Receiving and giving feedback are crucial in any change effort. They help us understand whether we are headed in the right direction, what some of the challenges might be, and some of the successes we can build on.
*Note: Feedback mechanisms need to be credible, i.e., if we say we will be considering feedback, it’s important that we do so and in a transparent manner.
How can we give and receive feedback?
As we have been fostering a dialogue and engaging with our stakeholders throughout the process we are well-positioned to give and receive feedback during implementation. We can use our engagement sessions with stakeholders to gauge feedback on a range of indicators (we’ll touch on indicators in the next part of this section, Measuring our change).
There are a variety of methods we can use to gather feedback, including:
- Open discussion fora (e.g., town halls)
- One-on-one discussions
- Smaller meetings / informal interactions
- Workshops (e.g., on change leadership, various change models)
For more on methods to gather feedback, consult the list of feedback activities developed by the Change Management National Centre of Expertise in Accommodation Management and Workplace Solutions at Public Services and Procurement Canada.
- How can we measure progress?
If we want to measure progress we’ll need some indicators to keep track of. Many of our indicators will be unique to our change. That being said, there are some common ones for any change. For example, some themes for common indicators we may want to use includes:
- Adoption (e.g., what is the level and interest in adopting new behaviours?)
- Change clarity (e.g., do people understand the change and the vision for the future?)
- Flexibility and agility (e.g., are we receiving and acting on feedback?)
- Interdependencies (e.g., are we tracking interdependencies and creating synergies where we can?)
- Change capacity (e.g., are we doing workshops to improve change capacity?)
- Stakeholder sentiment (e.g., how are people feeling about the progress of the change? Are they uncertain? Concerned?)
- Milestones/timelines (e.g., are we reaching our milestones on time? Why or why not?)
- Change fatigue (e.g., are people engaged or disengaged?)
We can center our themes around the conditions for success we developed earlier in the process (Section 2: Laying our foundation for successful change / Setting out our conditions for success). Having as clear as possible an idea of what success will look like will help us identify our indicators and define our measures.
We gain by utilizing both qualitative and quantitative data. This gives us breadth and depth when assessing the progress of our change. One tool we can use to track progress and brief stakeholders is a dashboard that shows trends over time.
Here is an example of a dashboard developed by the Center for Strategic Change at Public Services and Procurement Canada.
As we move through the implementation phase we continue to gather data from feedback mechanisms and measuring our progress. Now we can determine what we can use this data for.