Most people understand that an employee feedback loop involves asking team members for feedback, using that feedback to make something happen, and then communicating results back. When feedback is anonymous and action can only be taken at a high level, the loop’s impact is limited.
We think you can (and should!) take the employee feedback loop one step further: by linking open feedback not just to action, but to impact at both the individual and organization level.
From feedback loops to the Joyous Impact Loop
The Joyous Impact Loop illustrates how to use team member feedback to create connections, action, and impact through continuous, open conversations.
There are 7 key stages of the Joyous Impact Loop:
Ask people for feedback that can be used to create action or change.
Use conversation starters to gather ideas, identify ways to remove blockers, and understand the resources required to help solve a specific business challenge. You’ll get the most actionable feedback from the people who have challenge-specific knowledge and expertise.
2. Psychological Safety
Help people feel comfortable contributing ideas openly.
When people’s names are attached to feedback, ideas can be discussed and actioned at the individual level, not just generalized to the entire organization. People are already used to having their names visible in chat apps and social platforms, so as long as company culture supports open idea sharing, non-anonymous feedback can have a far-reaching impact.
3. Being Heard
Show people someone's listening to them.
Asking people to share ideas isn’t just about collecting data; it can help build real human connections. One-on-one conversations are particularly important in a distributed workforce where people often feel disconnected and where it may be rare for them to get the opportunity to share their ideas and concerns. Feeling heard is immensely important. Getting a response encourages people to continue sharing their ideas, concerns, experiences and expertise.
Tell people when their ideas will be used.
Feedback analysis produces useful insights that can be turned into action. When you know who contributed which feedback, you can show them how their ideas will be used to make a difference.
Tell people when something happens as a result of their feedback.
When action is taken, let people know. Closing the loop by showing team members how their feedback has helped to bring about change increases the likelihood that they’ll continue to provide feedback in the future.
6. Individual Impact
Help people feel the impact of the action.
Our mission at Joyous is to make life better for people at work. When someone makes a suggestion that becomes action, they are contributing to making their own life better at work. Closing the impact loop for team members means they get to experience that improvement first-hand.
7. Organizational Impact
Demonstrate the impact of that action on the organization.
Not only does the Joyous Impact Loop make peoples’ lives better, it also positively impacts the organization.
Sometimes that impact is tangible, and can be measured. For example, there may be associated cost savings, higher retention, or fewer safety incidents. Other times, it may be less tangible and not so easy to measure (e.g. increased psychological safety or more effective communication or collaboration).
The Joyous Impact Loop creates both tangible and intangible impact. It also builds trust.
When feedback receives a thoughtful response, people feel heard and they feel that their feedback is valued. Trust is then built between the team member and responder.
When people see how their feedback contributes to action, they understand that sharing ideas is worthwhile. Having those ideas acknowledged helps build trust between the team member and the organization.
And when people see the impact of their feedback, they are more likely to feel like a valued contributor to the organization’s success. This builds engagement, collaboration, and further trust.
When people trust the feedback process and experience its impact, they’re more likely to contribute ideas that have the potential to affect not only their lives, but also how the organization faces its challenges.
Creating - and closing - the impact loop is key.