Mis à jour le 20/07/2018
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Giving And Receiving Feedback

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In a typical company, you're given an annual performance review. This is a stressful event for many of us, a time when your manager will somehow grade you. This is also the moment when you'll expect a raise. The problem here? It's mostly a top-down process. This is why we've set up a peer to peer feedback process at OpenClassrooms twice a year!

Many people usually don't get feedback at work and quickly start wondering what people think about them. "Am I doing well? Working hard enough? I'm sure they're thinking bad things about me!". The feedback process is here to help you get answers to these questions.

How does the feedback process work?

You'll receive an email when the feedback starts (twice a year). The steps are:

  1. Ask for feedback from three people

  2. Receive their feedback and give your feedback to the people who asked you

  3. Write your own feedback and your SMART goals (more on that later)

  4. Set up a review with your manager and set your goals

  5. That's all!

Step 1 – Ask for feedback

Ask three people for feedback : 

  • Someone in your team

  • Someone from another team

  • Someone else of your choice, in OR outside the company (can be a partner, etc.)

Step 1 of the feedback process
Step 1 of the feedback process

How should you ask for feedback?

Here is a (very simple) template that you can use as an email.

If you're asking for feedback from a teammate:

Email subject: I'd like to hear from you!
Contents:
Hi,

At OpenClassrooms we're always looking for ways to learn. In particular, we want to learn how to improve how we work as a team, and as such your feedback on your experience working with me would be much appreciated. Would you have a moment this week to answer the questions below by mail or in person?

Thanks in advance for your time,

Questions

- What do I do well?
- How do I embrace OpenClassrooms' culture and mission?
- Where do you see room for improvement?
- Anything else to add? :)

If you're asking for feedback from someone outside the company:

Email subject: Your feedback is appreciated!
Contents:
Hi,

At OpenClassrooms we're always looking for ways to learn. In particular, we want to learn how to improve how we work as a team, and as such your feedback on your experience working with me would be much appreciated. Would you have a moment this week to answer the questions below by mail or by phone?

Thanks in advance for your time,

Questions

- How would you describe the quality of our collaboration?
- Where do you see room for improvement?
- Anything else to add?

You're likely to get feedback requests too! If this happens, don't wait too long before the deadline as it takes some time to answer even these three simple questions. Which brings us to....

Step 2 – Give and receive feedback

You'll want to give open and honest feedback to those who asked you, without sounding too aggressive. You can do that in two ways: 

  • in person

  • by email

Do whatever suits you best!

Have you given and received your feedback? Great! You're not finished though, you need to summarize what you've learnt and create your own SMART goals to improve!

Step 3 – Write your own feedback and define your SMART goals

After the feedback, you will define your own goals for improvement. However, most of the time you're likely to end up with vague goals like "I should communicate better with my colleagues". Great, but how will YOU know if you've done better?

Enter... SMART goals. Hang on, what are SMART goals?

What do SMART goals mean?
What does SMART stand for?

(© HYS_NP)

A SMART goal is: 

  • Specific: targets a specific area of improvement

  • Measurable: includes a progress indicator

  • Achievable: is a reasonable expectation

  • Realistic: relies on your skills and field of expertise

  • Timely: has a deadline 🕓

Here are a few examples of SMART goals to help you understand:

If you're told that...

... your SMART goal could be:

You lack rigour

No more than five emails not answered in the month before the next review.

You have to learn new skills

Give two presentations on topic X before date Y

You often forget to wash your dishes

No more than one dish forgotten on the table in the next six months

SMART goals are a bit arbitrary (why give two presentations instead of three?!), but they are precise. You should be able to say "I did it!" in a few months.

You'll decide what your SMART goals should be by reading your feedback. It's really a nice way to self-improve! 😀 You are now ready to write down your own feedback which summarizes all the feedback you received and your three associated SMART goals. Send this along to your manager in a clear and concise email and then it's time for the last step:

Last step – Meet with your manager

Schedule a time with your manager to discuss the feedback you've received and get some advice to make sure your SMART goals will help you for the semester to come. 

And Voilà, you're ready to start working on your goals. See you in six months for the next peer to peer feedback cycle! 

Bonus – The OC Trophy

A while ago, one employee took the initiative to build a miniature version of our former mascot, Zozor. She gave it to another employee who she thought had done an outstanding job lately. This is how the OC Trophy was born.

It's another form of – more spontaneous – peer feedback. It's a piece of art that has changed hands several times in the company. Look for it: it should be on someone's desk. One day, you might even be lucky enough to have it (don't worry, it doesn't need to be fed and requires little attention).

This is Pedro giving the OC Trophy to Natalie after she signed an important contract:

Natalie receiving the Zozor trophy from Pedro
Natalie receiving the OC Trophy from Pedro

Once you have it, you can keep it for a few weeks, but after a month or so, people will start wondering if you just want to keep it for yourself. Remember to pass it on to another employee!

If you want more information about the trophy, Natalie has written about it. Check out her short blog post on it!

What you should do

  • When you receive an email letting you know that feedback time is starting, don't wait: request feedback as soon as you can.

  • If someone asks you for feedback, don't take too long before you give it to them: it takes time to find the right words.

  • Define SMART goals that you want to achieve after reading your feedback.

  • If you can't wait six months to get more feedback, you can ask someone at anytime, using the same template email. You could also simply go and talk to someone.

 

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