Every so often, we like to pause, reflect and share a bit of insight into how we ‘do’ Screenfeed. Today - a brief look behind the proverbial curtain at one tool we’ve embraced as a way to generate internal feedback, and improve as a company - SURVEYS!
By Pete Erickson, VP of Creative, Screenfeed
Growing in Our Values
Last time we gave a snapshot of our company DNA, I outlined our set of 4 core values. Curiosity, a balance of Confidence & Humility, Self-Motivation, and Genuineness are the key values we use to base hirings and firings, drive product and process design, and innovation. As mentioned above, monthly surveys have become an especially helpful way to pursue improvement in these values. Each month for about the past 8 months, all Screenfeed team members have received a survey containing weighted-answer questions to rate and comment on. They’re very brief - usually only 3-5 questions total, with the final question remaining the same (How likely are you to recommend Screenfeed as a great place to work?). That final question is what we use to keep a running pulse of ‘employee happiness.’ So as that number ebbs and flows, we try to discern what factors could be afoot. We’ve noticed things like ‘busy seasons’ and even changes in the weather can affect how folks are feeling about their jobs at different times of the year.
Calling Minneapolis our home, we’ve learned weather - like this February snowstorm - can sometimes impact company morale.
We value team survey participation and feedback so much, we also track participation rates and employee ‘happiness’ as an internal performance metric. Screenfeed’s leadership team even blocks off time during weekly meetings to discuss any feedback or emerging trends from survey responses in order to identify potential pain points, issues or successes that otherwise might go overlooked.
More Feedback, Please
All answers and comments remain anonymous - which we’ve found incredibly beneficial since it allows team members to be as candid as possible. Offering a regular, ‘safe’ platform to share their honest thoughts has already yielded valuable insight for our leadership team. When I asked our CEO, Jeremy Gavin what’s been the MOST valuable feedback he’s received from the surveys thus far, he shared,
"That our employees want more feedback on themselves. They are eager for feedback whether it is positive or challenging. Lack of feedback leads to anxiety and a feeling of stalled progression in their career. I learned that I personally need to do a better job telling each team member how I feel they are performing. I also realized I alone couldn't provide all the feedback they needed. So we created a process to ensure each employee has an additional person charged with providing them that feedback as well."
In summary, when solicited for feedback, our team provided feedback asking for more feedback. Can you tell we value feedback? 😉
Ok, I’m admittedly making light of the very meta situation here, but in all seriousness, this is a big deal. Only 8 months in with surveys, and they’ve already been a catalyst for real organizational change.
Survey Nuts & Bolts
In terms of logistics, our payroll platform happens to offer a built-in survey component we’ve found to work well - surveys are delivered to employee inboxes, and all responses and comments are collected anonymously before being sent directly to Jeremy. It’s worth noting that a different set of questions are curated each month based on a different category. That way we’re able to get a well-rounded view of various topics from month to month. Past topics have included:
Performance Evaluation and Management
There’s a good chance your payroll or HR software platform already has a survey component as well, and even if it doesn’t, a quick search will yield solutions as simple as Google Forms to more robust options like Survey Monkey’s Engage. All that said, here are 3 things that have helped drive participation in our monthly surveys:
- Short & Sweet (& Focused) - Surveys cover between 3-5 questions about one topic and take about 5 minutes to complete.
- Good old-fashioned accountability (See below)
- Collecting both quick weighted answers (mandatory) & free-form comments (optional) - Comments are gold when shared, but at the very minimum, we always have ranked answers to paint a helpful picture.
How does your team or company go about checking in and soliciting feedback from team members? If you’ve leveraged or created a solution that’s been a success, or care to share a success story from team feedback, we’d love to hear all about it - send us a tweet or email!