July 14, 2022
25 min read

Why Is Real Time Employee Feedback Important and Why Use It?

What is real time feedback, and why is it so important? Moreover, how can you give assertive feedback right when it is needed?

End-of-year reviews tend to be confusing for both leaders and employees, and for some people, they even seem a waste of time. In fact, according to Gallup, only 14% of employees believe their performance reviews inspire them to improve. People fear these annual performance reviews because they don't know what to expect of them, or they are just not used to the dynamics of giving and receiving inputs.

Developing a culture of regular feedback takes the panic out of these annual reviews, and having input the moment you need it can be more helpful than you would think.

We would like to share with you some facts, tips, and tools you can use to make the most out of real time feedback.

Table of contents

  1. Why does real time feedback matter?
  2. How often should feedback be given?
  3. How to give meaningful feedback?
  4. How to give effective feedback while working remotely?
  5. How can you benefit from using Effy for real time employee feedback?
  6. Conclusion about real-time employee feedback
  7. FAQ: Real Time Employee Feedback

Why does real time feedback matter?

Performance management has changed. While traditional methodologies focus on sporadic evaluations, agile methods have shown that collaborative communities achieve more than individuals and that practical, consistent feedback is vital for innovation and improvement.

While traditional performance management processes were based on top-down performance reviews that happened once or twice a year, the new paradigm considers feedback needs to be frequent and to go both ways. The focus is on growth, and errors are just a lesson to be learned.

Moreover, regular inputs and real time feedback allow you to make incremental changes, which can help make quick goal adjustments.

This is what traditional performance management vs continuous improvement management looks like:

Traditional performance management Continuous improvement management
Frequency Mid-year reviews and end-of-year reviews Frequent real time feedback
Type of feedback Top-down performance reviews Top-down, bottom-up and sideways
Focus on Evaluation Growth
Errors Mistakes Opportunities for improvement
Goals Static (set once a year) Dynamic (constantly reviewed)

How often should feedback be given?

Employees thrive for feedback. There is nothing more discouraging than feeling you are not being seen or heard.

But, paradoxically, while 72% of employees think their performance would improve if their managers would provide corrective feedback, a study published in HBR shows that two-thirds of managers are uncomfortable communicating with employees.

Providing feedback every week – instead of a yearly basis –  shows clear benefits to employee engagement and motivation. A study by Gallup compared weekly versus annual feedback and showed these three insightful statistics:

1. Weekly feedback makes employees 5.2 times more likely to agree that they receive meaningful feedback

Meaning at work is a crucial factor for employee retention. In fact, according to Forbes, 66% of employees say they would "likely leave their job if they didn't feel appreciated." And among millennials, this number jumps even higher, up to 76%.

2. Weekly feedback makes employees 3.2 times more likely to agree they are motivated to do outstanding work

Job stress and ineffective communication routines are only some of the many factors that can cause a negative influence on an employee's performance. Having regular interactions and fostering participation can help survive an employee performance catastrophe.

3. Weekly feedback makes employees 2.7 times more likely to be engaged at work

Did you know that, according to Gallup, a highly engaged workforce brings a company 21% more profit? The more motivated employees are, the better the results they deliver. It´s a fact.

Of course, an excess of inputs can be damaging. Who would like to have their mistakes pointed out every time? It is not just a matter of frequency but the quality of feedback.

So let's go through some tips to give meaningful feedback that fosters improvement.

How to give meaningful feedback?

If you are an HR Manager, you have probably seen leaders who give very different kinds of feedback with the same tools and performance system. It can be very annoying to see that despite all the efforts to train the leaders, a negative communication style can make feedback useless and even damaging.

Giving space for meaningful feedback requires building a new culture. A culture where we all share the same goals, where success is seen as a collaborative process, and no one is afraid to share their ideas. A coaching culture where inputs are welcome. But creating a system for meaningful feedback is just five steps away:

  1. Be transparent

Goals need to be transparent, understandable, measurable, and shared by all the team. Using an OKR system can help align expectations and priorities. One tip—involve your people in creating the OKRs (objectives and key results) to encourage participation and motivation.

  1. Focus on improvement

Did you know positive feedback is six times more effective than negative feedback? According to a study published in Harvard Business Review, employees react to a negative interaction with their boss six times more strongly than they react to a positive interaction.

In a culture of continuous improvement, there are no mistakes or bad ideas, only learning opportunities. But how to create a culture like this?

Dissect goals into small short-term manageable tasks, review often, and learn from each sprint. Focusing on learning from each sprint can help unlock change and innovation.

  1. Standardize

Not all kinds of feedback need to have the same frequency or methodology. Customize each type of review cycle, for example:

  • At the end of an onboarding process
  • Every 3-6-12 months
  • Based on project results, weekly or when you achieve a milestone

  1. Track progress & keep records of people´s growth

Setting indicators to measure progress reduces subjectivity and creates a neutral environment where inputs can be better received. Also, keeping records of the progress and key takeaways of each meeting can help see the complete picture.

  1. Set face-to-face meetings or check-in conversations

Having 1-to-1 meetings can be time-consuming. So, before setting a meeting, think if this could be an email or a quick call. If the conversation is worth a face-to-face conversation, keep it short and focused. What have you learned in this period? What did you do well? What can you do better next time? How can I help you do better next time?

How to give effective feedback while working remotely?

Working from home – at least partially – is becoming the new normal. While giving feedback is a critical practice in any kind of work, communication becomes particularly important when working remotely.

As a result, as workplaces shift from physical offices to online environments, efficient communication is becoming more and more important — and so are having the right digital tools and proper training.

So, how to give meaningful feedback if you work remotely? Check these five tips:

  1. Invest time in team-building: Establishing trust between the manager and the employees and between team members is necessary for setting an environment for collaboration and real-time feedback.

  2. Schedule feedback consistently: Being called in for feedback doesn't have to be a once-in-a-lifetime situation or create unnecessary stress. Try to keep things consistent by creating an ongoing real time feedback process.

  3. Avoid micromanaging: Some managers like to take the wheel and place their hands on your keyboard. Luckily, these annoying practices don't happen anymore in a remote workplace. But beware of falling over video conferences, frequent check-ins, and messages 24/7. Set a pace that works for all the team, ask for constant feedback, and let your employees give their opinion on the frequency and mechanics of feedback.

  4. Use video calls: Some conversations still need face-to-face, especially when brainstorming for a collaborative solution. Video meetings are also helpful when you need the support of no-verbal cues for a better understanding and effectively monitor employees' emotional state on the receiving end of feedback.

Take five minutes to recognize achievements: A short email or message to point out people for making an effort takes no more than five minutes and can effectively keep employees motivated. Remember that recognition needs to be honest. Don't over-praise employees – otherwise, they won't believe you mean it.

How can you benefit from using Effy for real time employee feedback?

Effy.ai is a customizable HRM system designed explicitly for innovative IT companies. We provide an agile and secure system that can help organize all employee information in one place.  You can use this highly adaptive tool to create your roadmap to help you keep track of projects, teams, and skills.

Avoid double-checking your workers' data and absence records, define onboarding steps, run 360-degree feedback and 1:1, automatize surveys, and download reports. And these are only a few of the things you can do with this powerful tool.

Why use Effy.ai?

  • Save time by HR-process automation
  • Develop your business by developing people
  • High level of customization
  • Customer success
  • Integration with Slack and other messengers

Six things you can do with Effy.ai

1. Collect actionable insights through surveys

Surveys are an excellent way of gathering instant feedback and making people feel heard. But they are also time-consuming, and the information gathered is not always translated into actionable insights.

Designing the questionnaires, sending them out, following up on the people who haven't answered, analyzing the data. What if you could do all this in just a few clicks?

Our tool offers a wide range of highly customizable surveys, integrations with Slack and other corporate messengers, automated notifications and reminders, and real time visual reports.

Our automated surveys have 1.75 times increased response compared to conventional survey systems that are not adapted to HR needs, such as Google Forms or Microsoft Forms.

2. Manage performance reviews & 360 feedback

Track the progress of your people and deliver feedback in no time. Our automated review cycles and templates for different types of reviews can help you provide real time focused feedback.

Our system is highly adaptable to the company's processes. Instead of being corseted in a pre-defined tool, you can quickly adapt review cycles and flows to the company's procedures. For instance, feedback doesn´t always have to be from the supervisor to their direct reports. Set your flows that go up, down, and sideways. See the benefits?

3. 1-on-1 team meetings

Picture this situation. You get a calendar invitation from your boss that says “1:1 meeting”. Does it make you overthink? The main problem of 1-to-1 meetings is the lack of an agenda. The uncertainty of what is going to happen can be overwhelming and counterproductive.

Our templates for this kind of meeting invite you to anticipate the main talking points and action items you expect from the meeting. This feature can also integrate into your corporate messenger for easier communication management.

4. Manage people's data

When handling large amounts of information, we all want a digital tool to help organize it and manage it quicker and more efficiently. The problem with staff files is that personal details are sensitive data. What if there is a leak of salary information? What if unauthorized people get access to data our employees trusted us with?

You don't have to worry about it. At Effy.ai, security and privacy are our top priorities.

5. Provide a self-service system for employees

The beauty of having a shared system in your organization is that everyone can access it and check all the information HR has about them. And transparency and trust pay off when it comes to motivation and engagement.

If you are interested in learning more about Effy.ai, you can schedule a personalized demo or simply sign up and try it out for free.

Conclusion about real time employee feedback

Feedback instances don't need to feel unnatural or forced. When given frequently and in all directions (up, down, and sideways), they can be a powerful tool to boost people's development, increase employee engagement, and create a culture of improvement and innovation.

Receiving feedback regularly takes the nerves out of it and makes employees more open to receiving inputs, more productive, and much more motivated.

If you want to create an environment for quality feedback, start by setting transparent goals aligned within the team.

Focus on improvement and understand errors as opportunities for learning. Work in improvement sprints with short-term objectives. Standardize feedback instances and track progress. And get sure your face-to-face meetings genuinely are effective.

Overall – no matter what tool you choose – don´t forget talent is your most valuable asset—establishing a culture where meaningful feedback is just the first step to designing an organization that grows.

FAQ: Real Time Employee Feedback

What is real time feedback?

Real time feedback is an agile way of managing people development. While traditional performance reviews are done once or twice a year, a real time management program is based on the belief that providing quality feedback along the process is the key to learning and improvement.

How do you give real time feedback?

The practice of giving real time feedback begins long before the moment the feedback happens. Create an open environment for feedback, set clear expectations, always focus on the progress, and standardize instances for feedback.

Why is real time feedback important?

Real time feedback occurs immediately or shortly after you observe someone’s

performance, which can help improve employees' performance consistently and fast. Recognizing high-performance employees as soon as their successes occur can boost engagement and increase productivity.

How to give negative feedback?

Never stockpile lousy feedback. No employee wants to hear a long list of their mistakes at the end of the year. Delivering constructive feedback at the right moment – and positively – can help increasingly improve performance. Focus on helping the employee grow rather than on the problem, and invite him to participate in the problem-solving process.

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