Providing Feedback to Employees Can Improve an Employee’s Performance

Working without a clear understanding of progress and achievements can be difficult for any employee. In order to perform according to expectations, an employee must understand how their efforts are perceived and rated. That is why providing feedback to employees is extremely important for an employee, management and the company at large.

The management team of any organization wants and expects the best output from their employees. However, you can only give your best efforts when you fully comprehend the levels that you are performing at. Receiving feedback from employees can be as important as allowing them to provide feedback.

Companies often solicit anonymous employee feedback through a variety of sources, including from supervisors, peers, managers, measurement systems, customers etc. Regardless of how this information is gained, it is important to receive it and utilize it to improve your organization.

Elements of Feedback

The elements of employee feedback that are essential to improving your organization include specificity, frequency and privacy. Having these elements in an objective, substantial and meaningful employee feedback system will allow your organization to immediately learn about its employees and their work ethic.

An employee feedback system should be formulated in such a way that the employees can provide and receive specific feedback in a structured and timely manner. Details should be specific to the degree that an employee can make actionable changes to improve their performance. What changes can the employee make? Who can help them make these changes? How can improvement be quantified or qualified? An adequate system will properly address these questions in a way that employees understand and appreciate.

The second important element of an effective feedback system is frequency. Employee feedback should be received continuously, so employees can continually improve themselves. The sooner they can get information on their performance, the faster they can improve their performance. If the time for achieving a particular goal is exceeded, the necessity of improving performance will be ended.

Privacy is another critical component of a employee feedback system. Employees and managers should be able to submit and receive any degree of feedback without fear of being reprimanded. If a system is designed to be anonymous, every facet of it should be anonymous. There should be no method for detecting the source or origin of feedback when the designed is designed to be anonymous.

Interested in learning more about how employee feedback solutions can benefit your organization? Call and speak with an human relations specialist at (954)667-9675 today!


The State of Employee Engagement in 2012 [Infographic]

The importance of employee engagement cannot be understated. Regardless of an organization’s size or culture, finding the proper workflows to facilitate such engagement is a critical step in the long-term success of your company. What systems and tools do you currently use for employee engagement?

The following infographic visually exemplifies the current state of employee engagement in 2012. Thanks to all of the great folks who put this together. Input Ladder is grateful to have been featured.

The State of Employee Engagement in 2012


[To request a copy of this infographic, send an email to] 


Are Customers {Still} Always Right?

The old adage in customer services has always been that “the customer is always right.” Does this still hold true? It is clearly evident that customers contribute to the lifeblood of all businesses, via revenue. Therefore, should customers have the dominant voice  always be considered right? At Input Ladder, we advocate that the customer shouldn’t always be right, just most of the time. There are multiple reasons for this.

First, most businesses, regardless of industry, cater to the needs of a very diverse demographic. Therefore, the customer base of these businesses will have differing perceptions of your brand, experiences with your brand, as well as expectations of your brand. Your business is built on a specific mission, vision and values. These values should not be compromised at any point, for no one. If you are asking yourself how not compromising your values correlates with the customer always being right, recall some of the more extreme requests that you have received from your customers. Have you had a customer ask you to adjust your product/service to reflect something other than what it was intended for? Have you had a customer expect you to bend your rules on something “because they didn’t know?” Have you had a customer attempt to verbally abuse, manipulate or disrespect your team members or staff?

If you can answer yes to any of the previous questions, then you need to reevaluate what effect that it may have had on your message to your employees, your company’s mission/values, or if it compromised or set a negative precedent for your company. Customers don’t always understand your business. They often don’t care about your business. What they do care about is how the product/service or transaction benefits them. If you compromise you compromise your company once, it is critical to consider what effect it may have in the future. You may be saying that making small compromises to one or two customers here and there isn’t a bad thing. True, as long as this exception doesn’t become the norm.

To be clear, it should be noted that we think that customers should receive as much value as they can from your company, as long as it is not at the expense of your company. Giving a refund or freebie, customizing a product, or apologizing to an unruly customer doesn’t normally constitute bending rules or compromising. Just be sure that you are setting a great example for your employees, co-workers and or management team.

How does your organization deal with customers who demand to be right? What concessions are you willing to make or not make? We would love to hear from you. Leave a comment below.


The Secret to Building The Perfect Team

Countless young, entrepreneurial and more innovative companies are participating in a paradigm-shifting strategy. These organizations have altered their priorities from a profit-centered focus to a team-centered focus. This paradigm shift is proving to be the reason why these team-centered companies are building better teams, and consequently building better products and services.

The secret to building the perfect team starts with changing your mentality. Good companies hire the best people for open positions. Great companies hire great people and find or create positions for them. As a manager, executive or founder, it is your responsibility to recognize potential and find a way to utilize to improve your organization. This activity should not be limited to the hiring for “open” positions. Companies that are poised for substantial growth acquire all-star players and provide them with an opportunity to use their skills, talents and experiences to improve your team, company culture and bottom line.

Your role is to find personalities that can work in a cohesive and productive manner. When hiring, you must find the most qualified person to fill that position, find ways to motivate that person on an on-going basis, and replicate those efforts for every position.

The Following is a List of Do’s & Don’ts of Building the Perfect Team:

1. Don’t hire to fill a position, hire a person based on their contribution potential for the company.

2. Do provide unique incentives for your team members that aren’t offered by your competitors.

3. Do Encourage all team members to be productive and focused, yet light-hearted and social.

4. Don’t refer to your team members as “employees,” refer to them as “team members” (every person matters).

5. Don’t be afraid to create a fun, lively and unique workplace


Case Study of “The Best Company To Work For”

Input Ladder has become a big fan of the reputable interactive marketing agency BGT Partners. This agency has been featured on countless lists of the “Best Companies to Work For.” After reading articles about the company’s internal successes, including the recently published Advertising Age Magazine article, we decided to delve deeper to find out what makes it the best place to work for. In doing so, we hope to learn how to make our company better while providing you with insights to make your company better. With that being said, let’s get started.

BGT Partners is a 150-employee company that provides interactive marketing services for clients in a variety of industries. Some of these services include web design and development, online marketing and consulting, search engine management and optimization, along with many others. Of the company’s 150 employees, 25 different countries are represented through a diverse and multilingual staff. The company is divided into 4 offices across the country, including a Miami, New York, Chicago and Los Angeles. Despite having geographical and cultural differences, the company manages to maintain a cohesive company mission and values. Because of these things, BGT maintains a nearly 100% retention rate.

Here is a list of 5 Initiatives that make BGT Partners unique and special:

1. Using social media for social good. While engaging with customers and employees through social media, BGT aims for social good. For every “Like” it receives to its Facebook page, the agency donates $1 to Susan G Komen for the Cure. This enables employees to contribute and promote great causes through convenient and familiar channels.

2. Art Expo Friday. Instead of the traditional “Casual Friday,” BGT offers a day where free lunch is provided and featured bands or a venue where employees can display their talents by performing in a concert-like platform.

3. Benefits & more benefits. BGT offers 100% health insurance, tuition reimbursements and life insurance. Did we also mention that the agency has given bonuses and raises every year since 1996? Enough said.

4. Open door always. Regardless of your problem or your position, you have direct access to all staff members. Whether it is the Managing Partner or VP of Client Services, you can speak to whomever to resolve your problems. Having your boss listen to your concerns and know your name is great, and unfortunately unique in some cases.

5. Room for growth. BGT Partners works hard to ensure that each employee is satisfied with their successes and are being utilized to their fullest potential. No glass ceiling. No unrealistic goals. Each employee can attain the success they strive for.

Beyond the 5 previously listed initiatives, there are countless more intangible things that BGT Partners does that foster a positive and happy employee base. A lot of the positive remarks of the company appears to arrive from the openness and friendly company culture. Experience levels range from the individuals directly out of school to industry experts, yet you would never be able to tell based on how all the employees interact amongst each other.

In hope of not sounding too fixated on BGT’s culture, we should look at the takeaways of this case study. Defining a company culture and sticking too it is more than critical. Having ideas and opinions from a diverse employee-base is necessary. Offering things that makes employees’ lives happier and easier is required. Allowing each employee to achieve all that they can achieve is quintessential. And finally, being unique and unlike any other company, including BGT Partners, is the most important thing.

Does your company have what it takes to be the “Best Company to Work For?” How would your company culture rate against your competitors? Are your employees really happy? At Input Ladder, we are striving to be the best company for our employees and customers.

For more information about the Advertising Age article, click here. For other BGT awards and company information, check out the agency’s website at

If you have another example of a great company to work for that exemplifies a unique and positive company culture, let us know by leaving a comment below.


Discussing Politics In The Workplace: Bad Idea

November is right around the corner. It is an election year and there are midterm congressional and gubernatorial seats up for grabs. Because of the 24-hour news cycle and prominence of social media, we are all bombarded by political news in our everyday life. How can you prevent political ideologies from dominating the discussion within your office?

First, let’s begin by discussing why politics in the workplace can be a negative thing. The primary reason why companies and organizations should refrain from discussing politics in the office is because politics is like religion, people are extremely passionate of their ideas and often get offended or defensive when opposing ideas are advocated. This can lead to a tremendous distraction in terms of work productivity. When people get distracted by tumultuous conversations about politics, it is likely to consume their time and therefore remove them from their daily duties within the company. A second major reason as to why political conversations in the workplace should be avoided is because a majority view on any political issue can be translated or perceived as the company’s stance on a particular issue. This can be a very dangerous thing. Just as employees may be passionate about their politics, customers are too. If a perception becomes dominant that a particular company has its political leanings in a specific direction, there can be an affect as to your bottom line.

With the rationale being understood as to why political discussion in the workplace is a bad thing, let’s discuss various ways that these conversations can be prevented. Typically, concepts like these are best served through top-down policies within a company. The stage should be set by the management team that politics have no place in the workplace. Whether it is through explicitly stating this to all employees, or finding more creative and funny methods of explaining this point, it needs to be done. Another way to ensure that political discussions don’t arise is to limit external exposure to political news such as relevant websites like CNN, Fox, or through political news television. Reinforcing management’s opinion against political discussions is critical and can be best accomplished by stopping it from the first time it occurs.

Political participation is critical for the development and growth of our country, and therefore we advocate that every American get involved and learn about the issues. However, doing so during work hours is not the best way to do so. It distracts you from accomplishing your daily duties at your company, and it also sparks debates and can end up providing the perception of political leanings of your company. Both of these things should be avoided at all cost.

Does your company or organization have any issues with talking politics too often in the office? If so, what do you do about it or how do you feel about it? How much of an issue has it become within your company? We would love to hear from you. Leave us a comment below to keep the conversation going.


10 Ways to Use Football to Improve Employee & Customer Satisfaction

Some of your employees and customers probably have a bigger smile on their face on Monday mornings. It may be due to the fact that their Saturday and Sunday was packed with football and their Monday night will be too. Yes, football season has begun. Why should you care? This is an opportunity to use the social excitement of college and professional football to benefit your company. Here are 10 ways to use the football season to improve employee and customer satisfaction:

For Employees

1.       Create a company-sponsored Sunday (or Saturday for college football) lunch at a sports bar to view the game of your local football team.

2.       Create a fantasy football league that promotes fun competition among employees.

3.       Structure a competition among sales people using a football schedule that creates a weekly head-to-head contest for your sales team to compete against each other to increase sales. (Tip: a great prize would be a pair of free football tickets or something similar.)

4.       Offer creative prizes to employees based on the local football team’s performance (Example: if the football team goes undefeated, everyone gets 2 extra vacation days)

5.       Change “Casual Friday” to be “Favorite Football Team Day” for one week, in which employees can wear jerseys of their favorite team.

For Customers

1.       Offer a discount to customers who purchase a product/service who have a ticket stub from the game of your local football team.

2.       Offer a unique promotion that is dependent on the team’s score. (Example: if the team scores 5 touchdowns, every customer gets something free for 1 day)

3.       Add creative messages to your websites that promote the success of your local football team.

4.       Distribute free football-related items that feature your company’s logo

5.       Create a “Biggest Fan” contest to get your company engaged with the passionate sports fans of your area. (Tip: give away free product/service to the winner)

If you end up implementing one of these motivational events, please let us know how it went. Maybe you have advice on how to do something better or you may have new ideas. Either way, we would love to hear from you. Please leave a comment below.


10 Phrases Your Boss Never Wants To Hear

Regardless of the relationship you may think you have with your boss, maintaining a sense of professionalism at all times is always necessary. Knowing what you can and cannot say is critical for your success. Just because you and your boss have a great relationship doesn’t mean that you can say what you feel. Take caution when you are discussing things of serious matters. The following is a list of 10 phrases that your boss never wants to hear. In the instance that you have to express the following ideas, we have also listed a better way of saying it:

1. “This is not in my job description.”

Occasionally your boss may ask you to do duties that aren’t specifically listed in your job description. This could be because your team is temporarily short-staffed or simply because he/she needs it done immediately.  Either way, the task needs to be done and your boss needs you. By using the fact that the task isn’t in your job description as an excuse, your boss will view you as not acting like a team player.

Better way of saying it: “Because I lack expertise in this area, I don’t know if I would be the most effective person.”

2. “I don’t have time for this, get someone else to do it.”

Passing on work is never a good idea. Even if your workload is heavy, refusing to complete a duty that was tasked to you can demonstrate to your boss that you cannot manage your time well or you are not a proficient worker, hence allowing your boss to question your productivity.

Better way of saying it: “I apologize for being backed up on my work. Is it possible to have someone else do it on my behalf?”

3. “I didn’t know I couldn’t do that.”

Overstepping your authority is dangerous territory. Not only does this demonstrate bad judgment, it also displays a lack of understanding towards your limitations, authority and responsibility. Your boss will likely interpret this action as a sign that you need to be watched more closely.

Better way of saying it: “I apologize for overstepping my boundaries, but I can assure you that it won’t happen again.”

4. “I think I am overqualified for this.”

Your experience or resume may demonstrate the fact that you can handle important projects, great responsibilities and big decisions. However, until your job title matches this, you are still responsible for the duties that are tasked to you. Your boss doesn’t want to hear how amazing you think you are, he/she wants to hear that you will get the work done, regardless of how petty or elementary it is.

Better way of saying it: “I don’t think that my time would be best utilized doing this, do you agree?”

5. “I assumed the company would pay for it.”

Having the company card is a big responsibility. Clearly, it should only be used for products/services that are approved by the company before the purchase is made. Furthermore, making a purchase with your own funds and assuming the company will reimburse you is a bad assumption as well. Your boss will not only question your judgment but he/she will also question how much responsibility you can handle and whether or not you can be trusted.

Better way of saying it: “I accidentally charged this to the company, but I will repay it immediately and I am extremely sorry.”

6. “I was just joking with her, I thought she knew that.”

Sexual harassment is never a joking matter. In no instance should you ever say, do or express any ideas, statements or actions that another colleague can misinterpret as sexual harassment. Not only can you be fired, but you can also face legal judgments against you. Your boss will have no tolerance for this.

Better way of saying it: (none)

7. “I don’t get paid enough to do this.”

Sometimes we have to step up and do things that require more effort than we are used to. If your boss asks you to do something, it is often better to just do it rather than turning it into an argument. Using your salary as a reference for what you should and shouldn’t do is not something your boss wants to hear.

Better way of saying it: “I don’t mind doing this, but I do think that I should receive additional compensation if I have to do this in the future.”

8. “The last manager didn’t make us do things like this.”

Comparing the way that your company “used to do things” and the way that your boss now wants to do them can be a touchy subject. Avoid it altogether. If your boss wanted to do things the way that your company did before, he/she would ask advice from those who would know. If he/she doesn’t ask, it is because they don’t want to know. By making a statement about the way that they used to do things, you are somewhat doubting or questioning the new strategy, which bosses don’t appreciate.

Better way of saying it: “We didn’t do this in the past, but I see why you are going with this approach.”

9. “If I were in charge, I would do things differently.”

Your opinion of the best way to do things may deviate from what your boss thinks. You should not consider mentioning this because you are not in charge. It goes towards the saying, “If I wanted your opinion, I would ask.” Your boss most likely doesn’t want to know how you would do things, and if he/she does want to know, they will ask. You must accept the fact that you are not the boss yet and the decision is not yours yet.

Better way of saying it: “I have a different idea of how we could do some things, would you be interested in hearing them?”

10. “I didn’t think you would find out.”

Trying to get away with something that you were not supposed to do is not a good thing. Admitting that you were hiding it is an even worse idea. This will lead your boss to question their ability to trust you and could put your job in jeopardy. Be more cautious in making decisions and avoid doing anything that endangers your job security.

Better way of saying it: (none)

We know that every boss is different and sets a different standard of professionalism and expectation. Finding this standard is key to success. Be conscious of what you are discussing, how you are saying it and what you really mean. One bad word or phrase can damage the way your boss views you and can affect your job status. Be careful and cognitive of how you are communicating with your boss, as well as all other colleagues in your workplace.


Find Ways To Motivate on Mondays

End-of-the-week initiatives like Casual Fridays are designed to excite and often inspire employees to enjoy the company culture. Some companies maintain a “jeans acceptable” policy for Friday while other companies may offer catered lunches or in-house lunch parties. While all these things can really excite employees, we conceive an alternative approach to improve employee morale as well as employee productivity.

These common initiatives of celebrating Friday workdays appear to be based on the logic that the end of the week is when employees are happier because the weekend is here. Therefore the company should use that day to correlate the employees’ happiness with the company’s workplace. However, we think that this strategy is counter-intuitive to productivity. We advocate that companies should shift their focus on creating fun and exciting initiatives for the one day of the week that is often notable for being the most dreadful day for employees: Monday.

The evidence of the need for motivation on Monday can be found in almost any office. Whether it be the fact that employees come into work with a face of despair or the realization coffee is consumed like oxygen during Monday mornings, your team needs motivation. Prior to starting the daily operations, find the small things that you can do to get the staff rallied up for a more productive and efficient work week.

Friday will always be the day of happiness for your team, and you have to accept that. Thursday is simply one more day away from Friday. However, Mondays are extremely tough for people because it means that it is the start of the work week. Use this day as an opportunity to motivate people when they need it most. When your team is “having a case of the Monday’s,” get creative and find small activities or initiatives that will excite your team.


Feedback Beyond The Office

Managers perform annual (or quarterly) performance reviews to not only inform the employee of their successes and failures, but to also learn about what the company can do better, in the eyes of the employee. This feedback is essential because the the company can’t always assume that it has an accurate reading of employee morale and if it is as efficient as possible. Furthermore, this discourse should not be limited to organizations and employees. It should be extended to communities and its residents, because synonymously, communities can’t successfully grow without the voice of its residents.

Whether it may be at a city commissioner’s meeting, local government press conference,  the municipality’s website, or by dialing your local officials, there are countless ways in which residents can engage their community. If there is something that is occurring in your city or neighborhood that you don’t agree with, let your voice be known. If there is a better or more productive method of doing something, speak up. As a citizen of your nation, as a resident of your city and as a member of your community, you have a civic obligation to provide your opinion.

History shows that executives or elected officials don’t always make the best decision. This may be as a result of misguided motives, or simply because of a lack of information. Either way, it is your job speak up and provide your two cents. If your community does not have a venue that allows its members to easily communicate their opinion, let them know. There are a multitude of tools, programs, or initiatives that can easily be implemented to ensure that residents can express their feedback.

Don’t be passive, be a participant.