Without managers, how do you maintain a feedback culture?

 

The importance of feedback in a company with no managers

 

 

Considering the fact that we are a company with no managers, it’s even more important to develop an open feedback culture.

The importance of feedback lies mainly on the fact that it helps us and others to grow when done right. In a flat hierarchy, everyone is responsible for giving feedback, receiving it and, ultimately, acting on it.

Feedback is something we hear about all of the time. We crave it and, at the same time, fear it. Even though feedback is mostly associated with yearly/quarterly reviews, we experience some form of it every single day, even if we don’t notice it.

Just because we have no managers, it doesn’t mean it’s not there. Nonetheless, if there is no one to lead and nurture this habit, it can be forgotten and let go quite easily.

 

 

 

The importance of feedback in a flat hierarchy

Nmbrs Feedback culture - There are a lot of ways that feedback is represented at Nmbrs. The picture shows some of our female colleagues talking to each other at our Summer Event of 2019

 

There are many ways and forms in how feedback can appear. Since we are a company with no managers, we have implemented an open feedback culture that supports our employees while giving them the independence they need and the feedback they crave. At Nmbrs, feedback can be divided into:

- Daily feedback;

- First-year feedback (FYF)

- Performance reviews.

 

Within these three types, each employee has the responsibility to:

🗣️  Give feedback;

👂  Receive it (ask for it), and;

👌  Act on it.

Together with their peers, they share their input and work closely to understand what are the best actions to take and verify the improvements that originated from that.

There is no one to track what you do but if you want to grow, really listening to the feedback you receive and reaching out to your peers to understand how you can put it in practice goes a long way.

The First-year Feedback in our feedback culture

The importance of feedback is even bigger for any new joiner. You need to know what is expected of you and how you are meeting those expectations.

When you start at Nmbrs, you are a part of the first-year feedback (FYF). This is composed of four feedback moments throughout the year that leads, or not, to contract renewal.

How it works:

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One of our Employee Experience Specialists reaches out to 7 of your colleagues that you work closely with.

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They ask them for feedback on what you have been doing great and what you need to improve on.

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This information is put together, anonymized and shared with you on a one-on-one meeting.

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During this meeting, you are also

empowered to share

your concerns and feedback.

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These feedback sessions

are distributed across the 1st, 4th, 7th

and 10th months (we communicate

the contract renewal here).

 

The decision to renew a contract will be based on the feedback collected throughout the year from your peers and shared during either the 7th or 10th-month talk. We are aware of how difficult this can be and it’s something that shouldn’t be taken lightly. We’re still working on making this process better and safer for everyone to be able to give open and honest feedback. If we want to keep on developing a feedback culture within Nmbrs, it is essential that everyone has a say in who continues to stay in their team.

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Performance reviews in a company with no managers

Since we are a company with no managers, there is no specific person that is responsible for sitting down with everyone and letting us know what we have been doing great and where we need to improve. Again, this responsibility falls on all of us at Nmbrs.

But how do you know if you are doing well in your job, team and company in general?

Even though it’s a little different, performance reviews are also part of our open feedback culture:

 

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We do it twice a year

 

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Every employee needs
to be rated by 7 of their peers

 

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The rating system covers
topics as working together,
responsibility and fit
in the team and company

Since grading someone means different things to different people, we have prepared some training to give our colleagues the right tools. It’s a lot of responsibility with a big impact but we trust our colleagues to do the right thing.

Openness, security and trust in an open feedback culture

 

A feedback culture needs to be nurtured every day. We need to be open and honest with our colleagues. If we see something wrong, we need to be able to say it. Honesty and openness are at the core of Nmbrs and, for that matter, feedback.

We can control how we share feedback and how we act after receiving it but, even if we do it respectfully, we will never be able to predict how the other person will receive it. 

If we don’t feel safe to share our feedback, we will never be able to help others fully grow. This is hard, we know. If it’s negative feedback, we never want to be the ones hurting others. However, we all have the responsibility towards the company and our colleagues to make the best we can.

We encourage everyone to ask and give feedback every single day. For feedback to work, we’ve developed ways to promote it inside the company:

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Feedback training to help our employees
give valuable, timely and respectful feedback.

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Company culture initiatives that help
everyone work better together.

 

When it comes to creating a successful feedback culture we still have a long way to go. Nonetheless, we’re making our best to implement all of the tools our colleagues need.

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We want to improve our feedback culture and every voice matters.

 

Join us!