👂We’re all ears! How we listen at Fidel
Feeling heard and acknowledged is a fundamental part of a happy and effective working life. In the same way, a company that doesn’t listen to its employees can miss valuable opportunities to learn. And adapt their processes to create the optimum space for creativity, collaboration, and, ultimately, success. If it isn’t already obvious, we’re pretty big on feedback!
We recently asked our newest members about the onboarding mid-pandemic. It was super helpful in shaping future policies, and these were decisions we couldn’t have made without the insight of internal feedback.
Because we see the feedback process as an integral part of our successes and - because sharing is caring - we’d like to explain some of the best practices we’ve implemented to be an open and honest workplace for the Fidel team.
Our approach 🤝
We offer opportunities for feedback from day one at Fidel. In fact, actually, it’s often earlier than that!
After a successful interviewing stage - before the first day - new starters are assigned buddies, introduced to their line managers and teams, and given access to the tools we use, including feedback platforms. In a perfect world, we’re all in the office and a lot of this happens in-person- however, in a not-so-perfect world, we made sure that our digital platforms are easy-to-use wherever you’re working.
We use several functions - we call them key moments - that allow us to collect regular, detailed, and insightful feedback from the team that we can turn into actionable steps to improve the way we work.
Hiring is pretty integral to any company, and we take it especially seriously. It’s a brilliant learning opportunity for us. With the growth mindset, hiring needs to be efficient and effective - but also introspective. For that, we look for feedback both internally and externally. We conduct an NPS (Net Promoter Score) survey, where we ask candidates about their experiences during the recruitment process. We then also have quarterly Retrospectives between the Talent Team and the Hiring Managers. The goal of the Retrospectives is to identify successes (to celebrate) and pain points (to solve).
Recruitment is the first piece of the puzzle. We also ask new starters for wider feedback on their onboarding experiences too. The goal is really understanding their onboarding in terms of its efficiency, utility, and content. We also provide some open questions so employees can share comments in a more general sense on Fidel - done with a short, team-specific feedback form.
After the “honeymoon period”, it’s important to keep track of how we’re all feeling by offering feedback opportunities and measuring a few different verticals, such as job satisfaction, autonomy, personal development, and commitment. Currently, we use a platform called Winningtemp, where we can measure the “temperature” of our key values mentioned above. It also allows us to identify any issues, praise each other, and keep a record of given feedback between team members.
We’ve just launched a brand-new Performance Review process, run bi-annually - also done via Winningtemp (those guys rule🤜🤛). This allows us to track feedback and actionable improvement plans. All of this helps us empower a culture of continuous improvement. We encourage everyone to create regular catch-ups with their managers and closest colleagues - this has strengthened working relationships, particularly throughout the past few months of remote working.
Stay tuned for a full blog on our performance feedback - it’s something we’re very proud of in the talent team, and a paragraph doesn’t do it justice!
Turning words into actions 🍳
Listening is great, but it wouldn’t do much good if we didn’t do anything about the feedback we got. Luckily, we do!
We try not to act on feedback arbitrarily, just because it’s been submitted. We dig into all feedback, positive or negative, to understand why it came to us in the first place.
We respect anonymous or direct feedback, and we may try to reach out for more information in direct cases to make sure we’re being helpful. Acting only on what’s visible can conceal bigger issues. We ask tough questions of ourselves - will taking action contribute to the wellbeing of all our employees? Would taking immediate action solve a minor isolated problem, but lead to complications in the future? We validate those concerns, and we communicate clearly regardless of the decision we finally make.
We make a conscious effort to act on the feedback we receive by creating a sense of ownership throughout the team. In any feedback or retrospective session, we never finish without defining the next steps, timeline, and owners for actions.
We want to identify pains but also brainstorm how to mitigate them. The fact that we focus on identifying owners (and timelines) for all actions and/or approved projects, ensures accountability. Ownership doesn’t mean working alone, the owner simply helps account for everyone involved, turning a plan into collective action and consequent achievement.
We don’t exclude or ignore feedback, but we can prioritize based on available time, resources, and scale of the impact. In a less-dramatic, non-militaristic way, we have to pick our battles. It just means we can take action sustainably and transparently. Often, any decisions are shared amongst the team in our weekly all-hands, ensuring transparency and collective accountability.
We value our team more than anything, and feedback is our best resource for action-planning. Therefore, an internal goal is giving everyone a voice, in a safe and collaborative environment where we all feel comfortable to speak.
Some feedback is directed by knowing what to ask and what to measure. Sometimes, we strike gold and find brilliant insight within innocuous, general comments on our regular surveys. All of it results in a better working environment and better outcomes for those who use and work with Fidel.
We grow, we learn, and we succeed as a team. Everyone’s voice matters, and it’s important that they know that from day one.