The Feedback Inbox: a Powerful Tool for Employee Development

In this article, I am going to share a very powerful yet absolutely simple strategy on organizing feedbacks that would help both the management and individual employees in coordinating developments. I call it the Feedback Inbox.

In researching and creating documents for HR and recruitment agencies across the world, I have witnessed a perpetual grievance that despite the best efforts and intentions of recruiters, prime hires fail to deliver, where there is a lack of support and feedback.

Why external recruiters are concerned about feedback systems

Poor feedback systems in organizations cause loss to all parties in the recruitment process including the individual, the employer, and the recruiter.

And when I touched upon the topic in my conversations with Hardik Shukla, the owner of Ethos, which is one of the best recruitment agencies in Gujarat, he readily agreed that:

  • Feedback is essential in the support system that turns recruitment into a success
  • Feedback helps in employee development by providing points of reference
  • Feedback helps in employee orientation in the same manner
  • Feedback helps in employee retention by its strategic use

In fact, for executive search recruiters like Hardik Bhai, just acquiring talent is only a part of the game, but seeing promises delivered, and learning that both the employer and the employee are happy about the recruitment decision is what counts.

But though external recruiters source and identify talent and often have a say in the selection process, they rarely have any say in what happens post recruitment. And in the post-recruitment phase, feedback strategy is one of the most important elements that make hiring work successfully.

Why a streamlined feedback system is so important in today’s world

The new generations of talent are mostly tech-savvy. They are used to fast updates about everything, and in making fast responses. From their childhood, they have grown up in a consumer-oriented environment, where the consumer is considered as the king, and from TV advertisements to email offers, each company is out to make consumers feel special – children being no exception.

For the children who grew up watching cable TV, feedback is extremely important. They are used to being praised or being criticized after every action they took in their lives with a doting family hovering over them. So, they feel disoriented without feedback.

It is quite common for a young employee to feel he may have done something wrong, if he felt he did something worthwhile, but did receive any feedback for a long time – it affects productivity.

Feedback, of course, is also one of the major tools in a manager’s arsenal to ensure orientation or behavior change.

The Feedback inbox

Researchers and organizations are continuously working to devise new ways to turn this loss-loss situation brought about by weak feedback systems to a win-win one.

Our solution here is just to introduce an extra email for every employee with a “.feedback” address.

So, each employee in an organization has a separate feedback inbox, where feedbacks are received, and from which address feedbacks are sent out.

A manager, in addition to a manager@xyz.com would also have an email of manager.feedback@xyz.com. And in a similar manner an employee would have a general company email of employee@xyz.com, and also a special email of employee.feedback@xyz.com.

All communications on feedback and personal employee development should take place to and from the feedback inbox.

This helps to establish the extra importance of feedbacks. Helps to keep the general email inbox uncluttered, and helps employees to refer to their points of orientation quickly, as well as being able to respond in relation to feedbacks from a separate email.

For managers, feedbacks and responses become separate from the general mailbox, and one search with the name of an employee can yield the entire list of communications regarding the development of that employee as far as organizational feedbacks and responses are concerned.

It’s awesome, and you wouldn’t know it, unless you try it out. But once you do it, it would really help to streamline your human development efforts.

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