Case Studies

Honest feedback instead of fruit Tuesdays? – How to increase the team’s involvement

Fast growth, increasingly bigger budgets and expanding the team are the goals that inspire many entrepreneurs. However, we can’t forget that sometimes we need to take a step back, so that we can then move three times as fast. One of the ways of a strategic and long-term approach to the company’s development is working on internal processes and team communication.

From the following case study, you will learn:

  •   How to increase the team’s involvement;
  •   How to carry out feedback session among workers;
  •   How to set development goals.
Client
company from the e-commerce industry, team consisting of about 20 people
Goal
Increasing the involvement of the team members and improving the results of their work
Cooperation period
April and May of 2019
Number of sprints
6
Number of people in the project
2

Context of the project

The client that we worked with is a company from the e-commerce industry, creating online stores and providing marketing services for selected customers.

Problems that the client faced:

  • Low involvement of the team;
  • Decrease in revenue from the work of one of the company’s departments;
  • Customers leaving;
  • Internal conflicts;
  • Ineffective work.

We identified that the key factors which have an impact on the negative situation are:

  • Too many changes to the organisation in too short of a time;
  • Lack of the leader in the team, which recorded severe drops in results;
  • Lack of cohesive vision and goals among members of the board;
  • Lack of clear strategy, which could be followed by the team;
  • Lack of company-wide / formal internal communication processes;
  • Not measuring the work of the large part of the team members.

Some of the tools that helped us present the team’s perspective to the management board, start communicating the changes, but also support internal communication processes and measure the work of the team were feedback study and satisfaction study.

Process

Our cooperation lasted for 6 weeks, during which we performed a number of activities related to the development of the study, communication with the team or the analysis of survey results.

Sprint 1: Kick-off, interviews with the management board and mapping their activities

We devoted the first sprint to a meeting that started our cooperation, along with decision-making people in the client’s team.

Additionally, we conducted interviews with management board of the company, thanks to which we learned what exactly are the tasks that they performed and mapped them on the Business Model Canvas. It allowed us to also set out problem areas to manage.

Sprint 2: Developing feedback and satisfaction surveys, and communication with the team


The next sprint was developing feedback and satisfaction studies by us. It was the first study of this kind in the company’s history.

Feedback surveys included quantity and quality questions concerning various areas of cooperation with other members of the team (e.g. communication, timeliness, acting in accordance with company’s values). Whereas satisfaction surveys focused on the issues of cooperation terms, development in the company, they also tested workers’ contentment with their tasks or what is important in the work for them, as well as what do they appreciate and what would they improve in the organisation.

We adapted the development of the feedback and satisfaction surveys to the values that the company stands for, conditions prevailing there, and… moot points. We also adjusted them to the specifics of both internal projects and cooperation with company’s customers.

You can find the templates of both surveys, in editable version for use, here: Lean Library

Sprint 3: Analysis of feedback surveys, creating a presentation with survey results and recommendations


In addition to the analysis of the feedback surveys itself and presenting its results to the management team, we also developed dedicated feedback for all members of the team and prepared the managers to run through them with the workers. Thanks to that, the managers knew exactly how to pass the feedback and how to set development goals based on it.

Sprint 4: Preparing the feedback canvases for each worker, along with written out measurable and team goals


As the summary, the managers obtained a complete document from us with prepared results of the feedback from the team and determined together development goals, separately for each worker.

Thanks to such a drawn-up document, they didn’t need to worry that some issue will be omitted, because they had everything prepared. It was kind of a checklist to run through during personal conversation with a worker.

newsletter Project People

Sprint 5: Analysis of satisfaction surveys and creating a presentation with survey results and recommendations

Like in the case of feedback surveys, we prepared a presentation with its results, a summary and recommendations for the team of company’s leaders.

We developed specific actions to undertake in the next few weeks, thanks to which the issues that were not evaluated that high will improve. These were, among others:

  • Regular meetings of the whole team – update: what is currently happening in the company;
  • Communication of changes in the team in the form of what, who and why changes, how does it relate to the company’s strategy;
  • Using integration to present the strategy and appreciate the team members;
  • Not adding new processes and external companies to systemise currently introduced changes;
  • Measuring the changes and setting out measurable goals (KPI), to be able to evaluate them.
Results of one of the questions in the satisfaction survey – different-coloured bars are ratings in different teams.

Sprint 6: Presenting the results of the surveys to the management team and training on giving feedback

We dedicated the last sprint to discuss the satisfaction surveys with the board and the company’s managers. Additionally, we conducted training on providing feedback, which prepared the management team to give feedback to the team members even better.

Example 1

Your worker Robert carried out a presentation for a large group of people (100 persons) for the first time, during a conference on marketing for online stores.

The performance wasn’t rated too highly – the presentation “fell apart” due to lack of installed fonts. Robert kept his hands in his pockets for most of the time, pulled the microphone from his mouth, because of which he couldn’t be heard in part of the room, and his slides were filled with text.

The presentation was substantively well-prepared, Robert prepared additional materials for participants and dressed suitably for the event.

One of the exercises during the training on giving feedback.

Difficulties and challenges that we encountered during the process

1.Easter 🙂 To continue working on the project efficiently, we had to create the feedback and satisfaction surveys in short amount of time, and effectively communicate the request to complete them to the team. There wasn’t a lot of time, because “Good Friday” was in just 2.5 days.

Solution: Honest messages with information WHY we are working on the feedback process and what benefits it will have both for them and the company. In addition, we asked the leadership team for a follow-up on internal channels for employees and conducted private conversations with persons that had questions about the surveys.

2. Lack of experience of team leaders in providing feedback. Not all managers felt confident about giving feedback, especially negative.

Solution: I designed and conducted workshop with the team, during which we developed the most optimal method of providing feedback for them. The training participants worked through specific cases. We also talked through “conflict-inducing” situations.

3. Lots of processes happening at the same time. The company worked with a few different entities on perfecting several products and services. Such a situation is absolutely “in plus”, development is a great thing, but you need to be careful so that the number of different processes doesn’t suppress the team and cause unnecessary chaos.

Solution: we determined a common cadence of activity. We talked with both the company owners and the team, as well as other external enterprises. We developed a schedule of our activities together, adapted to the pace of changes in the company and availability of decision-makers.

Summary of the activities

46

questions in the surveys

187

completed feedback surveys

66

completed satisfaction surveys

Conducting the study caused a visible change in the team by itself: improvement in communication, increasing motivation to perform the tasks and involvement of the whole team in the development of the company. And that’s just the beginning 🙂

Each team member will get individual feedback session with their leader, during which the survey results and measurable (individual and group) goals for the coming months will be discussed with them.

What’s next?

The client was very satisfied with the process that we carried out. We are already scheduled to develop another study : )

Project team, i.e. who was responsible for what

Author of the Case Study

Grzegorz Górzyński Lean Marketing Consultant & Strategist
Creates and helps clients develop their marketing and business strategies.

He has gained experience in NGOs, corporations, startups, SMEs and agencies, thanks to which he looks at business holistically. He has worked with Facebook Inc. on the Global Developer Circles project.

He has trained several hundred people in marketing, social media and validation of business ideas. He stood on the stage of, among others, Social Media Week Warsaw, BOSS Festival, PR Camp.

He loves Lean Startup approach, travel and good food.

Other members of the team

Beata Mosór-Szyszka CEO & Lean Strategist
Beata is a strategist, marketer and lean consultant with over 14 years of experience in the international market.

She helps companies create and/or optimize their business model, and translate it into effective strategies, tactics and specific actions. She is the author of Lean Marketing Sprint, a method for creating marketing campaigns, and Values Poker, a tool for working with values.

As a speaker Beata performs at Polish and international conferences (e.g. Lean Startup Days Paris, VC night by Viva Technology, Open Living Lab).

Beata also has experience in organizing and designing acceleration programs such as Google LaunchPad Warsaw & WARP by Deutsche Telekom, T-Mobile & Cisco.

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