Start, Stop, Continue Feedback: Examples and Usage
One of the most popular and effective ways to give feedback is the Start, Stop, Continue model. This feedback model involves identifying what someone needs to start doing (start), what they need to stop doing (stop), and what they need to continue doing (continue).
Start, Stop, and Continue is popular because it is concise and easy to get feedback for a team, business, or project. Moreover, it is also effective because it guides the person giving the feedback to focus on the positive (start) and the areas for improvement (stop and continue) separately. This can help prevent the person receiving the feedback from feeling overwhelmed or defensive.
What is Start, Stop, Continue Feedback?
Start, Stop, Continue feedback is a simple but effective tool for reflection, constructive feedback, and improvement. The basic premise is that you take a step back and reflect on what you are to start doing(start), what you should stop doing (stop), and what you should continue doing (continue).
The Start Stop Continue retrospective addresses three critical areas for optimum performance.
- What you start doing(Start)
As a team member, you need to focus or begin on these behaviors immediately to improve performance on assigned tasks.
Examples of questions to guide you:
"What do I need to start doing to hit my deadlines?"
"What should I do to better contribute in team meetings?"
- What you stop doing(Stop)
As a team member, you need to focus on actions or behaviors that need to be eliminated as they negatively impact performance or it does not add any value to your work.
Examples of questions to guide you:
"What do I need to stop to better align with the company values?"
"Which behavior do I need to cut to better connect with my team members?
- What you should keep doing(Continue)
Behaviors and actions that you have implemented and need to keep the tempo as it adds value to your work performance.
Examples of questions to guide you:
"At the team level, where do I shine the best?"
"Is there a sales technique that brings in customers?"
The Start, Stop, Continue brainchild is Dr. Phil Daniels, a psychology professor.
What is the Importance of Feedback in a Workplace?
Feedback is important in a workplace because it lets employees know what they are doing well and what needs improvement. It also allows managers to see how their employees perform their responsibilities and identify areas where they may need additional training or support.
Many managers struggle with giving feedback because it is uncomfortable to do so despite knowing that this can improve a team's performance. This may be due to leadership weakness, not wanting to pass negative feedback or simply a lack of proper training on how to do so.
However, feedback impro0ves communication, builds trust, nurtures new ideas, increases performance, offers actionable insights, and can be a great tool for problem-solving.
Who is Start, Stop, Continue Meant For?
The Start, Stop Continue is meant for teams. This is because it requires the input of more than one team member to get actionable feedback. Whereas there is no upper limit on the number of team members who can engage in this exercise, a team leader needs to limit numbers to a manageable number to increase performance.
Unlike 360-degree feedback, this feedback is not anonymous, and query answers are known to all participants.
Who should Conduct a Start, Stop, and Continue Retrospective?
Since it is used to provide feedback, it is best used by managers, business leaders, performance evaluators, and teams. That said, individuals can also deploy it to continuously improve.
What are the Benefits of Start, Stop, Continue?
When incorporated as part of a team's core activities, it has the following benefits:
- It is a simple yet effective way to manage and improve processes.
- It helps identify and eliminate waste, optimize resources and improve quality.
- It can target specific areas for improvement or assess a process's overall performance.
- It is a versatile tool that can be tailored to the specific needs of any organization.
- It is easy to implement and does not require any special training or resources.
- It makes a feedback exercise a habit that helps in building trust and helps the team continuously improve.
- It can be a great tool for replacing annual performance reviews.
- It offers an opportunity to brainstorm ideas.
- Feedback gives employees clear next steps towards improvement. Moreover, it helps them answer whether they are the best fit for a particular role or whether someone else will deliver optimally.
What are the Disadvantages of Start, Stop, Continue?
There are a few disadvantages to using the Start, Stop, Continue change model.
First, deciding which behavior to target for change can be difficult. This is because human behavior is not linear.
Second, getting people to start or stop doing a behavior can be difficult, even when a behavior is targeted. This is because changing human behavior is difficult and often takes time.
Finally, this model does not always lead to sustained changes in behavior over time.
When To use Start, Stop, Continue Feedback?
This feedback model can be used in several different situations, including:-
- When you want to give employees an overview of their performance
- When you are at a critical crossroads, and you need actional feedback before pivoting
- When you want to identify areas for improvement through actionable feedback.
- When you want to encourage employees to continue doing something that they are doing well
- When you want to implement a personal development plan.
- When you are a new manager, you want to learn more about an entire team.
- When your company has undergone a large transition, such as mergers, acquisitions, or downsizing, you want to identify ways to improve your team's performance through fresh ideas.
- As part of product strategy. This will offer insight into what is working and what is not.
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Performing a Start, Stop, Continue As a Manager to An Entire Team
As a manager, you can use The Start, Stop, Continue Template to offer actionable feedback to a team and avoid a negative impact; for best results, do the following:
- Send an invite to team members: For effective feedback, send an invite informing them that they are about to participate in a Start Stop Continue meeting. This sets the right mind frame.
- Select a topic for review: Picking a topic area streamlines the process. Selecting a topic that matters to the team's performance is important. For example, you can select a topic such as "Better communication in the workplace."
- Advise on specific actions: Always remember that the objective is to offer actionable feedback. This means that advice should point to actionable steps and not generalities.
- Offer Context and Reasons: When mentioning why an employee should start or stop continuing, offer context and reasons that better illustrate your point.
- Be Objective and Avoid Personalization: When using the Start, stop, and continue exercise, it is important to remain objective and avoid personalization. This will help you focus on the goal of the exercise.
Once you have laid the ground for this, using a whiteboard, draw three columns: Start, Stop, and Continue. Ask team members to write down what needs to Start, Stop, Continue, and then place each stick note in the appropriate column.
For best results, ensure that each team member has three votes. Once team members have placed their stick notes on the appropriate column, review what's on each column. Review with the team and discuss the results.
Once an agreement is reached, assign responsibilities and deadlines to implement resolutions on time.
Asking for Start Stop Continue Feedback Exercise As an employee
As an employee, you can request Start, Stop, and Continue feedback from your managers. To do so effectively, do the following:
- Ask leading questions on areas you need to Start, Stop, and Continue doing.
- Try and get feedback from more than one manager for a holistic feedback
- Create a good rapport to facilitate honest feedback.
What are Examples of Start, Stop, Continue Feedback Exercises?
Their several Start Stop Continue examples, but we shall limit ourselves to how to use them to create a positive work environment and achieve personal goals. Here are examples of Start, Stop, Continue exercise to use:
Creating a Positive Work Enviroment
As a manager, creating a positive work environment creates an action-oriented team. This is because team members feel safe exercising their creativity. A feedback template can look as below:
- Sending Personalised gift vouchers for Birthdays, anniversaries, etc.
- Paying attention to Mental health issues and how it relates to job performance
- Taking other people's ideas as your own
- Public admonishment
- Weekly basis meetings
- Continuously improve team members' skills
Achieving a Personal Goal
Assuming that you want to improve your Google Sheet skills over a six-month period, you can create your own Start, Stop, Continue feedback to streamline the process.
For example, rather than go on a crash course that might overwhelm you, your Start Stop Continue template can look like this:
- Decide on timeslots weekly covering the six months.
- Meeting learning deadlines
- Procrastinating on new projects
- Stop Excuses on why you have not met set deadlines.
- Learning new ideas from different sources
- Complete assigned tasks
How Often Should a Company Use Start, Stop, Continue Feedback?
There's no one answer to this question - it depends on the company, its culture, and what's happening. However, start, stop, and continue feedback should be given relatively frequently - perhaps quarterly, annually, or when you complete a project.
This way, employees can receive timely feedback that can help them to improve continuously.
How Highrise Can Help
Do you struggle with carrying out a feedback exercise?
If yes, you are not alone. A survey done by the Harvard Business Review established that up to 44% of managers struggle with giving feedback.
Reasons may range from a lack of confidence, avoiding confrontation, not wanting to give negative feedback or simply a lack of training.