How are things going at work? No matter your industry or team size, it can be hard to get honest feedback.
At Lemonly, each team member has ongoing opportunities to voice their opinions — biweekly one-on-one meetings with with their manager, weekly check-ins with their smaller team, and an open invitation to approach managers and co-founders whenever a need or idea pops up. But even with many opportunities to chat, it’s easy for ideas to slip and never get mentioned, or people may fear they’re the only one that thinks something could be changed.
We’ve found that many Lemonheads thrive in a group setting to give ideas or feedback, so we’ve introduced a new and simple exercise to run through with our teams.
While managers meet with our teams weekly to talk through normal, day-to-day ideas and team to-dos, we wanted to give our respective teams a separate occasion to present ideas or feedback on making Lemonly even better from all perspectives. We use the midway points of our 100-Day Goal trimesters as checkpoints throughout the year — the perfect time for our love it/lose it exercise. It’s simple, but it works. Here’s what it looks like:
As for my team (content team for the win!), we have a running Google Doc that explains the exercise in case anyone new has joined the team or if a veteran team member needs a refresher. They can also see the results of past meetings and things people have previously mentioned. It’s helpful for newbies, but also helpful for a manager to make sure the same items aren’t popping up.
Below the explanation in the shared document, we list the categories “Love It, Edit It, Add It, and Lose It” and place each Lemonhead on the team’s names below each category to place their ideas.
This is an example from my content team’s meeting document:
The doc is shared with team about two weeks before the meeting so everyone has time to think and write their ideas down.
Some people place a couple of words per bullet and explain their thoughts to the rest of the team in our in-person meeting, while others place their thoughts directly in the doc. There isn’t a wrong way. As long as everyone can speak to their points in the meeting and get some dialogue from the team to their point, I’m happy.
In the meeting itself, we go around the table talking about what we love, what we’d change, what we’d add, and what we’d get rid of. I typically take a few clarifying notes here and there but stick mainly to listening and absorbing all of the good things we’re doing and ways we could make this place even better.
After our meeting, I like to comment on each point in the document with a next step. There are usually some big ideas that require meeting with additional teams and some are small tweaks to an internal process that we could make on the spot. (Or things that don’t require any more discussion. Beer glasses? Of course we need those! Ordering STAT!)
Since we hold this meeting halfway through a 100-Day Goal period, we end the meeting with a progress report on how everyone’s goals are coming.
We’ve done this meeting both in the office and off-site. I think we all preferred off-site at the pizza place next door. Not only did we enjoy a 4:30 beer and some breadsticks with each other, but it also made the meeting feel special and hopefully gave everyone the freedom to say whatever they needed to.
We now have this meeting once per year in our individual teams. We also hold two annual events in the company that focus on the betterment of Lemonly — our Hackathon in late April and Company Retreat in mid-October — so we like to give some breathing room between this exercise and those two full-team events.
In our end-of-year reviews with our CEO, we also get the opportunity to bring ideas and comment on what’s working and what’s not, so it’s a continuous cycle of trying new things and getting the best company experience possible not only for clients, but employees as well.
If you’ve been having trouble getting feedback from your team, we hope this love it/lose it exercise can help you! Here’s a template doc we’ve made if you’d like to try it out. As always, don’t hesitate to get in touch via Twitter or our contact form with any questions!