Importance of a learning feedback loop in training

Importance of a learning feedback loop in training

06 Jul 2022

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Feedback is one of the most effective teaching and learning strategies and has an immediate impact on training progress. This article provides a simple overview of the importance of a learning feedback loop in business, including the differences between positive and negative feedback, and steps to implementing an effective feedback loop.

Purpose of a learning feedback loop – how does it work?

Feedback loops are important in business as they serve as a way to increase productivity in employee performance or a process. It is especially important in business as the feedback that is relayed by customer’s gives chance for improvements to be made to products and processes if necessary. You can have either positive or negative feedback loops, depending on what type of feedback is received.

There are three main steps involved when you are going to implement the feedback loop. You need to gather feedback from customers or employees, analyse the feedback to see the results and act upon the results to close the loop.

Why are feedback loops important in business?

Feedback loops come with a lot of benefits, not only for employees, but for the business itself. They influence employee behaviours and help take action on certain aspects of the business that may not have been heavily considered before.

 Benefits of feedback loops in business:

  • They help build customer engagement and have more of an insight into the products and services that are provided by a business.
  • You can build long term relationships with customer which will gain their trust and loyalty.
  • Feedback loops more likely allow you to retain existing customers, which is better than finding new ones.
  • Complaints will be reduced if customers know their feedback is being taking on board by the company.
  • Feedback loops are useful for customers to allow them to speak about what’s good with the product/service and what is not so good and needs to be worked on.
  • Depending on the experience and service received by a customer, it will influence their decision on whether they will return to the same business for future purchases or not.

Difference between positive and negative feedback loop

Feedback loops are equivalent, regardless of if they are positive or negative as the system should primarily achieve the same result. The feedback loop system should adapt information they have to produce a more positive outcome and fewer negative outcomes in the future.

Positive Feedback Loop

Positive feedback loop is when a company takes on board employee complaints or grievances, and use the feedback to improve satisfaction within the workplace. As workplace satisfaction increases, it can also increase a company profits. A positive feedback loop can be either gathered formally or informally, but the results should be handled in a similar manner as the primary goal is to benefit employees at the company.

Feedback Loop Examples:

Microsoft is a company which used positive feedback loops. Although the company is a well-known company, the working environment had not always been great. The company consisted of many people competing against each other, rather than competing against the other businesses. This lead to employees not feeling inspired to contribute to the company as they believed the greater competition was with colleagues and how to become better than them. The CEO gathered information from the employees, asking them to focus on the organisations goals and targets. This resulted in employees realising that working together rather than against each other helps them achieve more as a business.

Positive and negative feedback loops

Negative Feedback Loop

A negative feedback loop is where a company listens to customer’s complaints or any feedback they may have, then they use this information to improve their products or services for the customers. The negative feedback loop can benefit not just the business, but customers too. If customer’s feedback is being taken on board, they will likely feel more valued and respected by the business and are more likely to continue going back to the same business.

Examples:

  • Updating a product based on customer reviews
  • Providing more service options if customers are not satisfied
  • Updating customer service policies due to a customer survey 

Amazon.com is a large business that uses feedback loops. Their online business changed to include interaction between themselves and customers. This allowed customers to provide feedback when necessary which then went through the process of understanding what the customer needs and desires, making an improvement to the customer experience and then closing the feedback loop. 

Steps to Implement an Effective Feedback Loop

There are important stages when gathering information from a feedback loop. First you must gather the relevant information, then you must learn and analyse the information and then apply what you have learnt from the feedback.

Gather - The first way to gain feedback is to either put out feedback surveys online, or it can either be customers providing feedback themselves. You can gather the information on a survey, an email, social media etc. Through these methods it allows the company to ask questions that are important for the growth of the company.

Learn and Analyse - Once the feedback has been obtained it is then able to be sorted out to see how customers think about the business and products that are sold. It is important to see if the feedback provided is a one-time or an ongoing incident (positive or negative) and the causes behind it. You then need to figure out how to respond to the information that has been provided. If it is an on-going incident, how will the business respond to this to the customer and how will they be able to either repeat the positive experience or avoid repeating a negative one.

Apply the conclusions - Being able to respond to the feedback and closing the loop is very important. In order to close the loop, the right actions should be taken to ensure the customers query has been covered. If customer issues are reviewed regularly, this gives a better insight for the business to see where they can improve, enhancing customer experience. To close the feedback loop, customers and employees should be made aware of the actions that have been taken or will be taken as a result of the feedback.

Established in 1996, The CPD Certification Service is the largest and leading independent Continuing Professional Development accreditation organisation working across all industry sectors. 

We hope this article was helpful. If you are looking to become a CPD Provider, please contact our team to discuss your requirements in more detail. Alternatively if you are looking to record your CPD, please go the myCPD Portal where you can manage, track and log your learning in one simple place.

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