Each time I walk into the room at one of Saba's regional user groups, it often starts out the same way: a packed room of our customers settling in with coffees and shaking hands with their seatmates, a general buzz of conversation. Then the guy with the brightest suit they've ever seen and a personality big enough to match bursts through the door, takes center stage and kicks off the best meeting they've had all year!
We have the best customers. They know what it means to #WorkLikeYou!
After the full day of presentations, Q&As with Saba experts, breakout sessions, discussions, and unlimited laughs and insightful conversation finish up, it's time for feedback. And you'd better believe our customers have something to say.
I get the privilege of meeting and speaking to many of our customers; I get to bring them the latest and greatest in regards to technology updates and what Saba updates are coming down the road, plus I get to share a number of tips, tricks and takeaways so that they learn how to do more with their Saba solutions.
But what do I take away from these experiences?
I was asked this question point-blank after one of our recent user groups for customers who have our TalentSpace solution (these events are also known as HUGs... aww, bring it in!). It made me think. What did I get out of the day?
I'm lucky – I get to spend time with our amazing customers, all of whom have a passion for the product. I get to hear their challenges, victories and areas for growth. I'm the keeper – and the sharer – of their stories so it's my responsibility to make sure they get heard and get the information they need.
But what I was shocked to hear is just how few people look beyond their annual appraisal process to see what more they can achieve.
Saba is a robust tool that does much more than just once-a-year evaluations. In fact, the move to ongoing performance management is really how the space has evolved over the last five years or so. Our tools have functionality and features that go way beyond annual appraisals (which is great to know). So I always leave a user group knowing that I have helped customers gain more value out of the product they have – without spending any more money!
My suit: An accurate representation of all the money our customers save by attending our free HUG and RUG meetups.
And one of the big things customers forget to leverage more often than not is feedback. It's a surprisingly common feedback mistake that talent leaders make throughout the year. So if this sounds like you, don't worry, you're not alone.
Mission-critical: Giving (and receiving) feedback throughout the year
Giving and capturing feedback more regularly throughout the year is what helps people actually create evaluations that are more meaningful.
Our brains only remember the last 30 days (if we're lucky – my wife would say the last two days if we were talking specifically about me). So if I am completing a yearly evaluation, that means I am really only going to evaluate what I remember (which isn't going to be a whole lot). And, in some cases, my pay increase relies on this so I want to write a book – but I have been hit with performance amnesia.
Giving, receiving and recording feedback throughout the year allows me to capture important milestones or notes as I move forward throughout the year.
Now here's the BIG a-ha moment
(Cue Take on Me by a-ha! Couldn't help it.)
Now, I don't even need to log into the tool to capture feedback. I know this is the number one pain that customers bring to these events: "I wish my users could leverage the tool more often and get in the system more regularly to complete tasks. You send them email notifications/reminders but they still don't complete important tasks."
Hmmm... so what makes you think they are going to go into the tool and enter feedback? It takes time for people to build new habits but that doesn't mean recording feedback has to fall by the wayside.
The good news is that employees don't have to be in the tool to enter or move feedback over. There are actually two ways they can easily add feedback:
1. Go mobile with your feedback
Use the Saba mobile app. Everyone is on the go these days. I travel constantly to meet with customers at our user groups all around North America and I will tell you that I have forgotten a lot of things on the road – but never my phone. Now, no matter where I am, I can add feedback and give feedback on the go.
2. Embrace email feedback through our Outlook Plugin
Now, the other digital workspace I live in every day is in my email – Outlook. I am constantly getting emails and responding to emails. I know I am not alone either – that's why we built the Outlook Plugin feature. With a click of a button, you can now use the plugin to add any feedback you have into the feedback function of your Saba solution (you don't even have to log into the system). Simply do it right there from your email. You might never hit "inbox zero," but at least you have a quicker and more efficient way to log feedback when on the go.
Not just a pretty suit: Building customer relationships one conversation at a time
Now that I've blown your mind with two simple ways to get your people to record feedback more frequently and easily, you might still be asking: "So what does Erik get out of the day when he suits up and facilitates these events?"
I get to educate and bring smiles to our customers' faces when I tell them things they should be taking advantage of in the tool that they already own.
I get to hear what people are struggling with in their own organizations (hey, no stress – we're all working on something!) and help them turn it into strengths moving forward.
I also get to send them loads of valuable information to go along with these topics. We have tons of resources available, including eBooks, webinars, templates and adoption kits on all topics to help our customers go back to their organizations looking like rock stars (suit and sunglasses not included, but highly encouraged).
Want even more resources to become a feedback rock star? Check out our Employee Feedback Toolkit to get started!