Persona.fit: A Step Closer to an Open Feedback Culture

A business is an organism. It is small when brought to the world and requires much attention and nurturing to maintain and thrive. However, as it grows, the system and culture behind it become stronger and more complicated. In its growth essence, knowledge and experience are what businesses use as food for growth. To be able to learn quickly is the best tool that leaders can use to manage their companies.

By learning and improving skills, both leaders and employees can increase the understanding of what the business needs to be, understanding of their customers, and improve how they deliver value. If you agree with us, then you’re probably wondering how you can instill the love of learning in your employees. To foster it, you need to create a culture of feedback in every aspect of your business.

We wish you a warm welcome to the world of Persona.Fit. Let’s take a look at the concept of open-feedback culture, and its importance, and how the Persona.Fit can help. But before trying to put a feedback system in place, your teams need to experience some essential awakenings.

The Awakenings within the Organization

We call them awakenings because they are transformative both for the individual and company. They are there to make the feedback receiver understand the purpose of feedback and to feel safe. Leaders, managers, and HR executives can take the necessary steps to spread an open-feedback culture throughout the company after these awakenings occur.

  • Feedback and Performance Reviews Are Not the Same

When feedback is handled well in the organization, a performance review is merely a confirmation of the progress made throughout the year. If more work is needed, these reviews highlight it. When a performance review comes to an employee, there shouldn’t be anything they don’t already know.

  • Not Everyone is Entitled to Give Feedback

Giving unsolicited feedback is a privilege that you have to earn. Otherwise, there is nothing that permits you to do it. Whether you are a manager or a senior executive, you need to have an established relationship with someone to give and receive feedback. Without a connection, your employees won’t try to process your direct reports or even take action to change something. To make sure that the input resonates among your workforce, you need to build a sense of psychological safety. It is what empowers people to exchange feedback effectively and respectfully, leading to increased efficiency and productivity.

  • Feedback Receivers Decide Whether They Want to Accept It

It is up to the receiver to agree or disagree with the feedback. It is only information for them to process, but whether it serves them – they get to choose. The receiver is more likely to take action when the feedback is given to address how they can achieve personal success, rather than how they’re not meeting certain expectations. The cycle of feedback can become an essential part of a company culture only by the actions of individuals.

The Four Levels of Feedback

There are four primary levels of feedback we can distinguish in any workplace.

  1. Internal feedback – feedback that comes from yourself. It is the point from which personal development starts, and it includes intrinsic motivation, individual drives, self-assessment, etc.
  2. External feedback – feedback from others on your self-assessment.
  3. Feedback after events – the feedback you receive after a client meeting, presentation, etc.
  4. Feedback on competencies – reaction, reviews, and comments on specific skills that you would like to develop.

How Can Persona.Fit Help?

Persona.Fit is not only an app but a method that is here to reinvent the 360° feedback system. What is ‘360° feedback’? It is a method that provides an employee an opportunity to receive performance feedback from their supervisor, and four to eight co-workers, reporting staff members and customers. The technique allows each employee to understand how others perceive their effectiveness as an employee.

The Persona.Fit app helps employees to focus on their personal development and growth while they remain involved with company goals and their team. The app lends a hand with an individual’s process of Self-Examination, Feedback, Analytics, and Coaching.

Self-Examination

What do you think of yourself as an employee? That is where you should start from by getting insights into your aspirations, motivations, and personality. Self-examination or self-assessment helps employees to build an image of who they are and who they want to be. It helps them focus on their behavior and think about their performance over a specified period to identify their strengths, weaknesses, and opportunities for improvement.

Also, Persona.Fit can give you an insight into your reputation because others are asked how they see you. All this information sets a solid starting point by showing you the difference between what you are, what you want, and what you do.

Data scientists who are working on Persona.Fit have developed algorithms based on the relationship between work performance, behavior, and personality. Your baseline or starting point is based on a database of more than half a million individuals.

Feedback

After a seminar, presentation, or any other company event, you can use the app to ask other people that were involved in the event for feedback. Firstly, indicate what you want to develop. Next, have feedback providers give their own opinions and reviews and roles, talents, and competencies for each event along with their feedback. Last, you provide yourself with feedback about how you think that you’re performing. All this is done easy and quickly via smartphone.

Feedback consultants at Persona.Fit are experts in the field. Nobody can achieve an open feedback culture only with the help of an app. The consultant’s role is crucial as they are there to explain how giving and receiving feedback works, help practice it in a workshop, and are available as coaches.

Analytics

Via Persona.Fit’s dashboard, team managers can get an insight into anonymous data collections about the team roles, team compositions, values, feedback culture, and the involvement of different teams and the organization as a whole. Individuals can see their participation, performance, goals, and progress.

Coaching

You own the data you collect from Persona.Fit. As we said, a recipient of feedback decides what they will do with the information they receive. The assessment that you receive needs to be understood so you can use that feedback to your advantage, to keep learning and growing. You can get help from your superior (e.g., manager) by sharing the data with them to receive some coaching. If you can’t find a coach, Persona.Fit has certified coaches that you can share with and discuss results.

Building a Feedback Culture

Persona.Fit provides valuable insights on all four levels of feedback:

  • It requires you to “paint your own image” that you have of yourself.
  • It serves as a tool and channel for receiving input from others.
  • It allows you to receive feedback on specific competencies.
  • It asks for information on particular events.

The app allows users to administer their progress against personal targets and their level of engagement. Having your goals in mind and memorized in the app is essential, as they are easier to track and review. It is easier for you to reach and surpass your goal, allows you to be more efficient in your work to become more accountable. It can remind you of what you are, what you want to be, and why you’re doing what you’re doing. Also, this allows for more natural modifications for when and where to make changes.

The four levels of feedback are consecutive. To have an organization build a culture of active feedback culture, they must be involved in each level. In the past, levels three and four (Feedback on competencies and Feedback after events) were anonymous, but not anymore.

At Persona.Fit (a team comprised of experienced psychologists, data scientists, feedback advisors, and app developers), our approach to feedback culture implementation resides on beliefs that it is essential to:

  • Begin with a kick-off session by explaining the method/system and the feedback and assessment modules.
  • Have regular “check-ins” on an individual level to share the results of your feedback with a manager, HR professional, coach, or a person from outside the organization and to evaluate progress on your goals and priorities.
  • Have team “wrap-ups” based on team analytics regarding the feedback culture and its implementation progress, what issues emerge, how the team is doing, etc.

What Feedback Provides to Individuals and Team Managers

Without a strong culture of feedback, individuals won’t be able to grow as fast as they could, and companies won’t deliver to their full potential. Especially today, when companies are considered to be networks of people where it insists on communication and trust; an open feedback culture can significantly benefit everyone involved.

Feedback Culture and a ‘Growth Mindset’

Employees may feel shy to ask for feedback from their managers, while managers may hesitate to give it out of fear of offending or hurting them. Instead, managers often choose to give praise only to top performers. It is where we differ people with “fixed” and “growth” mindset.

When given constructive feedback, people with a fixed mindset can elicit a more emotional response and take things personally. They see their personality and intelligence as static. On the other hand, people with a “growth mindset” realize that they must exercise and enhance their skills (which they see as learned traits) to keep developing and growing.

With Persona.Fit, people can give and receive continuous feedback via their smartphone, which eliminates the I-take-it-personally emotional reaction from the employees with a “fixed” mindset. As both managers and peers provide feedback, they won’t have a specific face to blame or to be angry with. With clear feedback results that employees receive via Persona.Fit, they can understand much easier where they are wrong. They can get help from a coach to benefit from feedback. It quickens the process of building a positive feedback culture.

Feedback Culture and Managers

Managers gain valuable information from Persona.Fit and use it to adjust their management style. With Millennials currently being the largest workforce on the planet, managers need to understand that top-down management can be dangerous to your organization. Lack of opportunities for professional growth and problems with administration are the two most common reasons for employee turnover. Millennial workforce believes that managers are responsible for their development opportunities, which is why managers must become more open and engaged in their employees’ career growth.

One of the best ways to demonstrate your involvement is by providing your employees with enough feedback and advice on how to improve their skills. It’s a great way to motivate each one of your team members. Feedback can boost your team productivity and spirit in the long run. Persona.Fit is a valuable tool for managers because they can help their employees build a more precise image of themselves, where they are, where they are going, and what they should do to keep striving towards their future goals.

On the other hand, by creating an open-feedback culture, you will make your employees feel safer to give you some constructive feedback on your management style. This way, managers can detect where they could improve and adjust their management style. With Persona.Fit, you get a centralized system where all the feedback about you as a manager gets gathered.

Keeping Up with the Digital Revolution

How we work and cooperate is changing. In the 21st century workplace, information is available to everyone at any time, new networks of teams are being created, and hierarchy is disappearing. Essential talents that a worker should have today are agility, adaptability, positive attitude, and motivation to learn and grow. That is why it is necessary to know who you are, what you want, and how your peers see you to kick-off the first phase of the process – self-assessment. Employees can develop themselves best in an open culture where the individuals share opinions and give constructive criticisms. Surveys, annual staff appraisal interviews, performance reviews, and other conventional HR tools are outdated and no longer suffice.

That is why a team of feedback experts, psychologists, data scientists, and app developers had teamed up to create Persona.Fit.

 

Jan Kwint

Jan Kwint

Jan Kwint is founder of Persona.fit and CEO of LTP. Through his work as an Executive and Consultant he has developed a strong interest in how a feedback culture can help develop individuals and teams. This is also part of a book he recently published on Psychology and Agility: ‘Ik ben Erica!’ (I am Erica!).

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