Introduction to Feedback Cycles

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by Morty Frey
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What are Feedback Cycles?

Feedback cycles can be configured for a variety of use cases. A few examples include:

  • Full 360 feedback for a year-end review
  • Anonymous employee feedback for evaluating managers
  • Requested, constructive feedback that is private to the recipient

This guide will walk you through the options and show what each decision means.

Anytime vs. Scheduled

There are three types of feedback:

  • Request Anytime
  • Give Anytime
  • Scheduled

 

Give feedback anytime: when turned ‘on’, all employees will be able to give feedback to anyone else.

Request feedback anytime: when turned ‘on’, all employees will be able to request feedback from anyone else.

Scheduled feedbackruns during set date cycles. Multiple scheduled cycles may be created.

Advantages of Anytime feedback

  • Feedback is completely self-managed, which is great for programs where feedback is not shared with management and you want employees to feel more control and greater privacy

Advantages of Scheduled feedback

  • Managers can make feedback requests
  • System can automate feedback requests (example 360 degree feedback)
  • Email reminders to request or give feedback
  • Unlimited Feedback questions

Configuring Scheduled Feedback

Name your template

This text identifies the feedback cycle and will be visible to users.

Questions

Add as many questions as you like. We recommend keeping it to less than four, if you want employees to give each question the attention it deserves.

Questions come in two forms: Paragraph or Rating. Paragraph questions allow for unlimited answers. Rating questions will ask employees to provide a score from between 1 and 4.

Recipients- Receiving Feedback

This is where you decide who will receive feedback. Don’t confuse these recipients with the feedback givers, who may or may not be the same group of people.

You have three options:

  • All employees
    • everyone in the company will receive feedback
  • Only employees from specific departments or groups
    • Use groups you defined in the User management > Groups section of the admin console
  • Custom participants list via CSV upload
    • Upload a CSV containing exactly who you would like to receive feedback

Providers- Giving Feedback

This is where you decide who will be able to give feedback. Note that these people still need to be nominated to give feedback. All you are deciding, here, is if they are able to be nominated.

You can include everyone, or use groups or a CSV upload.

This shows the sequence a scheduled feedback cycle will follow from start to finish. Most of the steps shown are optional (dashed lines). We’ll show some other configurations too. 

How are feedback providers chosen for each receiver?

This is a drop down with 3 options:

  • System automatically chooses a list of feedback providers
    • If your selection includes the ‘system’ choosing feedback providers, you, as the admin, will be able to define default feedback providers. For example, you might want default feedback providers to include participants’ managers and direct reports.
  • Employees manually choose feedback providers
    • If your selection includes ‘manual’ choosing of feedback providers, you want either recipients and/or their managers to be able to manually choose who will provide feedback.
  • System and employees can both choose feedback providers
    • If your selection includes both, the system will choose defaults and then the recipients and/or their managers will be able to change the nominations if they so choose.

If you choose the system to choose feedback providers without any employee involvement, your cycle will proceed like this:

System-selected nominations will be sent on the start date. For the rest of the cycle people who have been chosen to give feedback, will give feedback. There is also an option to give stragglers a grace-period extension to finish giving feedback (highly recommended). 

How should the system automatically select feedback providers?

If you chose an option above that includes the ‘system’ making automatic nominations, this section will be available.

Here you set what logic the system will use to select default feedback providers.

Classic 360

  • This option uses the org chart to make nominations
    • Manager: will nominate the recipient’s manager
    • Direct reports: will nominate the recipient’s direct reports (if they have any)
    • Peers: will nominate the recipient’s peers (anyone who shares the same manager)

Shared Goals

  • This option uses shared goals to make nominations. If an employee does not participate in enough shared goals, it will fall back on nominating peers

How many feedback providers should the system select for each receiver?

Here you set how many nominations the system will make. For example, if you set this to 6, for each participant, the system will nominate 6 people to give them feedback. 

But what if I select Classic 360, and some employees have more direct reports or peers than others?

The system gives priority to manager first, then direct report, and finally peer. So if it is told to find 6 feedback providers and employee has 1 manager and 3 direct reports, it will make up the difference with 2 peers and then stop. If another employee has 1 manager and 6 direct reports, the system would choose the manager and then 5 direct reports (randomly chosen from the 6 available) and then stop. 

Which employees can manually choose the feedback providers?

If you chose an option above that includes ‘manual’ nominations, you’ll now decide who can make manual nominations.

  1. The feedback receiver
  2. Their manager
  3. Both the feedback receiver and their manager

Depending on which other settings you activate, these people will have a few potential responsibilities:

  • Approve or reject system nominations
  • Make additional nominations
  • Managers only: approve or reject employee’s nominations

Do they have a deadline to choose feedback providers?

Keep in mind, any system chosen providers will be automatically selected. Manual feedback requests will be sent all at once. Anyone who forgot to make their requests, or had their requests rejected, will not be able to receive feedback. The rest of the cycle will be spent giving feedback.

Who can view the feedback?

Now that we’ve sorted out who will be providing the feedback, we need to decide who gets to read it.

  • The feedback receiver
  • Their manager

You have a few more options here than may not be obvious. If you check one box, only that person will be able to read the feedback. If you check both boxes, both the recipient and their manager will be able to read the feedback. But, if you check neither box, only admins will be able to read the feedback (admins can always access all feedback via feedback reporting, in the admin console). 

Who can view the feedback providers’ identities?

You have the same options as above, only here you’re deciding who can see the name of the person who wrote the feedback.

If you set someone to see the feedback above, but not able to see the provider’s identity, the feedback will be visible with the provider’s name left off.

Setting someone to see the provider’s identity but not the feedback itself is an invalid combination: the feedback and the provider’s identity will both be hidden from them.

Scheduling

Here you set the primary dates for the feedback cycle.

Start date: The day the cycle starts.

Requests sent: This date only appears if you’ve included an approval period and sets when all manual approvals must be completed. On this date all the feedback requests will be sent.

End date: This date is messaged to participants as the last day they have to write their feedback. If you’re allowing participants to make requests throughout the cycle, this will also be the last day for requesting feedback.

Grace period: Many people need a little extra time to write and submit their feedback. The grace period sets how many days you’ll allow people to submit feedback after the end date. We highly recommend you don’t set this less than 3 days.

When should employees be notified by email?

Check the boxes for the events when you want to send an automated email reminder.

The ‘choose providers deadline warning’ is sent the day before the ‘Requests sent’ date.

Deploy!!!

Switch this to ‘on’ when you’re ready to make your feedback cycle live. A live cycle will be sent to all participating employees on the start date.

If you’re experimenting with configuring feedback cycles, it is recommended that you leave this set to ‘off’.

You can also toggle this cycle on/off from the Conversations list page.

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