I’m proud of the team we’ve assembled at Sendtask. I truly believe that each and everyone of us is an expert in their domain. But when we hire, our first priority is not skillset, it is attitude. Attitude is both more important for a team’s success and much harder to acquire than skills.
And although most of us have complementary skills and roles, we can all learn from each other when it comes to attitude and in general how to approach and solve problems.
When I was in the Swiss Air Force, we gave each other very open, direct and honest feedback after every mission. Did it sometimes hurt? Yes. Did it help? Every time.
That’s why we are giving feedback within the Sendtask team more frequently than I’ve experienced it in other companies. Some of those companies only had a formalized feedback process for annual feedback. Some large companies like Google do it twice a year.
We give each other feedback every six weeks. Six weeks is the length of our sprints and therefore a good opportunity to look at our own performance and give each other tips on how we can get better. We first think and write about our own performance and then give each other feedback.
We collect our own and everyone else’s opinion via Google Forms. Here’s what they contain:
The first form is called ‘Reflection’ and allows us to determine how we see our own work and attitude. The questions covered are:
- What expectations did you have for the past 6-week sprint? Name your 2-week milestones and comment on why you had chosen them.
- How happy are you with your work in the past six weeks? (1-5 stars)
- How do you feel about your work in the past six weeks?
- What is one or multiple achievements you are proud of?
- What is one or several things you’d like to improve?
- What is the #1 learning you are taking away from this sprint?
#2 Outside perspective
The second form is called ‘outside perspective’ and is there to make us aware of how others have perceived our work. It first links to the goals that someone had for the start of the 6-week sprint and then covers the following questions:
- Overall, how happy are you with this person’s work? (1-5 stars)
- START: What is something this person should start doing (and isn’t doing yet)?
- STOP: What is something this person should stop doing? (e.g. a bad habit, a systematic error, a facet of their attitude, …)
- CONTINUE: What is something this person should do more (and is already doing)?
- Additional comments?
The feedback is then merged and consolidated. Then, during a feedback call, the feedback is shared and discussed. If it’s misaligned, measurable goals are agreed upon and tracked until the end of the next feedback cycle.
What do you think of our feedback process? How do you give each other feedback in your company?