Capturing Fast & Frank Employee Feedback

Published: 22nd September, 2019

Valuing Differences of Opinion

We often seek to avoid conflict concerned about the difficulty of the conversation and any subsequent extra work to resolve it. The whole top-down command and control from (we hope) days gone by is best supported by compliant and agreeable employees who will toe the party line and work within the parameters that are set for them. This is not my experience and not the Big Picture way.

At it’s core and by definition by giving employees, of all levels and background, the opportunity to embrace a new language means that the result will be a view that is personal to the individual. In small groups individual views are shared and worked through to the agreement of all involved. If not, then we capture both and seek further facilitation to fully respect the view of the individual. This is often initially uncomfortable for even the most collaborative of workers. How can we plan the session by allocating time if we don’t know what the agenda will be until the participants have aired their views? Well for us this is a price worth paying.

We do not tolerate differences of opinions, we actively encourage it in everything we do. In selecting the Big Picture symbols to be as they are – the opinions we encourage are loaded with clues as to what to do to turn them into healthy conversations and do-able work. As an example team A, who are trying to achieve X make the observation that Team B, who are trying to achieve a different Y, are not doing in the way that makes team A’s job easier. Furthermore both teams have their own measures within their Big Picture the workings are out there to develop in full sight of teams A, B and the Management C. We have clues and we have levers so let’s take the conversation forward.

Two Sides to Every Story

When time is upon us it would be much easier to take the observation from one team and use that to determine a course of action as a quick fix. But hang on we all have a point of perspective and what say the team tagged in this negative way? What conditions and environment are they working within? What constraints and drivers do they have?

Before we go on I will say that some feedback is best kept between the individual and their direct report. To be clear this personal feedback is not the focus of this blog. There are other techniques and approaches which are for another way. We are sticking to individuals and teams feeding back upon the colleagues, teams and the business in which they work.

Keen to develop a balanced view, our schedule would allow for an alternative view from, in our example, team B. Ideally this will be from a blank page and not influenced by the earlier work. In this way we are remaining objective and so open to ideas to include the best way forward. This in essence is qualifying the initial feedback from team A and providing team B with their own voice. By ‘fast’ feedback we’re not talking about the time to articulate the feedback but rather the time required to turn the feedback into a measured and lasting outcome for the business.

Having thoughtful and authentic feedback from the two perspectives are a great platform to encourage a conversation about it is we should be working on to make improve matters. Using considered and thoughtful facilitation will ensure all views are respected. At the same time marking out what our position is now and what that position could become if all parties are open to see things move forward.

You’ll see with the example used in the webinar that we played through a technique to resolve differences of opinion across teams. Furthermore how to uncover a specific opportunity to enhance the business as a result. In this case a job swap between the teams. Harmony, engagement and a better place to be!

“I spent a couple of hours in Martin’s company recently, being introduced to Big Picture and how it can be applied to understanding your own business or one which you work for. Martin has an infectious personality which enables him to get the best out of your understanding of your own business and spotting the opportunities, strengths and weaknesses. If you have the chance to see how YourBigPic can help you gain insights and useful truths about your business, you’ll enjoy your time in Martin’s company too.” – Phil, May 2019

Turning Challenges into Opportunities

On this recent webinar, I worked through a start, middle and end for capturing fast and frank feedback:

  • The basics of the capture. Providing a safe environment that can work for personal feedback and where it’s appropriate lay it out making connections with the business.
  • How to develop those connections by instigating related chats with teams and individuals who may have been name-tagged in the initial feedback. Encourage different perspectives and views.
  • By using the same framework in different parts of the business we worked through an example based on recent experience to job share in different teams.

Watch the full webcast here!

You can watch the whole Webcast here. Sign up for the next one at

Here’s what one of the attendees fed back:

“’Such an awesome workshop – loved the interactivity of the exercises. The workshop has provoked me to think about my team from a new perspective. Honestly a great session, really provoked my thinking so thanks!” – Dan

Why the bother?

When the team start talking, they have a chance to share what they really think, and so:

– They are more likely to be productive in their time with the company.

– The business will enjoy a ready supply of new opportunities each and every time you get to the truth- the challenge is working out what to do with them all! Boss Bill gets the most of her team and is able to translate that up to the board.

– Employees are likely to stay with the company for longer and that means avoiding the costs of rehiring- worse case 6-9 months of an the employee’s salary to locate and train a replacement and 2 years to become fully productive. Not to mention the toll on existing employee productivity and morale.

What we can help you with

Big Picture naturally generates extremely high engagement levels as you provide your people with the tools they require to share useful truths about the business. With light-touch delivery it means you can involve large group sizes, of up-to 20, with no drop off in engagement levels. This results in the highest Engagement levels we have ever seen for People and Business Development.

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The stuff we care about is all over our YouTube channel @YourBigPic. You can have a go yourself by printing and writing on the one-pager here for a business YOU care about. I would love to take you through a taster of Big Picture in a Discovery Webinar you can sign-up for here.

And thanks for reading!