In the last few years, we’ve seen an increase in staff wanting to provide feedback. At the same time, we’ve heard from camps that this feedback can be frustrating — coming potentially at the wrong time, in the wrong place or with the wrong intent. That frustration can cloud what staff members are actually saying. Creating strong systems and procedures for getting staff feedback is one of the most important things you can do for your camps, classes or programs. Here are three ways staff feedback makes your organization a better place — with a few ideas for how to collect it.
1. Staff Feedback Leads to Better Staff
According to The Heard and the Heard-Nots report by The Workforce Institute at UKG and Workplace Intelligence, employees feeling heard leads to better performance for individuals and for overall organizations. The report shows that 74% of employees believe they are more effective when they feel heard and that companies whose employees feel heard perform better financially.
To help staff members perform at their highest level and give participants the best experience they can have, we have to make soliciting and really listening to staff feedback a staple of our programs.
2. Staff Feedback Leads to Staff Retention
In 2022, we saw a significant trend among camps: Finding staff proved more difficult than ever before. Barely having enough staff to open has made it incredibly important to retain the individuals you do find, and staff feedback can be a retention tool. Employees feeling a sense of ownership helps them want to stay and do great things. Sitting down with staff members to hear their ideas and implementing what you can leads to those individuals feeling ownership and makes them want to stay.
3. Staff Feedback Increases Efficiency and Fun
It’s easy to write some staff ideas off — we work for 12 months a year, then individuals come in for a few weeks and try to tell us how to run it? But when we set aside those feelings and look at where staff feedback really comes from, we realize that our staff members are the ones living the day-to-day we’ve created. We come up with ideas, and they experience the ups and downs that come along with those ideas. That experience gives them a great position to tell us what isn’t going smoothly and what the campers aren’t liking as much as we predicted. When we listen to what our employees are saying, we can identify areas to improve efficiency and fun.
Ideas for Getting Feedback
Train on feedback before the season starts, including how individual leaders best receive feedback, the appropriate times for feedback, why feedback is important and any related information you can think of. Have staff practice giving feedback. This is a great training to consider bringing in an outside trainer for, so you and your leadership team can participate alongside your staff.
Build genuine relationships with staff and pick their brains when you have time and capacity.
Carve out time in staff meetings or other settings to receive feedback.
Give specific examples of feedback you receive and results.
Consider a feedback form that staff can quickly fill out and that you can follow up on.
Train leadership staff (including yourself!) on how to receive feedback. Again, an outside trainer may be a great option for this. You can do a virtual leadership team training prior to arriving or before a new season begins so leaders can begin working on skills before the camp, class or program begins.
When we take the time to teach staff how we best receive feedback (including what it sounds like, what it looks like, what it feels like and the proper channels) and take the time to listen to them throughout the season, we make the organization a better place.
ACTIVE Network Is Here to Help
At ACTIVE, we help camps, classes and programs across the country stay top of mind among their audiences and grow year after year with seamless, easy-to-use program management software. Once we learn a bit more about your program, we can connect you with a software specialist to find the perfect technology for your unique needs. Whether you need day camp registration software to cut down on processing time or a more focused solution to generate revenue, our experts are here for you.
Get started today to take your program to the next level — this year and beyond!