How To Improve Feedback Culture In A Team / An Organization ? – A Thank You (Hot Seat) Retrospective

What always puzzled me was how to improve on a feedback culture within a team. Once, I had a pleasure to run a 360 feedback retrospective for a team. It was a bad decision to call it 360 feedback, please don’t do that. However, the result was very dramatic. It was a huge culture change in the people and how they interact. It was an easy meeting to run, the rules are simple.

One person is being criticized by the whole team, one person at a time and the only thing he can reply back is “Thank You”.

Everyone will go through this criticism circle. You might need to time bound it to 5 minutes for everyone if you have limited time.

You need to make it clear that the criticizers need to provide a positive feedback and a negative feedback following that. They are not allowed only to provide positive or negative feedback.

This is a sample presentation that you can use for a team. I found it easier for people to follow the instructions while talking to many people.

Thank You Retrospective Presentation

What do you need to run this meeting?

  • You want to make sure that people in the meeting, or the majority of them, are feeling safe to provide feedback.
  • You want to make sure that they are trusting each other’s opinion; otherwise, it will be a waste of time.
What do you need to do after this meeting?
  • You want to follow up with them to see if they have talked about the feedback with the people they trust. Leave it up to them to share with you if they want to act upon it or not.
What is the next step?
  • If you want to make it to the next step (which I suggest you to do), you want the feedback to be spontaneous. You don’t want people to wait for a meeting to show their affections, thoughts and feelings. 
  • You may have a feedback circle at a random time, when you are having your stand-ups, just out of nowhere at the middle of the day (please just don’t have it over food).
  • What I strongly suggest is to use the Kudo Box from management 3.0. You can read more about it in Jurgen’s new book , management for happiness. You can get the cards and the basic idea from his website.

Do you want to improve the feedback culture in an organization? You can build upon this exercise but with teams giving each other feedback. Do not allow one person from one team to provide feedback to another team.

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