By Brett DiNovi, M.A., BCBA
CEO, DiNovi & Associates, LLC
Employee feedback that is immediate, frequent, and in small amounts is well documented to improve performance in the behavior analytic literature, however it is rarely practiced on a consistent basis in most companies. The dreaded annual performance review is often the way performance feedback is delivered which results in delayed feedback that is often received by the employee long after the change in performance was required.
Mobile phone apps in conjunction with increasing communication through social media can literally supply users with minute to minute feedback at light speeds. Therefore it’s puzzling why many businesses still only provide their employees with quarterly or annual performance feedback. One company based out of New Jersey has grown from a small 4-person company to over 230 consultants and doubled in revenue for multiple consecutive years using an employee feedback system that bucks the status quo but adheres to sound OBM principles resulting in a multi-million-dollar enterprise. This company attributes its success to a weekly, as opposed to annual, reciprocal feedback system that contrives positive interactions between employees and their mentors. This feedback system provides the opportunity for weekly coaching and feedback sessions in the following way:
- Only Takes One Minute Per Week: This expeditious method of feedback delivery requires only 60 seconds per week to set the occasion for mentors to coach employees
- A Script: Scripts guide the mentor to engage in interactions about pinpointed behaviors correlated with success for the organization and each individual.
- A Charted Visual Display: For the leadership of the organization to determine employee satisfaction at a glance from week to week and identify trends that drive future leadership actions and initiatives.
- Identifies Organization-Wide Training Needs: Such identifiers allow employees to connect with the executive leadership team about specific training needs and to express their desire to carve out a niche within the company.
- Coaching Opportunities: Each employee demonstrates how they coached or mentored other staff and in what area of performance.
- Frequent Reinforcement: The executive leadership team identifies outstanding leadership behaviors exhibited week to week and reinforces these pinpointed behaviors on a consistent basis.
Does your organization have a reciprocal feedback system that provides immediate and frequent coaching to employees? Let us know in the comments below, and be sure to subscribe to bSci21 via email to receive the latest articles directly to your inbox!
Brett has the unique and distinguished experience of studying the principles of Applied Behavior Analysis under the rigorous scrutiny of both Dr. Julie S. Vargas (formerly Skinner) and Dr. E.A. Vargas at West Virginia University’s internationally recognized program. For the past 26 years, Brett has used behavior analytic principles to create large scale change across school districts, Fortune 500 companies using principles of Organizational Behavior Management (OBM), and across individual learners. Brett has been an OBM consultant in Morgantown WV, an instructor at West Virginia University, a guest lecturer at numerous universities, a speaker on multiple Comcast Newsmakers TV programs, an expert witness in due process hearings, has publications in the Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis, and has been in in executive leadership positions across schools and residential programs nationwide. In addition to an award from South Jersey Biz Magazine for “Best Places to Work,” an award for “Best of Families” in Suburban Magazine, and the distinguished “Top Ranked U.S. Executives” award, Brett’s proudest accomplishment is being a role model and father for his daughter and two stepchildren (one of which has autism). Brett can be reached at [email protected]
That many business only provide feedback on quarterly or longer intervals is far too infrequent. This is especially true for those whose ‘business’ is human services & individual human outcome. At the same time, businesses often get feedback from their employees far too infrequently &, sometimes, on intervals much greater than quarterly.
Variables pivotal to systems outcomes; pivotal to client/human outcomes which filters more directly thru management/administration needs its own active & employee driven feedback loop.
From real & perceived management support; a belief that management shares & actively supports common goals & that employees think they are receiving effective supervision, training & support to ‘comfort levels’ on a day to day basis & whether or not proper resources, materials & logistics are made available are also of critical importance. (As a few examples!)
Employees could anonymously input such organizational data even biweekly towards not only the efficiency & effectiveness of services rendered but, potentially, higher employee/staff retention. In that staff turnover is a bane of many human service agencies, creating better ‘Fit’ by way such a transactional feedback loops could be of great benefit.
Thanks for your feedback Dr.Sandler