselves. 

But, it’s impossible to do this if we close ourselves off from learning or feedback.

Picture this. If you want to get better at the sport you play, you’ll must listen to your coach and take their feedback on board. If you have a restaurant, you’ll listen to what your guests loved or didn’t like as much about your dinner - so you can tweak the experience for next time the guest come.

This same logic is true for teams. Feedback is the compass that guides growth and the cornerstone of improvement. Yet, offering feedback is just the beginning—the real magic happens in how we follow up on it. In the pursuit of nurturing better teams, mastering the art of constructive follow-up becomes pivotal. This journey isn't just about acknowledging feedback; it's about transforming insights into actionable steps that inspire positive change.

What happens when feedback fails

It’s easy to write feedback off as a ‘nice to have.’ The reality is way different. Failing to follow up on feedback in an organisation or team can have catastrophic effects.

1. Lack of trust

If a leader doesn’t act on feedback, employee trust in leadership decreases. According to our study, Fighting Turnover, the biggest reason why an employee tends to leave is low trust. The lower the trust in your organisation, the higher the turnover. The stats from our report show 75% of employees are more likely to leave a manager who isn’t open and honest and 87% are more likely to leave a manager who doesn't keep promises.

On the flipside, employees who trust their organisation are more likely to be loyal and committed, leading to higher retention rates. Trustworthy organisations are also more likely to attract and retain top talent, as employees seek to work in environments where they feel valued, respected and supported.

2. Decrease in honesty

Honest feedback is the best kind of feedback. But it takes courage to be honest and give honest feedback (alongside being in an environment where the employee feels safe enough to give honest feedback). If feedback isn’t followed up, honesty from employees will decrease because they don’t see leaders taking their feedback seriously.

3. A toxic culture

If leaders aren’t listening, employees are scared to voice their opinions, and guesswork takes the place of following and acting on evidence, then it sows the seeds for a toxic culture to develop. A toxic workplace culture doesn't just affect individuals; it weakens the entire foundation of an organisation, hindering its ability to thrive, innovate, and sustain success in the long run.

Overall, failing to follow up on feedback leads to poor results for the whole organisation, lower engagement, and higher turnover.

How to follow up on feedback

Fear not, however, because it’s not all doom and gloom. In fact, following up on feedback is easier than ever. Here are the best places to start…

1. Make sure everyone is always involved

The best teams fail together and succeed together. There’s no single person that sets an agenda or dictates the direction the team goes in. It’s always a collaborative approach where employees are involved in team decisions - including the actioning of feedback.

Feedback helps individuals understand how their behaviour affects the world around them, and the quality of their performance. Thanks to both negative and positive feedback, they can adjust and develop in a positive direction. 

You should regularly acknowledge and appreciate the contributions of team members. Recognize their efforts and the value they bring to the team. Celebrate individual achievements and milestones and share stories of how the team's work has made a positive difference. 

Furthermore, show appreciation and acknowledgement of your team's hard work. Recognize individuals, and create a culture where people are comfortable sharing feedback with one another. Research shows that employees who received recognition from their leaders are significantly more likely to trust them.

2. Be open and honest

Teams get more efficient and leaders lead better because there’s open and honest communication between everyone in the team. Collaboration increases and guesswork is removed.

For example, employees are more likely to respect a manager who can talk openly with them about difficult situations, answer questions, and give them the facts. In turn, this should encourage employees to be honest themselves and bring difficult topics to the table, be it with their manager or their peers. 

Great communication is the foundation for any successful team. When employees feel safe to speak their minds, they're more likely to share valuable insights and feedback. This leads to better decision-making, problem-solving, and innovation within the organisation.

3. Build trust

You should strive to create a workplace atmosphere where employees feel comfortable being themselves, sharing their opinions, and taking risks without fearing judgement or backlash. In such an environment - where there are high levels of psychological safety - team members trust one another and collaborate more effectively, ultimately leading to higher productivity and job satisfaction.

Trust is a foundation for employee engagement. When employees trust their leaders, colleagues, and the organisation as a whole, they are more likely to feel committed, motivated, and engaged in their work. Simply said, trust fosters a positive work environment where employees feel supported, respected, and valued, leading to increased innovation, engagement and productivity.

Let's summarise!

Feedback is never done. Listening to it and acting on it is something that should happen every single day. But that can be a lot for anyone to manage. Luckily, we’ve got you covered with our new feature Guided Temperature Meetings that provides an easy way to discuss temperature scores, commit to solutions and follow up on the progress - with zero preparation and 100% engagement!

The system suggests an agenda, and once the meeting has started, the framework based on the appreciative inquiry approach guides the participants through the meeting sparking meaningful discussions. The aim of the game is to set commitments the whole team wants to work against. 

The best thing? These meetings focus on the strengths of your team, make employees feel engaged and listened to while managers are empowered to be more proactive and hands-on (rather than guessing what your team wants). But don’t just take our word for it - see Temperature Meetings in action for yourself.

Tell me more! 

About the author
Mikaela Clavel

Focusing on people

If you are interested in finding out more about what Winningtemp can offer your organisation get in contact with our sales team.