Can you give me an example of feelings-based feedback?
Sure! Here are a few examples based on common workplace interactions:
- Mary, I felt supported when you helped me with my presentation last week.
- Nathan, I felt annoyed when you interrupted me in this morning’s meeting.
- Anthony, I felt excited when we were talking about the new Star Wars movie.
Can you send the feedback anonymously?
You cannot. There is certainly a time and place for anonymous feedback — but it doesn’t help us advance our mission (to strengthen relationships in the workplace) and, as such, all feedback delivered through our software is identified.
Is the feedback delivered immediately?
It is not. After it’s sent by the sender, the feedback enters a queue. That queue is emptied once a day (usually weekdays at 12:00 noon) at which point all of the organization’s feedback is delivered to its recipients.
What if you send a piece of feedback to someone and then change your mind?
If your feedback is still in the queue, you can pull it back and edit it or delete it. Once your feedback has left the queue for the recipient you cannot retrieve it.
Why does all the feedback have to include a feeling?
Great question. There are three reasons, all of which stem from our mission (to strengthen relationships in the workplace). First, a feeling makes it more personal. With each piece of feedback delivered, the sender is sharing a piece of herself, and the recipient is getting to know the sender a little bit more. This effect multiplies over time.
Second, we are trying to shift the focus away from the situation (“when you helped me with my presentation”) and toward the feeling (“supported”). The situation is obviously important, but the feeling ultimately has a greater impact on the relationship.
Finally, what’s missing from this feedback is advice. That’s intentional. This feedback is not intended to provide direction. Let’s look at an example that illustrates why:
In Monday’s meeting, a serious subject came up. During the discussion, you decided to inject some light humor. On Tuesday you received feedback from two colleagues.
The first came from Cheryl: “I really appreciated your humor in the meeting yesterday. The conversation was getting a little tense and your comment lightened things up.”
The second piece of feedback came from Dave: “I felt irritated by your use of humor in the meeting yesterday. I thought you were making light of a serious subject.”
Dave’s feedback makes a lot of sense; but so does Cheryl’s! What do you do? Is this a lose-lose scenario? Not quite. The truth is, there’s no right answer — which is the case for so many of our social interactions.
Upon receiving those two pieces of feedback, reasonable people would proceed in a variety of ways. The important part is this: based on the feedback from Dave and Cheryl, even if you’re not exactly sure how to proceed, you still have an opportunity to improve your relationship with both colleagues. That’s what we’re focused on.
Can I request feedback from specific people?
You cannot. The impetus for the feedback comes from the sender. Remember, the purpose of the software is to strengthen your relationships, not your performance.
What does “no negative down the chain of command” mean?
All of our feedback is divided into two categories: positive and negative. While thoughtful and well-intentioned negative feedback can be a powerful tool, we strongly recommend that negative feedback never be sent to someone down your reporting chain. For example, the CEO can receive negative from everyone but can give negative to no one.
Why can’t you give negative down the chain?
Great question. We say, “feelings-based feedback is like a t-shirt: try it on, maybe it fits, maybe it doesn’t”.
That sentiment doesn’t apply to most of your boss’s instructions. If your boss wants you to shorten your presentation, you shorten your presentation — his feelings on the matter aren’t relevant. Also, we don’t want to create a dynamic where managers are avoiding uncomfortable conversations with their reports and managing people from behind a computer.
What if you don’t want to give or receive negative?
No one at your company is forced to give or receive negative feedback. Senders can choose not to give negative and recipients can turn off their negative at any time.
What happens if the negative is turned on and someone gets a ton of negative?
No user receives more negative than she’s comfortable with. All users set a minimum ratio of positive-to-negative in their personal options. For example, let’s say you set your ratio to 10-to-1. That means you can’t receive more than one negative for every ten positive.
Different people can absorb different amounts of negative feedback. We let users determine their own amount.
What happens if you send someone negative but it falls below their minimum ratio?
The feedback bounces back to you with the following message: “Your feedback to [Name] was not delivered because it falls below [Name’s] minimum ratio of positive-to-negative feedback. If you’d like, you may put it back in the queue for tomorrow.”
Recipients’ minimum ratios are not public information.
How does the software decide whose negative goes through and whose bounces back?
First in the queue, first delivered, last in the queue, last delivered.
How often are people expected to use this software?
Usage varies more within organizations than it does between organizations. High-usage employees might send 4 pieces of feedback per day while low-usage employees might send 4 pieces per month. Variation is normal.
How long before we see results?
Prefacing this with “results depend on how often the product is used”, it’s safe to assume you will see different kinds of progress in different time periods. Within a few days, the first progress will begin to occur within one-on-one relationships. (This progress is often private, i.e., not visible to other colleagues.) Within a few weeks, you will begin to notice progress within some teams and, separately, within some individuals themselves. Within the year, you will begin to see results within the company.
What happens if someone abuses the app or sends something inappropriate?
We make it easy for recipients to report inappropriate feedback to their local administrator. Abuse of the software should be handled according to the organization’s code of conduct.
How are you differentiating yourself from the hundreds of employee engagement solutions out there?
Feelings at Work™ is unique in four ways.
- Our mission is to strengthen relationships. As such, we are oriented toward the relationships within the organization and not the performance of its individuals.
- We developed our software for the benefit of all users (bottom-up), not company executives (top-down).
- Our basic product is free for organizations of fewer than 50 employees (freemium).
- The first version of our product is available only as a Slack™ integration.
Where’s the performance management?
Feelings at Work is not a performance management solution. We are laser focused on the relationships within your organization, not the performance of its individuals. For performance management you will have to find another solution.
We might be interested. How do we figure out if it would work for us?
Call us! Can you give us a little more information? Why are you interested? What’s your workplace culture like? Have you used tools like this in the past? What do you hope to get out of Feelings at Work? Is your leadership on board with this?
If you have 50 employees or fewer, our basic version will be free for as long as you’d like. If you have more than 50 employees, maybe you could identify a 50-person department you think would appreciate the product and start there. Regardless of how many employees you have, your first month of premium is always free.
I think we need this but my boss disagrees. What should I do?
This is a really great question. We’re happy to help you convince your boss (call us!) but if you’re ultimately unsuccessful, it’s unlikely that Feelings at Work will have its intended effect. The boss’s commitment is really important here. Feelings-based feedback requires a certain vulnerability on the part of its users. If users sense that the boss might not be committed (rightly or wrongly) it could greatly reduce their willingness to take meaningful risks.
How do we access the software if we’re not on Slack?
Right now the only way to access Feelings at Work is through Slack. In the future we will add integrations with other popular team messaging apps. Eventually we will provide a standalone user interface. (Want to help us choose which software to integrate with next?)
How much does it cost?
The basic version is free for 50 users. The premium version is $9 per month per user (paid monthly) or $6 per month per user (paid annually). Here are some calculations for you:
- For 25 people, the premium version is $2,700 per year (paid monthly) or $1,800 per year (paid annually).
- For 100 people, that’s $10,800 per year (paid monthly) or $7,200 per year (paid annually).
- For 500 people, that’s $54,000 per year (paid monthly) or $36,000 per year (paid annually).
What’s included in the free version?
The free version allows employees to send and receive unlimited feedback. It also includes limited insights for employees and administrators.
What comes in the premium version?
In addition to everything in the free version, the premium version includes extensive insights (for both employees and administrators), benchmarking data, and customer support via chat, email and telephone.
Do you offer a free trial for your premium subscription?
Yes. If you set up your payment ahead of time, your first month is free. Cancel anytime.