Feedback Friday: A Fun Way to Engage Teams

Sam
October 22, 2021
8 Min Read
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Phil Borst

Table of Contents:

What is Feedback Friday?

Feedback Friday is a system where employees, usually one person per department, provide feedback for other team members or departments. Feedback can be given on small things like poor email layout and larger subjects like complicated product interfaces. Feedback Friday takes place regularly, usually Fridays.

Feedback from Feedback Friday should be applied to improve the situation in the future. Feedback Friday is usually done in a public setting, ensuring that everyone has the same Feedback. Feedback given should be clear and concise and it can be delivered orally or in a written form. 

Feedback should always be delivered professionally and technically, keeping feedback objective and not personal. Feedback should never be used in a vindictive manner. Feedback Friday encourages sharing thoughts and ideas to improve what you do or how your work can be improved. 

Feedback Friday is usually only done in companies that have formalized their Feedback process, ensuring that Feedback given will be acted upon. Feedback Friday should not be considered a way to complain or moan about others. Feedback Friday is not used for formal performance review, it is a chance for you and your team to provide suggestions to improve how you work together.

The importance of Feedback Friday

“I think it’s very important to have a feedback loop, where you’re constantly thinking about what you’ve done and how you could be doing it better.” - Elon Musk

Feedback Friday is an important aspect for anyone in business or industry. It helps companies improve their output by identifying areas that can be improved, ensuring that everyone is on the same page. Feedback Friday should not only be done at work but should also be considered when constructing any other project together, including building a house or writing code for software.

Feedback Friday can be used to identify weak spots and improve your product or work. It further improves employee interaction and performance. It enables employees to solve problems together. Feedback Friday can also be done anonymously, if you are concerned about Feedback being used against you. 

Pros and cons of Feedback Friday Feedback

“Criticism, like rain, should be gentle enough to nourish a man’s growth without destroying his roots.” – Frank A. Clark

Feedback Friday, like any other feedback system, has its own merits and demerit that are peculiar to it. Highlighted below are some of the pros and cons of Feedback Friday.

Pros of Feedback Friday Feedback

  1. Feedback allows employees to share their thoughts and ideas as this will improve the company's output by addressing weak spots and solving problems together.

  2. Increases employee involvement in the work process, especially if done anonymously.

  3. More constructive than criticism that comes from an outside party. Having the ability to provide feedback to your product or work without judgment is very encouraging. Knowing that something you have worked hard on for months can be improved does not feel good at first, but providing suggestions without fear is a very rewarding feeling.

  4. Give chance for employees to have their voice heard and improve the situation they are working within. Employees may feel uncomfortable bringing up issues with project managers, but with feedback Friday, no topic is off-limits, and everyone's voice has a chance to be heard. Feedback Friday is not only an opportunity for managers to identify problems but get feedback from employees on how they can improve their work.

  5. Feedback Friday provides a great way to expose issues before they turn into larger problems. It further provides employees with a chance to offer their solutions without judgment. Feedback Friday can help create an environment where everyone can voice their opinion and be heard, even if Feedback is anonymous.

Cons of Feedback Friday

  1. Feedback may discourage some employees, especially if it turns into more than just constructive criticism. If the entire department is unhappy with the work that needs to be done, then changing projects or jobs might be necessary instead of bringing up issues for improvement with your current project.

  2. Can cause tension in the workplace between different employees and departments (negative politics). Employees may feel pressured or intimidated by others giving them negative feedback or suggestions if not held constructively. Feedback must be more than just suggestions that can be interpreted as insulting or intimidating.

  3. It cannot be enforced but can only be encouraged. Not everyone is going to have a great attitude towards giving and receiving constructive criticism.

  4. Issues with this method may arise when an issue becomes personal rather than a professional one. This can cause a strain on other relationships within the organization. The feedback Friday should be used to constructively improve the project, not to make other issues personal or take them out of context.

  5. When anonymous feedback is provided, it can be difficult for managers to determine who said what making implementing change challenging without more information about who said what and why they had that particular opinion going into Friday Feedback.

  6. Keeping track of feedback and what was done to improve the situation can be difficult as it is not documented. It also may become too focused on issues that can easily become a distraction from other projects. "Feedback Friday" usually focuses on one or two major items, so these items don't pull focus from other projects at hand. Feedback.
  7. The cons of Feedback Friday are that some departments or individuals might be overwhelmed by the amount of Feedback given.
  8. The person giving the feedback might be too insecure to give any meaningful feedback, which is why it should be anonymous or only done in general terms.

When it comes to feedback Friday, some guidelines should be followed to increase the chances of success of the feedback.

Leaders need to encourage the culture of constructive criticism for this method to work. If employees feel like they can't provide negative feedback without being judged or intimidated, they aren't going to participate in "Friday Feedback.” Employees should feel safe enough with their leaders to understand what is expected of them when providing feedback on Friday. 

It will take time for "Feedback Friday" to become commonplace, but overall, employees will appreciate the chance for improvement and understanding more than just compliments. This allows everyone involved in an organization a chance at career advancement if higher management implements their ideas even if they are not the original source of the idea.

Feedback Friday must be brief and clearly stated to avoid unnecessary issues. If managers go off-topic or do not stick to a certain agenda, employees will become defensive or feel overwhelmed by too much information quickly. Employees should feel like they have a limited amount of time to provide feedback on one specific issue rather than being flooded with criticism from everyone around them who is unhappy in that one moment in time. This also prevents many opinions from becoming personal attacks against an individual's work ethic or skills without offering improvement solutions.

Employees will feel more included in the decision-making process of their workplace if they can contribute their own opinions on how things are being done. "Friday Feedback" creates an environment where employees are encouraged to speak up about issues rather than feeling intimidated by management or other employees who may not have the best intentions when approaching certain topics.

If there is ever a question of whether someone should address an issue with management, even if it seems like something minor, having "Feedback Friday" might help out. This way, all issues at hand will be addressed and

5 Feedback Friday ideas 

“Feedback is a gift. Ideas are the currency of our next success. Let people see you value both feedback and ideas.” – Jim Trinka and Les Wallace

Feedback Fridays should be fun and interactive to allow for maximum participation. Here are some nice Feedback Friday ideas you should try out for your next meetings.

  1. Employees pick one area they would like feedback on and provide input anonymously by placing it in a suggestion box. They then set an amount of time for feedback to be given (eg, two weeks), and whatever is placed in the suggestion box during this period will be reviewed with everyone at the end of the time frame with comments from all employees involved listed.
  2. A forum could also be created where employees can comment on any topic, constructive criticism is allowed, but personal attacks are not tolerated. Topics may vary from your favorite place to eat at lunch to what skills you would like to learn at work. Feedback is given freely, and everyone's ideas are considered.
  3. This Feedback Friday could focus on the leaders of an organization where employees feel they cannot provide negative feedback because of who they are speaking to about their idea or issue. If Feedback Fridays become routine for some time, then managers and other higher management will find it easier to receive feedback from employees less intimidating.

Feedback will be more truthful and based on the idea itself rather than how someone is feeling about a certain individual when giving feedback. Feedback Friday should be a chance for all employees in an organization to contribute their thoughts and ideas without being targeted personally by others who may have differing opinions from their own on certain subjects.

Feedback is given more freely, and overall, the idea is better understood as a whole by all members of an organization rather than individuals who may disagree with the majority's opinion.

  1. This Feedback Friday should run like speed dating, where employees line up to chat with their manager about whatever they want without feeling rushed or intimidated. This way managers give more meaningful feedback since there is time for them to ask questions and take notes outside of being bombarded with ideas that are reviewed later by higher management at a convenient time for everyone involved.

Feedback is provided more meaningfully rather than just assigning tasks to be completed or schedule changes made to benefit the company in the long term. Feedback must be specific enough that it does not leave room for misinterpretation of what the original idea was meant to accomplish. Feedback Friday will be more focused on managing managers so they can provide better feedback to their direct reports which is why Feedback Fridays should include both sets of employees talking about whatever they would like to talk about, whether it's company-related or not.

  1. As Feedback Fridays are meant to address ideas and concerns which will make a specific organization run more smoothly, it is important that Feedback Fridays are limited only to employees within this organization unless supervised by higher management who has no personal interest in the idea itself other than how it will help the company. Feedback is given more freely but does not affect anyone outside of this specific company's goal, limiting Feedback Fridays to employees who work directly for this organization.

Feedback Fridays are meant to be a judgment-free zone where everyone can give their opinion no matter how it makes themselves look or if they are new/old, male/female, etc. Feedback should be unbiased based on the idea itself rather than personal opinions about the person giving feedback. Feedback Friday should hold some form of anonymity otherwise, it promotes gossiping within an organization which will lead to false information being spread throughout multiple departments.

How often should your company have Friday Feedback?

Everyone should have the option to talk about concerns or ideas they may have directly with their manager whenever Feedback Friday is being held. Feedback provided by managers is not limited to specific days. Feedback given by direct reports about what could be improved upon in the future is only allowed on Feedback Friday, where everyone can feel comfortable while talking to their manager about any problems that need to be addressed.

Feedback Fridays should be more focused on employees giving feedback rather than management since Feedback Fridays are meant for solving specific problems within an organization, whether it be negative or positive feedback. Anything goes as long as the goal of the company is being met through this form of communication.

A company can hold a Feedback Friday once per month or once a week, whichever allows enough time after Feedback has been given to see how Feedback has helped the company and if any changes need to be made. Feedback needed for this specific company should not be limited but instead, focus more on ideas that will help improve the company rather than creating unnecessary tension between managers and direct reports where Feedback Fridays are meant for solving these types of problems.

Feedback Friday and remote teams

When Feedback Friday is being used with remote teams, Feedback could be given online through email which saves time for having to meet face-to-face. Feedback Friday should follow the same guidelines as Feedback provided face-to-face otherwise, there is no point in holding Feedback Friday if it doesn't include all employees within an organization rather than Feedback being provided only online.

FeedbackFriday is meant for providing Feedback that can be solved through suggestions rather than gossiping about one another, which is why Feedback should include everyone within an organization, whether they are face-to-face with each other or not. Feedback can include using some Feedback Friday tools to communicate effectively with each other without the use of email. However, feedback given online should only be feedback that can solve problems within an organization rather than Feedback Friday being used for gossiping, which Feedback Friday is supposed to avoid discussing.

Remote teams can use feedback tools such as Slack to communicate with other employees who cannot attend Feedback Friday in-person, saving time and allowing Feedback Friday to be more effective when used with remote teams. Feedback Friday should be conducted via email or telecommunication tools such as Skype or Google Hangouts where everyone within the organization can feel comfortable providing Feedback rather than Feedback being provided face-to-face where Feedback could be mistaken as gossip or verbal abuse rather than Feedback that can improve an organization.

Matter’s free Slack app helps businesses build a healthy feedback culture through our “Feedback Friday” feature. This feature is tailored specifically for feedback. Managers and team members can share and receive feedback within a few clicks. Try it out now, it’s free!

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