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4 Important Characteristics of Effective RPF (Real-time Performance Feedback) Solutions

Date posted: 3/29/2016

An effective real-time employee performance feedback solution should include four key characteristics:


In an ideal world, all software applications would be intuitive to use. However, many business management software applications are not designed to be used by all employees and rather, are designed for HR or other professionals with a depth of expertise in their domain. Therefore the sophistication and complexity of these applications results in a non-intuitive user experience for all other employees who are not the targeted domain experts.

Software solutions intended to be used by all employees must be designed with intuitive user interfaces so applications can be learned quickly and used effectively. Consider the software or web applications that support your company’s open enrollment process, or your new employee onboarding process: intuitive user interfaces are critical. Just like these employee-facing applications, an effective real-time employee feedback solution should also include an intuitive user experience.

Fast and Frequent

Real-time performance feedback is based upon a fundamental principle that more – and more frequent – feedback is critical to optimizing employee engagement and alignment of performance results with expectations. In other words, the “real-time” nature of the feedback is important, but not if it is occurring only once a year. Effective real-time feedback must be continual and consistent. And in order to facilitate frequent feedback, your RPF solution must be able to allow your employees to provide feedback to their colleagues quickly and with minimal disruption to their workflow.

If performance evaluations are done once or twice a year, managers and employees have the flexibility to “relearn” the tools and templates and then invest an hour or two completing each performance appraisal for their direct reports, peers and manager. However, if feedback is expected to be provided weekly, daily, or even multiple times each day, then your RPF solution must be able to capture meaningful feedback quickly. Ideally, employees should only need seconds to provide feedback.


Talent management experts generally agree that quantitative ratings are less valuable for individual employees than qualitative or narrative feedback. Quantitative feedback is valuable only if an employee understands precisely what is expected to earn a “3” or “4 stars” or “Far exceeds” rating.

Qualitative feedback is much more valuable to individual employees who are looking to constantly improve their performance to meet and exceed expectations for their own individual performance. Constructive comments such as “Could have more fully considered all implications of recommendation” or “Provided excellent alternative perspective, but ultimately supported final decision” are much more effective at improving performance than a rating of “3.5”. An effective Real-time Performance Feedback solution must be able to accommodate these types of constructive narrative comments on employee performance.


Work environments today are less and less tied to the traditional office. Increasingly, work is completed in hallways, on trains or buses, during a working lunch, or at home in the evenings. An effective RPF solution needs to be able to accommodate these new work environments and must be accessible via a mobile device (smartphone or tablet). If your teams are organized around collaborative, unscheduled interactions, or if your workforce is virtual or distributed, the need for a mobile-friendly application is even more important.

One of the key benefits of a real-time employee feedback solution is to provide employees the information they need to improve their productivity, efficiency and effectiveness. In keeping with the objective of maximizing productivity and efficiency, your RPF solution too should allow users to provide feedback while walking to their next meeting, during their commute home on the bus/train, or waiting at the airport.

A Final Consideration: Focus on Individual Employee

In addition to the four characteristics discussed above, an effective real-time employee feedback solution should focus on individual performance and feedback, rather than organizational performance and feedback. While organizational pulse surveys and employment climate surveys are valuable in providing feedback to managers about the aggregate organizational culture and aggregate employee engagement, they typically lack the ability to provide actionable real-time feedback to employees on individual performance. Employees who receive feedback on their own individual performance are significantly more likely to be engaged in, and aligned with, the overall mission of the company. Consider marrying your preferred RPF solution to your favorite organizational culture survey to provide both points of view.

Our Perspective

We have developed BlinkEval to be the easiest and most intuitive mobile-friendly solution to provide feedback on all employees’ most important interactions with their colleagues. Employees can use the application with little or even no training or orientation, and after just one feedback event, will be able to submit feedback on their colleagues in a matter of seconds.

However, in spite of its intuitive interface and ease of use, BlinkEval is robust enough to accommodate substantial narrative feedback, either through quickly including one or more of the “most frequent comments” or including additional written narrative for even more actionable feedback.

Please visit us at and start your free trial now to see our innovative solution for real-time employee feedback!

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