In last month’s blog, we talked briefly about prioritizing culture in a remote work environment, and how I recently joined the team to be laser-focused on this. It’s been an exciting start to the year as we continue to grow and expand our team. Last time I shared some of my initial reflections and observations. This month, we’ll be diving into the importance of feedback and actioning it to create and sustain a healthy culture.
One of the tools we use to gather feedback is OfficeVibe. Every second week we send all of our employees a survey. This gauges where they’re at and how we’re doing. This is a time where our team can share wins, any frustrations, or make suggestions on how we can improve things going forward. This survey can remain completely anonymous. However, it does allow team members to reveal their identity if they’re talking about something specific. Our leadership team will engage with the feedback that is given in order to gain more insight on any particular topic. I think this is something that really shows the value we place on everyone’s opinion.
We also create our own custom surveys for specific feedback. For example, at the end of January we held an All Hands (all team meeting). During this meeting, our leadership team shared updates from their last board meeting and were transparent with their goals for Q1. After the session, Ian, our CEO, decided we should gather feedback from our team members about the meeting. We created a custom survey that allowed our team to give their honest opinions. We got a lot of comments that the transparency was appreciated, perhaps a deeper dive into certain topics would be helpful, but that the session itself was quite long.
What you do with feedback is one of the most important steps. Just collecting it is not enough. Without action, it can actually discourage people from participating in the future. Ian took the time to respond to every single comment that was made. He did this even if they had just responded “no comment”. He engaged in discussion with people to really make them feel seen and heard. Not only this, but JN, our COO, had the idea to take every comment, classify it, and action it. For example, when people said our initial meeting was too long, the action associated was to limit future meetings to 1 hour. This type of process makes every team member accountable to push the limits for continued progress.
We’re always looking to innovate and improve, and going the extra mile with feedback pays off in the long run. It allows employees to feel heard, have a safe space to speak and it equips managers with tools to better engage with their team. Working in an environment where you feel like you can speak up is part of the foundation of a healthy culture!