Fariha Raisa, Feedback Labs | October 28, 2022
How Do We Get Feedback?
Committed to mentoring relationships, Silver Lining Mentoring (SLM) empowers youth in foster care through the development of essential life skills. They are dedicated to cultivating an environment where marginalized voices are lifted up and centered in service of dismantling systems of oppression. Listening to the youth has been at the heart of their work to improve their programs offerings as well as the branding of their organization.
In early 2023, Silver Lining Mentoring (SLM) will launch a pilot program supporting youth who are transitioning out of the foster care system. In planning for this new program, they want to listen deeply to the youth who are participating in the pilot, and iterate on the program in response to their feedback. In the past, SLM has had challenges getting youth and mentors to respond to feedback surveys. As a consequence, they are exploring new ways to listen to the youth who are a part of the pilot program, and presented in LabStorm to gather ideas and advice on how they can improve their feedback practices.
- Collecting feedback without survey fatigue. A shift towards microlearning through short bursts of information could address the short attention span of the youth and facilitate effective feedback response. Pulse checks through social media posts as well as online polls have the potential to minimize clicking and time spent on a survey. As an alternative, discussion groups were proposed for a smaller number of participants to allow organic and conversational feedback. Opening a platform where participants can share their opinions over time could add to the conversational space by hosting people remotely and anonymously.
- Integrating real time feedback and progress. Advancements for customer engagement in the private sector were recommended for collecting real time feedback. Using platforms like WhatsApp was encouraged since people can access the app through a smartphone and WiFi without the need of an active phone line. Secondly, a brief post-module survey for each module was suggested to evaluate if a module lived up to the expectations of the students.
- Incentivizing youth participation. Attendees directed attention to the sender of the survey requests and suggested looking into the established relationship between the mentees and the sender. If the request to fill out the survey came from a direct supervisor who explains the purpose behind the request, it could be perceived as more meaningful than a random evaluator. As such, name recognition and existing relationships were suggested to support the survey requests. SLM was also encouraged to look into the use of language and its impact; instead of framing the questions as a survey or feedback, giving a name like “Weekly Power Move” could provide a psychological strategy to move out of survey fatigue.
At the end of the session, Jesse from SLM reiterated the key takeaways of shifting mindset, integrating feedback and reframing formal questionnaires. Feedback requests could be presented as an empowering opportunity for young people to share input on their own progress and to improve the program. Jesse mentioned the importance of 1-2 quick survey questions at the end of each module and using social media for polls. They concluded by emphasizing the need to re-frame formal feedback processes but still keeping them actionable by phrases like pulse check or power move.
Learn More About LabStorms
LabStorms are collaborative problem-solving sessions designed to help organizations tackle feedback-related challenges or share what’s working well in their practice.
Presenters leave the experience with honest, actionable feedback and suggestions to improve their feedback processes and tools.
To learn more about participating in a virtual LabStorm, please visit feedbacklabs.org/labstorms.