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John Wooden once said that coaching is the ability to give feedback without causing resentment. Feedback is so essential to our learning, whether we are talking about school, sports, life or business. In business it is up to owners, managers and operators to take in feedback without resentment and to learn to give feedback without causing resentment. Businesses simply get better when they get regular and continuous feedback and act on it.
Two primary sources of feedback are customers and employees. Feedback should be a normal part of doing business every day — in other words, feedback should be operationalized.
Ideally companies take in employee feedback in “waves,” while customer feedback should come in continuously. The cadence of employee “waves” should be as fast as you can create and communicate change. We see an ideal cadence as every two months. The first two weeks of a typical cycle are spent creating awareness and collecting feedback. The next two weeks are focused on processing the feedback into insights for your location. The next two weeks are spent implementing and communicating an improvement plan. Then you start all over again.
Employees have insights that are different than members. Oftentimes you will find the root cause of a member experience issue when you get employee feedback. Seeing a lot of morale issues at a front desk, for instance, is a key driver of low front desk friendliness scores. When companies take action on employee feedback it improves both employee engagement and the member experience, as well as reducing employee turnover.
Whether you have one club or 100, it’s important to get a steady diet of both member and employee feedback. It will remove blind spots and open up a myriad of opportunities to improve your business along greater dimensions than the usual areas operators tend to focus – i.e. marketing, sales, finance, HR. It’s common to take on initiatives due to feedback that will improve all of the aspects of daily operations. Feedback truly reveals the greatest points of leverage in your enterprise.