Gathering participant feedback after an engagement or workshop enables internal and external consultants to determine whether the efforts put into the engagement met stakeholder expectations. Asking strategically crafted questions provides valuable, first-hand information on what went well, what was valued, and what can be done to improve future engagements - critical information for continuous improvement. Evaluations can be conducted at the end of an engagement, or periodically throughout, to gather ongoing feedback from participants.
The process consists of 3 simple steps:
- Facilitator reviews the evaluation statements provided in the Decision Space template, and carefully selects the most suitable according to their audience and engagement type.
- Participants evaluate each statement by rating on a scale of effectiveness, and providing rationale for their ratings, in order to ignite critical thinking.
- Facilitator closes the loop with participants by sharing results, and uses the information to adjust aspects of their delivery/methods/technique as necessary.
Evaluation is a critical stage in any engagement. We can only manage what we measure, and participant evaluations provide measurable insights into the effectiveness of your engagements, and highlight attention areas for continuous improvement.
“Constructively using feedback to review your process, tools, and facilitation styles builds trust among your stakeholders (knowing that their voices were heard), and drives confidence in your approach” (Krizmanich, 2017). Feedback is provided anonymously so you receive honest and constructive information from all who participated. “Organizations actively pursuing a culture of continuous improvement create a safe space for staff and stakeholders to ask, reflect, and think” (Derrick-Mills et al., 2015).
Gathering in-the-moment feedback from your stakeholders is highly important, as participants want to share their ideas and suggestions. The faster you can gather this information, the faster you can make adjustments. The quicker you adjust, the more clearly they will see that you value and were listening to their opinions (Rampton, 2016).
Closing the loop by sharing the complete evaluation results and word-for-word comments/suggestions provides powerful transparency, and will help build a more engaged stakeholder community, and build better engagements in the future (Segar, 2013).
1) REVIEW the evaluation statements provided in the Decision Space template, and carefully select the most suitable according to your audience and engagement type. Delete the tiles that are not required. Edit and/or add additional statements to tailor to your specific engagement.
2) RATE each of the evaluation statements using the criteria below. In the comments section provide your rationale for why you rated the way you did.
3) CLOSE THE LOOP with your stakeholders by sharing the final rating results and un-hiding comments.
- Ranked results of each ‘effectiveness statement’ including a distribution graph
- Valuable insight into the effectiveness of your facilitation techniques & approach
- Suggestions on how to improve future engagements
BENEFITS & IMPACT
This exercise will enable:
Quality- Integrating useful suggestions and making appropriate changes to your approach, enables continuous improvement - deliver the best version of your work every time.
Efficiency- Gain valuable feedback from your stakeholders on how to make the best use of their time during engagements.
Engagement- Gather the insights of your stakeholders, allowing reflection and deep understanding of what they value most. Integrating suggestions builds stakeholder trust in the process knowing their voices were heard and making them more likely to participant in future engagements.
Agility- Evaluation results enable focus on improving the right things that are important to stakeholders.
Rampton, J. (2016). In-the-Moment Feedback: Better Than That Yearly Survey. Qualtrics. https://www.qualtrics.com/blog/in-the-moment-feedback/
Segar, A. (2013). 4 Important Truths about Conference Evaluations. Conferences That Work. http://www.conferencesthatwork.com/index.php/event-design/2013/09/four-important-truths-about-conference-evaluations/
Derrick-Mills, T. et al. (2015). A Resource for Head Start Programs: Moving Beyond a Culture of Compliance to a Culture of Continuous Improvement. Urban Institute. http://www.urban.org/research/publication/resource-guide-head-start-programs/view/full_report
Krizmanich, D. (2016). Powernoodle Inc.