Organization Development

Nov 20, 2023 7 min read

The 'Feedback Fridays'


Abstract

This anecdote sheds light on a remarkable journey of cultural transformation within a struggling startup. Faced with issues of employee engagement, performance, and retention, the company's leadership introduced a revolutionary practice known as "Feedback Fridays." The objective was clear: to shift the culture from one of reluctance to open communication and accountability.

At the outset, employees hesitated to provide constructive feedback and were unaccustomed to sharing positive feedback outside of annual reviews. The initial discomfort gave way to an environment of trust and vulnerability. Employees learned that feedback, when specific and focused on behaviors, offered opportunities for personal and professional growth.

As "Feedback Fridays" became ingrained in the company's culture, remarkable changes took place. Teams aligned more closely, problems were addressed collaboratively, and accountability flourished. The startup's performance soared, with increased productivity, and a boost in innovation.

This anecdote serves as a powerful illustration of the transformative impact of organizational development initiatives. By prioritizing open communication, accountability, and a culture of continuous improvement, the company experienced a remarkable turnaround, highlighting the potential for positive change through intentional cultural shifts.

Main content

In the heart of a once-struggling startup, a pivotal moment emerged that would ultimately transform the company's fortunes and culture. Like many young organizations, they were grappling with issues of employee engagement, performance, and retention. The leadership recognized the need for a radical shift in the way they operated, and thus, "Feedback Fridays" was born.

1) Setting the Stage

At the startup, the prevailing culture had been one of reluctance when it came to feedback. Employees were hesitant to share constructive criticism, fearing it might be taken personally, and positive feedback was often reserved for annual performance reviews. The leadership team sensed that this culture was stifling growth and innovation and decided it was time for a change.

2) Introducing 'Feedback Fridays'

The concept was simple yet profound: Every Friday, employees would gather, either in person or virtually, to openly share feedback with their colleagues. The guidelines were clear - feedback should be specific, constructive, and focused on behaviors or actions,

not personal traits. At first, there was skepticism and apprehension about this weekly exercise. Would it lead to tension? Could it really make a difference?

3) The Transformation Begins

In the early weeks of "Feedback Fridays," there were moments of discomfort. Some employees found it challenging to offer constructive feedback, and others were taken aback by the sudden influx of information. However, over time, something remarkable happened.

4) Trust and Vulnerability

As employees became more accustomed to the practice, trust began to build. People realized that their colleagues' feedback was well-intentioned and aimed at collective growth. Slowly, the startup's culture shifted from defensiveness to vulnerability.

Employees started to see that receiving feedback, whether positive or constructive, was an opportunity for personal and professional development.

5) Alignment and Accountability

"Feedback Fridays" also brought about a newfound sense of alignment. Teams began to better understand the impact of their actions on one another and the organization as a whole. Issues that had previously gone unaddressed were now brought into the open, leading to collaborative problem-solving.

Accountability soared as well. Knowing that their actions and contributions were subject to regular scrutiny, employees became more conscientious about their work and its impact on their peers.

6) Cultural Transformation

Over time, the "Feedback Fridays" practice became ingrained in the company's culture. It was no longer just a weekly ritual; it was a way of life. Employees started to appreciate the power of feedback in driving personal and collective growth. The once-struggling startup began to thrive.

7) Results and Impact

As a direct result of "Feedback Fridays," the startup saw a remarkable turnaround in employee engagement, performance, and retention. Productivity increased, turnover decreased, and innovation flourished. Employees became more adaptable, better at collaborating, and more open to change.

Conclusion

The "Feedback Fridays" initiative at this startup illustrates the transformative power of organizational development. By shifting the culture from one of hesitation and silence to one of openness and accountability, they not only improved the working environment but also the company's bottom line. It serves as a reminder that simple yet intentional practices can lead to significant organizational change and success.

     

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