Employee experience – The XXI corporate super power

How can Employee Experience help retain employees

Employee Experience is about focusing on long term change, evolving and modifying the core workplace practices. The big shift that we’re seeing is moving away from working within the system to actually changing what that system.

Employee Experience – An interview with Jacob Morgan

Tap My Back  – The most intuitive employee feedback software


employee experience bookJacob Morgan is a 3x best-selling author, keynote speaker, and futurist.

His latest book is “The Employee Experience Advantage: How to Win the War on Talent by Giving Employees the Workspaces they want, the Tools they Need and a Culture They Can Celebrate” (Wiley, March 2017), which is based on an analysis of over 250 global organizations.

In this interview, Jacob goes through the concept of employee experience and its potential impact on a company’s ability to retain talent. Based on his on-field extensive research he claims employee experience is the next level of employee engagement. And that the organizations that are already investing in it will obtain a competitive advantage in the XXI century.

Find out what is beyond this superpower to retain talent.

How did your journey on subjects such as the future of work and employee experience start?

Sure, basically it started with me having bad jobs working for other people. After I graduated college I went to work for a company in Los Angeles. I was told that I was going to be doing a lot of fun and wonderful projects. Instead, I was doing data entry and cold calling.

Then, one day the CEO asked me to go get him a cup of coffee… That was one of the last jobs I’ve ever had working for somebody else.

Ever since I became very interested in and passionate about the future of work and employee experience. So, bad jobs working for other people was the main reason why.


Can you explain what does “Employee experience” mean?

Employee engagement has been very valuable for us. Unfortunately, the big problem is that is has always acted as kind of an adrenaline shot inside of our organizations.

Typically what happens is that an organization does an annual employee engagement survey. Then, they find out that employees are relatively unhappy and they try to introduce some kind of a perk. This includes free food, maybe work from home on Friday, you know, some kind of a perk. The problem with that is that it does very little to motivate employees.

What are the advantages for companies investing on it? Does it help to retain talent?

Instead, what we’re starting to see is this shift from engagement to employee experience. This is actually changing the core workplace practices around how employees work. The concept involves neither adding perks nor focusing just on the short term change. Rather, it focuses on long term change, you know, evolving and modifying the core workplace practices.

The big shift that we’re seeing is moving away from working within the system to actually changing what that system.

Within companies which department/position should assume employee experience as a responsibility ?

Well, we’re starting to see a little bit of a mix here. In most organizations, the department that typically drives these initiatives is in HR. We usually see those people being more responsible for driving this kind of a change.

It’s something that everyone should be responsible for. From the CEO of the organization, to the managers that help drive employee experience to the employees.

Employees are responsible for speaking up and sharing their own ideas around what they want their experiences to be.

So, everybody has some accountability when it comes to employee experience. But, as far as the team that’s going to be rolling this out across the company it’s typically in HR.

What’s the major aspect that distinguishes the high ranking companies from the ones ranking lower? In terms of the employee experience index you developed.

Well, there are a few things actually.

Employee experience is pretty much a combination of three things: culture, technology and physical space. So the highest ranking organizations, first of all, do the best job of investing in culture, technology, and physical space.

They create great offices, great physical environments where employees want to show up to. Furthermore, they give employees access to the best, latest and greatest technology, so that the workforce can do their jobs. And finally, they invest in making their employees feel good about the work that they’re doing in the organization.

So these high raking organizations have managers and people in positions of power who genuinely care about others.

These are organizations that do a very good job of understanding their people! Both through 1-on-1 conversations and also through data in people analytics.

These are also organizations that think more like a laboratory and less like a factory. They embrace failure, they test ideas, they experiment with different concepts. And that’s really what allows them to go above and beyond everyone else.

From all the companies that you have researched about, what was the one strategy that surprised you the most?

One of the most important things is to realize that organizations have to create with their people, not for their people. So, it’s not about coming up with an idea and just building something and showing it to the people who work there. It’s about incorporating people into the process design, in the creation process for employee experience.

You have to really understand what your people care about, what they value and then, you build experiences based on that.

It’s sort of like going out on a date or being in a relationship where you really have to know your spouse, you really have to try to get to know the person you’re going out on a date with.

The same is true inside of our companies. We really need to get to know our people as best as we can. In the end, it’s not about doing something specifically. It’s about a way of thinking and getting what the employees feel.

Why currently, more than ever before it’s fundamental to attract the best talent?

This is a huge issue for corporations around the world and it continues to be a huge issue especially as we talk about this world of automation. The world is rapidly changing and there are conversations around a skills gap.

I believe every organization in the world can exist without technology. But, no organization in the world can exist without people.

We need to remember that even in this rapidly changing world people are still the number one asset we can’t forget. That’s why it’s never been more important and crucial to invest in employee experience.

Try Tap My Back

Still about talent, based on your research, what company do you think would be more successful?

A: The one that provides the best employee experience of the market
B: The other that has the most talented people on their staff?


Well, both because you’re not going to have the best talent unless you invest in employee experiences. So, it’s kind of hard to say if it is more valuable to have a company that has great employee experiences or talented people.

Because the talented people are going to go where the best employee experiences are.

So if you want to be able to attract and retain the best people then you have to invest in culture, technology and physical space.

Many business owners say they don’t focus on employee experience because they don’t have the budget to. Is it something that requires a big spending?

I don’t think it is. Not having a budget isn’t a good excuse for why you shouldn’t be investing in employee experience.

First of all, it doesn’t cost a lot of money to treat people well. Investing in employee experience is something every organization is doing in one way or the other. So if you choose to ignore culture, technology and physical space, these things will still happen, you can’t control it.

We see this inside of social media all the time, it’s sort of like saying: if you don’t have a social media profile and your customers are talking about you online, should you be listening?

The experience is going to be created one way or the other. It will be created based on what your organization designs or from you ignoring doing any type of purposeful design.

So if it’s going to be one way or the other, you might as well take some accountability. Try to shape what it’s like to work at your company instead of just letting it happen on its own.

It is true that some money is required obviously, when you think about technology, physical space, education and training. But these are investments that organizations are already making anyway. So it’s just a matter of making these investments the right way.

Imagine a situation where a CEO approached you looking for advice. Even though he never heard about employee experience he feels there has to be some way to improve workforce commitment and engagement.

What would you tell him to do first ?

The very first thing that I would tell anybody to do first is to put people in positions of power who care about others. You have to genuinely have managers and leaders at the organization who care about the other people who work there.

That’s step one. If you don’t have that, then nothing nothing else is going to matter.

The second thing, and I touched on this earlier, is you have to truly know your people. I mean you really need to get to know the people who work at your company.

So look those are the two places I’d start:
1. Put people in positions of power who genuinely care about others
2. Invest in genuinely getting to know and understand your people and what they care about a lot


Thanks for the read, what do you think? Do you agree with Jacob’s view on employee experience versus employee engagement?

Jacob’s work has been endorsed by the CEOs of: Cisco, Whirlpool, T-Mobile, Best Buy, SAP, Nestle, KPMG, Schneider Electric and many others.

Jacob is also the founder of “The Future If”, a global community of business leaders, authors, and futurists who explore what our future can look like. Visit TheFutureIf.com or The Future Organization.


Create Team
Growth mindset

Five Ways to Encourage a Growth Mindset in Your Company

Keeping your team motivated and engaged is really important if you are striving to maintain a positive workplace. If you’re able to cultivate and develop staff who are happy then the benefits of this will soon start to show! A growth mindset amongst your workplace will really help when it comes to creating the right kind of environment in which individuals can thrive. But how do you go about creating and encouraging that?


   1. Make it part of the day-to-day at work

By weaving in a growth mindset into the every day, you’ll be directly encouraging and supporting your team to adopt this way of thinking. This, in turn, will help them to apply it to their time at work.

There are a few ways that you can easily guide your company in this direction:

  • Make courses and training easily accessible. Having a growth mindset is all about wanting to learn and expand, so what better way to encourage your team to do this than supporting them and helping them learn new skills.
  • Empower them to set their own goals. By handing over this over to your team, you are encouraging them to commit to their own growth.
  • Support the weird and wonderful ideas. Often, individuals can be uncertain about coming forward with ideas because they are worried that they won’t be well received. Stamp out this culture by making it clear that no idea is a bad idea.


   2. Make it okay to fail

More often than not, individuals and teams of people are worried to take a chance for fear of failure. As is the case for many companies, figures such as productivity, efficiency, and sales are the focus – with financial bonuses attached.

However, when all of these are being so closely monitored, staff are less likely to want to push the boat out and be more experimental. Don’t let this be to your company’s detriment. Focus on learning and improvement-based objectives where appropriate, rather than the end result. This will create a better, healthier balance at work.


   3. Make employee feedback frequent

Show your staff that they matter as an individual and afford them the time to have “regular and frequent feedback” -> “continuous feedback” sessions. How else do you expect them to learn and know that they are on the right track if you don’t tell them? This is crucial to helping your team stay motivated.

Even if you, as a business leader, are unable to have continuous feedback sessions with your team as often as you would like, make sure that your staff understands how important their development is to you. If you have specialists in your company, give them time to give continuous feedback to others. This will help to take the pressure off your time too.


   4. Make sure to remove unhealthy competitiveness

There are many who thrive in a competitive environment. But that most certainly isn’t always the case and, when so much of our days are spent at work, too much competition can be a bad thing.

A growth mindset is about self-motivation. To work, a growth mindset needs to come from the individual and their own want to learn and improve. Many companies, whether realizing it or not, rank their staff from lowest to highest performing. This doesn’t take into account personal development and individual learning curves.

If praise and rewards are only handed out to those who “do the best”, this puts off those that are trying and improving. If you want to encourage a growth mindset, make sure you put in place the right structure internally for individuals to work towards.


   5. Make sure you lead by example

Everyone, no matter what their job title, can adopt and benefit from a growth mindset. We can all learn more and improve our skills, especially in areas that don’t come so naturally to us.

If you are keen to encourage a growth mindset in your company, show your staff that you are also on board with this. Instead of backing away from a task that you struggle with, try having a go. Or, speak to a team member who is better at that kind of thing and learn from them, don’t just ask them to do it for you!

A growth mindset is beneficial for everyone and can build a more productive and positive working environment. By focusing on and encouraging self-improvement, you’ll soon find that the company improves as a whole.


Andrew Margison, founder and director of ZZap Ltd, is an international supplier of banknote counters listed amongst the top 10 businesses in London for the Lloyds TSB Enterprise Awards. Andrew holds a 1st Class Honours Degree in Business Studies and regularly contributes to various business publications.


How to motivate employees

How to motivate employees in 10 steps

1o steps to motivate employees:

  1. Stop micromanaging

  2. Give ownership

  3. Push employees out of their comfort zone

  4. Share information constantly

  5. Create an environment focused on the top performers

  6. Use a simple employee recognition software

  7. Fire underperformers

  8. Encourage innovation and creativity

  9. Invest in staff learning opportunities

  10. Do not hire clones

Wondering how to motivate employees?

Tap My Back  – Employee Engagement Software

The secret to motivate employees seems to rely on first, knowing your team individuals well. And consequently customize the way you recognize and motivate them according to their specific preferences.

Recent studies proved that the key to motivating employees is far from being money centered. Therefore, it is essential that you understand what you need to do in order to keep your team engaged and focused on the common goal. You need to spend at least as much time building an engaging ecosystem as you do hiring new people and motivating your staff.


1. Stop Micromanaging

Even though people often look at you as if you were Superman, it does not mean you actually have his superpowers. Being a manager at the same time you are an employee is something that only Clark Kent could dream of.

Alysa Gregory
 wrote a pretty insightful post on how you can effectively address this common problem with specific techniques. The problem with micromanagement is that it will make your employees too much dependent on you for direction and therefore less likely to learn, think and produce quality outcomes for themselves. Provide direction and give assistance when required but also provide freedom for employees to do things their own way.

2. Give ownership

Over time workers can develop what’s called tunnel vision making them start focusing only on their own duties and deadlines. Rather than working for the company goals, they work towards meeting the minimum requirements.

Forbes article recently explores the advantages in leveraging something they defined as “psychological ownership” – the extent to which an employee feels as though their organization or their job is “theirs” (i.e., “this is MY company!”) to the point that the company becomes an important part of an employee’s self-identity.

In order to foster this mentality across your team, you should guarantee that each collaborator gets to understand how his role impacts directly the final customer as well as his colleagues. Only then it’s possible to motivate employees.

Make sure your team feels responsible for what the customer is buying.

3. Push employees out of the comfort zone

Even though some managers feel their staff does little further from what it is required of them, the fact is that by nature most people do get bored of doing a specific task over and over again.
Therefore, a key ingredient to make people step out of the comfort zone relies on leadership. It starts with you. Step out of your comfort zone and describe the process to your staff as well as the reasons why. Your behavior will soon resonate. Then, be ready to identify barriers and understand what motivates the individuals in order to guide your employees’ breakthroughs.

Staying within your comfort zone is a good way to prepare for today, but it’s a terrible way to prepare for tomorrow – David Peterson, Director, Executive Coaching & Leadership at Google


4. Share information constantly

When you are growing fast, assumptions and goals change in the same pace. As a business leader, you have a clearer perspective on the bigger picture than your employees do.

Spreading the intel gets everyone on the same layer as you are and at the same time strengthens the feeling among workers that they are an important part of the organization. Nowadays, you can easily share information through several different ways:
– Standup meetings
– Daily wrap up emails
– Open Documents (Google Docs)
– Team instant messaging tools (SlackFacebook for teams )
– Project management tools (TrelloAsana )

5. Create an environment focused on the top performers

All the efforts you put into improving your team working conditions should always be focused in satisfying the top performing employees.

Eitan Sharir
 develops a thorough analysis on the impact a team build upon an high-performance culture may generate.
Your mission is to understand the best way to motivate your most talented employees in order to improve their production rate. Get to know what are the roadblocks they’re hitting and make sure you clear them so that they have no barriers to get the most important work done.


6. Use a simple employee recognition

Most recent studies indicate that employees feel recognition more fulfilling than any money rewards or gifts. Even though almost everyone already get this point, managers struggle to deliver constant recognition and feedback when there’s no system implemented that eases the process.

Tap my Back
 tackles most of these challenges. It is a tool designed to facilitate flat recognition in a fun and intuitive way. Either for remote or local teams, recognition is public and feedback private. On top of it, team leaders have access to analytics on the taps given so that they can extract insights that make them better managers.

7. Fire underperformers

Even though it may seem a paradox in terms of team motivation, firing underperformers actually works well on motivating your best employees. When other employees see these individuals getting away with underperformance, then they start to underperform. Therefore, firing—as long as you explain to your team why people were fired—can actually motivate employees to improve daily.

8. Encourage Innovation and Creativity

As a manager, you must realize that the vast majority of innovations come from the people who are interacting with customers.

Fostering creativity will not only bolster employee motivation within the organization but also help in creating a more flexible working environment as it creates an openness to change.

Disruption either in terms of products, markets or processes is the common ground of every growing company

9. Invest in staff learning opportunities

People who get the chance to grow their skills and expertise take more pride in their jobs. So, you should motivate employees in your organization for them to gain new skills.

However, providing trainings and learning programs is not enough. You must ensure that employees are able to apply the knowledge gained. The purpose is for them to accomplish their work and further benefit their career utility.

You can do this in many ways, such as providing on-the-job training to teach your employees new skills.

10. Do not hire Clones

It often happens that new employees dress, sound and think the same way as the one who recruited them.
The last thing any entrepreneur should try is to recruit a bunch of”mini-me’s”. Rather try surrounding yourself with experts who excel in different areas and bring unique perspectives. It will create a much more exciting environment for everyone on your company.


Try yourself  Tap My Back’s 7 day free trial!


Feedforward – How to integrate it with feedback?

Moments of evaluation are moments of reflection, feedback sharing, and alignment of expectations. These expectations can be of performance, evolution, and rewards. Self-knowledge is the first step in the process of development and self-development. How can feedforward and feedback help with this?

Firstly, we need to be aware of the consequences of good and bad feedback.


Bad Feedback

Bad feedback creates a defensive and confrontational attitude because it is focused on guilt. Furthermore, it does not promote the development of competence and decreases confidence and self-esteem. It also leaves the interpretation to the other, consequently leading the person to feel judged.


Good Feedback

Creates trust and cooperation, because it is focused on possible improvements or achievements. Promotes the development of competence and increases confidence and potential. Moreover, it clarifies exactly “where I am” and “where I am going”. Lastly, it leads the person to feel “helped”.

A great way to achieve this is by integrating feedback with feedforward…


The concept of feedforward was created in 1976 by Peter W. Dowrick in his doctoral thesis. Feedforward, according to cognitive-behavioral theories, is a method of teaching and learning that illustrates or indicates a future behavior or path desired for a goal. It values the strengths and potentialities and strengthens what you can become better at. Unlike feedback, it encourages people to think about how to direct the future.
Moreover, it focuses on opportunities and solutions, and not on weak points. When the focus is the past it becomes very negative. Feedforward is part of the result of the performance and reorientation. Often when giving feedback to a colleague or team member we focus only on negative points… is limited to analyzing. As Andrea Fontes said, the focus should be on the present and the future – What must I change, optimize, or improve?
Build on the potential, strengthen where to become better, and encourage people to think about how to direct the future. Ask yourself, what do I do well? We will hardly be excellent at the negatives. We can and should improve them, but do not focus on just that.
Most importantly, feedforward values strengths and people’s potential. Besides that, it encourages people to think about how to control their future. It concentrates efforts on opportunities and solutions, not weaknesses.
People do not view feedforward as personally as feedback and tend to listen more closely to it. Feedback can reinforce personal stereotypes and negative self-fulfilling prophecies. Feedforward tends to be much faster and more efficient than feedback.

Therefore, feedback should focus on the potential for development, by being integrated with feedforward!

How to respond to receiving feedback

Take an active role because it is YOUR evaluation. Do not assume a defensive role – ask questions, ask for examples. Reformulate, translate until both have the same perception. Ask for guidance on how to reach the goals.

How to give feedback

Have the objective of developing and strengthening confidence always present. Ask questions – listen – do not debit. Feedback must be consistent – schedule periodic status.

Ask for feedback. This article can help you on this matter as it perfectly shows how to ask for feedback at work. The link between feedback and feedforward is essential for development. Coaching works with the same feedforward concepts, aiming at the focus on development through mechanisms of self-regulation and consequently the attainment objectives.

Tap My Back not only helps you understand how to give and ask for feedback, as it provides you with the right tools to achieve a continuous feedback culture.

Feedforward coaching

How to improve feedback within your company

Maybe you have already ended up thinking that something is missing on your feedback processes at your company, or from another hand, why do your employees claim about the feedback they receive. Have you thought that probably your company members are not actually taking advantage of the feedback they receive? Would you like to improve feedback processes? I’m here to help ?

Think about a feedback moment at your company. Normally you raise a set of events that were not very positive and talk about them true? You try to understand the reasons why that specific thing failed. In this process, you usually don’t mention any positive event the person did or praise him/her.

The goal here is to understand how you can give continuous feedback on daily basis and also how you can give it in a more future-oriented perspective.

Here comes the feedforward concept.

Feedforward is a simple way of giving feedback to employees, but instead, on focusing on past events, it focuses on the future goals and in each person strengths. With feedforward, you look to the future as the starting point.

Looking to a real-life example:

You’re going to give feedback to John about his presentation yesterday. You have two options:

1- Point out what was wrong with the presentation and focus on the negative aspects –> Feedback. 

2- Tell him what he did the key strengths of the presentation and focus on what he can add in future presentations –> Feedforward.

With this example, you understand that with feedforward you point the future goals and developments. In contrast with feedback, you point negative aspects which already happened and that you can’t do anything different about them.

If you’re reading this article it’s also important for you to keep in your mind that people accept much better positive and future-oriented feedback, than negative and past-oriented one. Employees don’t want to feel judged when they fail, they want their leaders to help them so they have the confidence to improve.

In an empirical approach, it was made a study, which in a universe of 22.663 observations, 1/3 of them show a decline in performance a month after the feedback session. Individuals were worse when having feedback than not having feedback at all.

Feedforward increases motivation to reach the desired goals and for self-improvement – Kevin Kruse in Forbes.

Individuals motivate themselves through a positive light.  As an HR manager or director, you need to care about your employees satisfaction.

Feedforward is a supplement technique for the feedback processes and not a substitute! To know more about feedforward click HERE.

With Tap My Back you can guarantee a continuous feedback culture, that at the end of the day it will enable managers and leaders to have more motivated employees and more tools for the coaching processes. To read more about continuous feedback importance click HERE.

personal growth

Drive Personal Growth through Engagement

Employee engagement doesn’t mean employee happiness or satisfaction. That is not enough. Tap My Back is an employee feedback app that enables a continuous feedback culture by supporting personal growth.

An engaged employee is both happy and satisfied but one also has an emotional commitment to the organization, its goals, and values. The best way to increase loyalty and retention in your company is to give your employees the ability to grow with you and vice-versa.

Statistics say only 30% of employees are engaged and even worse, that 26% are actively disengaged from their company culture. Those numbers cost around $350 billion a year to U.S. companies. As a recent study by Towers Watson points out, companies with high levels of engagement increase their income by 18%. On the other hand, low levels of engagement can mean a 33% decline in productivity.

So, how can companies engage employees to retain top talent and have a great company culture? Money is not the answer as only 29% of employees at companies with money based rewards feel recognized. Money lacks the trophy value that gives status among peers and it is already part of the day to day motivation, it’s the reason we all work. So cash is not an extra incentive to give employees the extra boost to their morale.

Peer-to-peer recognition and continuous feedback are some of the most valuable forms of motivation as it provides the feeling of wanting to keep improving and succeeding as a team. This leads to better employee engagement which reflects directly on the happiness level of employees and boosts the company’s performance and productivity.

Make everyone engaged by using Feedback Hub

It is exactly for that reason that Tap My Back has developed a new way of looking at feedback. It is no longer just important to give, but also to ask for feedback proactively. And what a better way to do that than to have it all in one place? With Feedback Hub, you are able to ask and give feedback based on specific skills. These skills are defined by managers so that each employee can improve on the goals that truly matter to them.

Achieve personal growth with Tap My Back’s new user Profile

However, because tracking your own performance is as important, Tap My Back also improved its personal user profile! Now, everyone is able to keep track of their personal information and find growth opportunities as a person and a professional. Personal growth not only gives you motivation, but also a sense of purpose and the desire to achieve mastery.

Nevertheless, it is as important to track your own performance, so now everyone has access to their data on recognition, feedback, and even mood. Like so, personal growth comes from the awareness of understanding yourself better and being able to develop old skills and discover potential ones.

In the Recognition section you can see:

  • Who gives you the most taps;
  • People you haven’t given a tap for a while;
  • How many taps you gave and received during a specific period of time;
  • Data by day, week or month.

Feedback shows you:

  • The number of feedback given and received;
  • The top skills according to the feedback you receive;
  • Skills you need to work on based on feedback;
  • Your score per skill;
  • Your data by day, week or month.

And finally, Mood allows you to track:

  • Mood evaluation based on your answers;
  • The number of times you have selected each mood;
  • Your data by day, week or month.


Let’s try these out? Create your free trial account or Login in into your Tap My Back’s organization ?

how to ask for feedback

How to ask for feedback at work – 4 steps

Learn how to ask for feedback in your workplace with these 4 easy-to-follow steps. Increase your employee engagement and build up a continuous feedback culture!

Building a “continuous feedback culture” might have greater effects than you can imagine. A research conducted by Teresa Amabile and Steven Kramer showed that a sense of progress is one of the most powerful motivators in the workplace, even more than personal or economical recognition. Progress impacts performance and usually high performers offer more positive feedback to peers. Tap My Back is an employee feedback app that helps organizations building a continuous feedback culture and improving employee engagement.

As a matter of fact, high performing teams share almost six times more positive feedback than average teams! Getting useful feedback can be the fastest route to growth and improved performance. The better your team will perform, the more positive feedback it will be sharing, and the better the overall vibe and engagement within your team will be.

So, why wait for the formal annual performance review? The adult brain learns best by being caught in the moment; productive feedback requires giving it frequently. Start taking control of the feedback you can give and receive. First, by learning how to ask for feedback, and therefore building that continuous feedback culture that will improve your personal and team’s performance!

Learn more 

Here are 4 useful and easy tips on how to ask for feedback in the workplace:

Concluding, stop waiting for the final annual review to receive or give feedback to your teams! Another great way to give feedback and ask for it is by having integrating it with feedforward.

Start asking for feedback now – try Tap my Back for free!

Tap My Back
is an employee feedback app that allows employees real-time appreciation and continuous feedback from managers and peers. No day is better than today to start making your workplace a better and happier place 🙂

Learn more



Continuous Feedback vs Annual Performance Reviews

We all know that annual performance reviews are old fashioned and help in no way to provide critical feedback. The workplace has changed. The workforce has changed. Annual performance reviews remain the same. Is continuous feedback the solution?

HR leaders on performance review:

“45% of HR leaders think annual performance reviews are NOT an accurate appraisal of employee’s work.” – SHRM/Globoforce Survey, 2012

Employee comments on performance review:

36% say they rarely or never receive performance feedback (67% wished they did)
28% say they never discussed future goals and tasks with their bosses (70% wished they did)
74% feel in the dark about how managers and peers think they’re performing.
>50% reacted to an annual performance review by looking for a new job.

In fact, lack of continuous feedback and recognition is one of the main causes for lack of talent retention:

64% of employees quit their jobs because they aren’t recognized for their work. – U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics
82% of leaders said not providing appropriate feedback was the biggest problem to keep their teams together.

Annual Review


Costly – Deloitte reported that 58% of HR executives considered reviews an ineffective use of supervisors’ time. In a study by the advisory service CEB, the average manager reported spending about 210 hours — close to five weeks — doing appraisals each year.

Continuous Feedback

Culture of recognition
Feedback from managers and peers

Set better goals

Companies that set quarterly performance goals generate 31% greater returns than those that review goals annually. Those that do it monthly get even better results. Feedback from employees is essential for setting goals that have organizational buy-in and aren’t just top down.

The Continuous Feedback Big Wave

“Accenture will disband the once-a-year evaluation in 2016. It will implement a more fluid system, in which employees receive timely feedback from their managers on an ongoing basis” – In Washington Post, July 2015

Other big companies joining the wave: Adobe | Gap | General Electric | Lilly | Goldman Sachs

6% of Fortune 500 companies have gotten rid of rankings and once-a-year evaluations, according to management research firm CEB.

Join in with Tap My Back

Tap My Back is an employee feedback app that provides employee engagement with real-time recognition and continuous feedback. Like so, we allow organizations to grow and learn how to give, ask and respond to feedback.

Public recognition: give and receive badges in a public way so that the whole team can see who’s giving a positive contribution.

Peer evaluation: allow team members to evaluate their peers’ performance with a simple drag-and-drop interface and in a private way.

«People often say that motivation doesn’t last. Well, neither does bathing – that’s why we recommend it daily.» – Zig Ziglar

Create your team and try Tap My Back

How to Measure Employee Engagement and How to Use that Information?


Several studies and opinion-makers emphasize the importance of measure employee engagement from different angles. In some cases, the question in order is the negative impact on talent retention and turnover of low levels of recognition and engagement of employees. In other cases, the focus is on the costs of disengagement or the benefits of engagement to business.

Despite the consensus about the importance of employee engagement, how can we measure it? Measuring engagement does not necessarily depend on complex techniques and technologies. As shown by the biologist Jacob Von Uexkull, any living creature, humans included, is gifted with a system of interpretation and a set of sensors perfectly fitted to interact and give meaning to the surrounding world. By observing our co-workers postures and gestures, or by paying attention to their words or tone of voice, we are able to sense their motivation or their satisfaction levels.

Yet, it is impossible to pay attention to all co-workers all the time, especially those working somewhere else. In addition, modern techniques and technologies may improve the precision of the analysis and help discover new explanations for many questions. The purpose of this article is to show how to measure engagement with digital tools and its utility. Our intent is not to establish a standard of engagement metrics, but to illustrate our experience at COmon, a marketing agency, an experience possibly useful to other organizational contexts.

Our need to measure engagement popped up when we were trying to solve an internal problem. Some years ago, we were growing fast and our workplace culture was paying the price. We were too focused on delivering, and our levels of engagement were not the same as before. After some research and based on the advice of human resources specialists, we discovered that we needed to improve peer-to-peer recognition. As a company in the digital business, we decided to develop an application with social networking and gamification features to praise and evaluate colleagues in real time. Additionally, we wanted something simple, quick, effective, accurate and fun. Following these guidelines, some of the traditional practices to enhance and evaluate engagement (e.g. surveys or polls, or annual performance reviews) were out of the question. In alternative, we developed an integrated system that combined real-time recognition with engagement metrics. Tap My Back allows colleagues to give badges (taps) to one another and endorsing those badges (re-taps) according to their performance or attitude. This activity shows on a public news feed visible to everyone.


We defined two main indicators to measure collective and individual engagement: a quantitative, i.e. an intensity indicator, and a qualitative indicator. The analysis is completed by crossing both indicators and adding the time variable.

Intensity refers to the level of interaction on the application. The more badges (taps and re-taps) given and received, that is, the more the expressions of appraisal, the greater the workplace cohesion should be. We can observe intensity over time and interpret it according to the respective context. For instance, we noticed that breaks in interaction were associated to the pressure of tight deadlines, not necessarily to lack of engagement. After accomplishing the deadlines, the numbers of appraisal went back to normal.

Badges define the quality of interaction. Each type of badge represents a type of recognition (i.e. value or behavior) given and received by co-workers. By crossing this information with the number of taps, we are able to relate the frequency of a certain value or behavior (e.g. knowledge share, fast and furious, a job is well done, creative thinker) to a person, a team, a department or the whole company.

This analysis allows team leaders or managers to know the better individual and collective strengths and weaknesses. This represents an opportunity to improve this or that skill through training, incentives or a simple conversation. At the same time, we can measure what people value the most (i.e. the kind of behavior that co-workers reward the most). Better knowledge on teams and individuals’ values allows getting the best out them. Crossing both indicators is also useful to understand the circles of influence. In other words, individuals who receive more taps in this or that domain (i.e. different badges) are the ones who inspire the most who expresses appraisal. For us, this information is interesting but requires no particular action.

In addition, each individual receives a weekly report regarding his or her «performance». By being aware of his strengths or weaknesses, individuals can be more proactive in adapting to the requirements of their professional context. The time variable allows seeing individual and collective evolution in each domain. Finally, these metrics can be compared to the course of business.

So far, the results have been encouraging. We were able to increase the levels of engagement by measuring it and by acting on what needed to be improved.

Bottom line, being sensitive to engagement is a good starting point to change a workplace for the better. However, it is much easier to do it if you are equipped with the right tools.


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How to increase employee engagement

Employee engagement is driven by intrinsic motivation. Certainly, money is a motivator and if your employees are not being paid enough they won’t be encouraged to work. However, once money isn’t a problem, employees will need other kinds of motivation.

According to Daniel Pink, extrinsic motivators that promote a reward and punishment approach only work for tasks with a simple set of tools, a narrow focus, and a clear objective. Rewards by their nature narrow our focus and concentrate the mind. So in fact, rewards are not a good approach to reach engagement in the long term.

A social experiment done with students showed that with mechanical skills, rewards worked as expected – the higher the pay, the better the performance. In contrast, with rudimentary cognitive skills, a large bonus led to poorer or even worse performance.

Tasks that involve creativity, motor skills and concentration require intrinsic motivation, which is the desire to do things because they matter, or feel somehow important to us.

As stated by Daniel Pink, intrinsic motivation has three elements that work as drivers to engagement: Autonomy, Mastery and Purpose.

Achieve engagement: Autonomy, Mastery and Purpose

These are the elements that will help you understand how to achieve engagement within your organization – and Tap My Back can support you in conquering this.

1. What does autonomy mean?

Autonomy is the urge to conduct our own lives. If managers want to create engagement, self-direction is the way to go.

There are four main aspects of autonomy: time, technique, team and task. When employees have control over their time and tasks, for example, it allows them to explore creative ideas and innovative solutions.

Furthermore, being flexible with working practices and having great relationships with teammates also helps with autonomy.

Likewise, Tracey Maylett agrees that autonomy without trust is impossible. Ultimately, employees who make more decisions are more content and devoted to their jobs. This helps to improve retention.

2. How is mastery a motivational element?

Mastery is the desire to continually improve at something that matters. This is actually what Pink considers to be the biggest motivator at work: making progress!

Many social scientists argue that managers should arrange tasks that push employees out of their comfort zone. They should be neither too simple or overly exigent. When someone is motivated by mastery they will likely see their potential as being unlimited, constantly seeking to improve their skills.

3. In what way does purpose contribute to engagement?

At last, the final element that contributes to work engagement is purpose, one of the most powerful. Pink describes purpose as the desire to do things in service of something larger than ourselves. People intrinsically want to do things that matter, to contribute.

In that sense, feeling that you can make a difference is more important than profit maximization.

According to Forbes, employees that have purpose at work are more likely to grow within the organization, to recommend the company, to stay longer, and to have strong relationships with their peers.

Tap My Back and employee engagement

      1. Autonomy

A key factor for autonomy is trust. With Tap My Back, you can create trusting relationships between employees by establishing a real-time feedback and recognition culture. Consequently, trustworthy relations enables accountability and work autonomy.

       2. Mastery

Personal achievement is highly valued by employees since it contributes to their inner drive. Having real-time feedback from managers and colleagues can trigger this because it accelerates personal growth. This is a plus when working with Tap My Back as it provides personal analytics that helps tracking new personal development opportunities.

        3. Purpose

By having the company’s values, mission and goals connected with employees, managers are able to add purpose to their lives and workday. Employees need to know and understand these and appreciate how their work fits into what the organization is about. Tap My Back allows organizations to reinforce their values and make employees feel more impactful through continuous feedback and recognition.


By improving employee engagement you are also able to increase retention in your organization!


Boost employee engagement today by setting a free trial with Tap My Back ?