How to Use Tech to Increase Valuable Team Feedback

Article | Accountability Insights

by | May 24, 2019

Facilitate higher levels of personal accountability in the workplace with the open exchange of feedback via Propeller, our cutting-edge digital leadership platform.


Successful leaders understand how professional feedback improves communication, levels of ownership, and results. Here’s how technology enhances this powerful leadership tool.

One of the most common stumbling blocks that inhibits teams from hitting their targets is a seemingly simple one: ineffective communication. Even when leaders establish collaborative cultures, define desired team results, and foster employee engagement, they can still fall flat in achieving benchmark goals if the feedback exchange within a team is either insufficient or poorly executed.

An obstacle to establishing productive feedback at every level of an organization is the attitude that employees tend to hold about what feedback is and why it is given. Too often, leaders make the mistake of doling out feedback via a top-down model, so employees interpret it as a punitive, one-way interaction. Further, employees may feel feedback is “too little too late” if evaluations of their work are infrequent or retroactive — an annual review responding to the past year’s projects is backward-looking and unhelpful if it doesn’t provide actionable steps for future improvement.

From the perspective of The Results Pyramid® model, a negative feedback experience contributes to employee beliefs that feedback is unnecessary and unkind, leading to actions that fail to produce desired outcomes. It is of paramount importance, then, to reverse these beliefs and replace bad memories of feedback with a positive exchange experience.

Done right, professional feedback provides a tremendous opportunity for increased growth and collaboration. When offering feedback from a place of respect, a team leader can move an employee away from undesirable behavior and cement the thinking and behavior that lead to personal and professional excellence. By modeling growth-oriented feedback, a leader paves the way for respectful and constructive dialogues between coworkers to become commonplace, as well.

To open these critical pathways of leader-to-employee coaching and peer-to-peer feedback, we designed the Feedback module of Propeller, our solutions-driven digital leadership and accountability tool. Built for integration with teams of any size, Propeller enables users to gain higher visibility into progress toward topline results by facilitating open communication between team members, sourcing solutions from colleagues across departments, and harnessing critical accountability strategies to position your organization for sustained success.

Propeller’s Feedback module contains four tabs — “Endorse,” “Exchange,” “Suggest”, and “My Feedback” — specifically structured to facilitate growth-oriented feedback by creating clear channels for team members to communicate with one another and with leadership, eliminating unspoken codes of silence that erode both personal and team success while undermining opportunities for organizational development.  

Endorse Colleagues for Their Skills and Successes

Celebrating employees’ achievements and championing good work is crucial to establishing an organizational culture in which all employees feel comfortable both giving and receiving feedback. That’s why the “Endorse” tab of the Feedback module empowers all employees to recognize their colleagues for successes — effectively coaching one another to be the best collective they can be.

The “Endorse” tool is programmed with a set of 16 accountability best practices — the skills and actions that actively contribute to a highly accountable workplace in which all employees take personal ownership for achieving team results. Users can browse these behaviors and endorse any colleague as he or she demonstrates a best practice, such as “creatively dealing with obstacles.”

This morale-boosting habit not only opens avenues for efficient peer-to-peer recognition but ultimately leads to higher levels of accountability. A culture of mutual appreciation motivates employees to demonstrate accountable behavior by helping them see the tangible value of their contributions, fostering a “can do” attitude toward achieving Key Results and keeping best practices top of mind.

Exchange Open Team Feedback with Colleagues and Team Leaders

Perhaps the most essential element in aligning a team around a set of Key Results — the three to five top priorities that everyone in the organization must work to achieve — is honest communication. Without a forum where employees feel comfortable giving and receiving feedback at work, teams can get stuck in “the way things are done,” with no one actively striving to improve their performance or take full accountability for achieving Key Results.

The “Exchange” tool in the Feedback module helps teams overcome this hurdle, enabling every team member to initiate conversations that promote personal growth and accountability. Within the app, users can opt to seek or offer feedback directly to teammates or supervisors.

The “Exchange” tool creates an even playing field in which every employee is empowered to communicate clearly, openly, and honestly about the ways in which their colleagues are contributing to — or could more effectively contribute to — the achievement of team-wide results. It also encourages every team member to be honest with themselves, considering others’ feedback objectively and reflecting on the ways in which they may be able to proactively shift their mindset and actions to propel personal growth and the team’s progress toward critical results.

A Digital Suggestion Box for Team Leaders

Though the “Exchange” tool enables open communication between all team members, a common roadblock to organizational growth is employees’ hesitation to offer suggestions to leadership even when feedback channels are available. Propeller’s answer to this roadblock is the “Suggest” tool — a digital suggestions box in which employees have the option to remain anonymous. This tool offers a judgment-free channel where employees share their suggestions about how the team could more effectively achieve Key Results.

The suggestion feature, in turn, influences leaders’ coaching strategy, allowing them to gauge what their team members are experiencing and tailor their leadership to accommodate employees’ needs.

As a result, openly sourcing suggestions from every level of an organization encourages constant innovation and creative problem-solving to tackle the challenges that may come with hitting major targets.

Track Every Exchange of Team Feedback to Achieve Constant Growth

Finally, “My Feedback” tab in Propeller’s Feedback module provides a record for each user of all past feedback sent and received. With this tool, users can see the full history of their exchanges, recalling both the appreciative and constructive feedback they have given to and received from teammates.

Enabling employees to revisit feedback in this way serves as a reminder of the positive contributions their teammates want to continue seeing, and the personal growth that will accelerate progress toward Key Results even more. Access to feedback received in the past, combined with the expectation of recognition for future contributions and results, promotes higher accountability at work in the present.

Drive Engagement and Accountability in the Workplace

Propeller’s Feedback module revolutionizes professional feedback exchange with a streamlined workflow and interactive elements that boost employees’ investment in their individual work and motivates them to meet their team’s critical targets. Further, the feedback module encourages employees to invest in one another by offering suggestions to their colleagues for team-wide higher performance.

Crucially for leaders, Propeller facilitates rapid one to one communication so senior executives can establish a professional rapport with employees and give personalized feedback that coaches individuals toward the team’s desired results. At the same time, suggestions from employees help leadership reorient their strategy to align their team and ensure all members are operating as a cohesive whole.

Beyond providing a forum for direct affirmation or constructive feedback from colleagues, Propeller’s Feedback module promotes honest, egalitarian feedback exchanges that encourages users to take personal accountability for achieving desired Key Results — laying the groundwork for higher performance and sustained success.

Try Propeller for FREE today to explore the features that drive employee accountability in the workplace and help your organization meet critical Key Results.