A secret

We know one or two things about successful feedback

We’ve been around for 20 years, delivered countless employee surveys and talked to many managers in every corner of the globe. We’ve run large teams. We’ve run small businesses. And all that’s helped us discover what we like to think of as the Aladdin’s lamp of feedback.

The secret is this …

Great feedback is not about asking the right survey questions. It’s not about a manager having carefully crafted answers to a team meeting every month. What it is about? It’s about a process. It’s about creating ongoing human connections. It’s about doing the right things to create dialogue and feedback. And it goes on forever, everyday, like the heartbeat of every business. It’s not a ‘human resources’ thing. It’s about business improvement.

We’d like to share some of those secrets with you

We’ve seen feedback done brilliantly in the areas of small business that make a difference. We’ll be showing you some of that in this e-book. Well, we say ‘book’, it’s more of a pamphlet. We’re too busy helping improve feedback to have the energy to write a book. Maybe one day. We’ve distilled what we think makes a great small business and how you can take some easy steps to improving feedback around each one. Learn how to establish feedback practices that move your business forward on the things that matter.

Enjoy. All the best in moving FORWARD >



Feedback circles are (often consistent) groups of employees who are asked to meet to provide feedback on business culture and operations. They form a circular process of feedback and give views regularly in the spirit of continuous improvement.
Great for generating ideas through involvement.
Not great for generating statistics.


A 360-degree feedback is a process through which feedback from an employee's subordinates, colleagues, and supervisor(s), as well as a self-evaluation by the employee themselves is gathered.
Great for a rounded perspective.
Not great for making change if there is no improvement process to follow.


Continuous improvement is an ongoing effort to improve products, services, or processes. The effort is constantly evaluated and improved in the light of it’s effectiveness. Key to employee feedback is the improvement process this brings, rather than the measurement of engagement as a number.
Great for maintaining action momentum.
Not great for those in a ‘quick fix’ mindset.


A focus group is a small group of people who give their opinions in guided discussions. Questions are asked by a facilitator in an interactive group setting where participants are encouraged to talk with other group members.
Great for clarifying the results of an employee survey or generating improvement ideas.
Not great for generating statistics.


Similar to a 360, but a 180-degree feedback mechanism is a process through which feedback from an employee’s peers, and supervisor(s), as well as a self-evaluation by the employee themselves is gathered.
Great for a view of those senior to an employee.
Not great for a rounded view from everyone.


Feedback loops are part of a continuous improvement process. The loops may be created through feedback circles or surveys. Critically, they form part of a process of  feedback, ideas and change that is continually reviewed (hence the loop).
Great for generating real change.
Not great for those in a ‘quick fix’ mindset.


An employee survey is a great way of generating positive change in a business. The right issues should be explored but most importantly the right process should be followed to help embed improvements.
Great for statistical results that lead to change through a process.
Not great for employee motivation if nothing is done about the results.


Strategy roadshows involve leaders visiting people in different locations to launch or reinforce their strategy, vision and values. Their messages are consistent, in the context of business operations and are communicated in fun and engaging ways.
Great for enabling people to have face time with leaders.
Not great for businesses that do not yet have consistent messages on their strategy.


Values jams are used to either develop or reinforce a set of company values. Normally fun and interactive, they are inclusive of all employees and generate ideas and discussion. The concept is to help the values embed and become sticky through discussion and understanding.
Great for a collective coming together around values.
Not great for those who are yet to define company values. 


A customer survey is a structured way in which to gain feedback and suggestions from customers. The results are particularly powerful when combined with those from an employee survey as employees will often have the best ideas on how to improve things.
Great for robust, statistical information.
Not great for customer retention if nothing is fixed!


Many of the toolkit elements are about gathering information. Great decision making is all about listening then taking the right path to make a positive difference. When employees are involved in the decision making process, the outcomes are often better and more ‘sticky’. See continuous improvement too.
Great for making a direct difference.
Not great for ... who doesn’t like a good decision?!


Don’t underestimate going old-school and talking and listening to people. As a business leader this is the most important tool in your toolkit, so use it wisely. Don’t hide behind spreadsheets or others – get out and walk the talk and see the difference it makes.
Great for we shouldn’t have to tell you!
Not great for bad business leaders.

Critical Success Factors

We’ve distilled the critical business feedback success factors down into seven components.

These are known as the 🥁 🥁 🥁 (drum roll) 🥁 🥁 🥁 FORWARD steps.

We’ll show you, step by step, how to use feedback in a meaningful way.

A proven feedback process


Take a moment to think about how your tools could connect and come together over time to become a total business feedback process

Next steps

Well, congratulations feedback warrior, you’ve put one foot in front of the other and made it this far. Or you’ve just skipped to the end to get to the juicy bits.

Either way, you’re here so that’s the main thing. On your journey through this e-book we hope you will have several thoughts:

  1. You’ll be thinking more about your feedback toolkit and feedback map

  2. You will be on your way to putting together a great feedback plan from the ideas you have read. This in turn will make a genuine difference to employees, your customers and your business

  3. You have probably read the word FORWARD enough to last you several more months

If you did just skip to the end, then you’ve missed out on all of that. But you have saved 15 minutes. Oh, and you’re not a feedback warrior. Go on, read it properly this time.

To the rest of you, good luck out there on your feedback journeys. Let us know how you get on. You know where we are.