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The municipality of The Hague embraces a feedback culture

When employees of the municipality of The Hague noticed that their agendas were filling with increasingly complex projects that demanded more internal capacity, they knew a solution had to be found. Instead of recruiting new people, the department decided to look inwards and concentrate on ways of making use of the full potential of their team. They quickly learned that developing a feedback culture doesn’t just promote a pleasant office environment: it is an essential part of it. Project manager Marjan Veninga tells about her experiences with the Spiegelapp during the past three years below.

The Spiegelapp is a full-circle feedback tool. It allows employees to ask their colleagues, business partners and suppliers for feedback and feedforward about specific skills. These insights help employees to continue growing and reach their full potential.

Feedback is valuable for everyone

Marjan knew from the start that the mission of creating a proactive team would mobilise everyone in the office. Her team began using the Spiegelapp to assess employees and managers. The goal was to engage in a continuous dialogue and development-oriented meetings.

The Spiegelapp has since become an integral part of their performance and management cycle. “I ask the colleagues I work with in project groups for feedback, even if they’re new”, says Marjan. “The feedforward, feedback and answers help me understand myself better and encourage me. They also help me understand the underlying motives of the person giving feedback. It’s easy to add an explanation and it really helps me understand my performance and how I can improve. It has a really positive effect.”

Tailor-made personal development

Marjan appreciates the way the app helps her decide which skills to develop and focus on when asking others for tips and advice. She can also choose who to ask for feedback. She remains in control of her competences and what she discusses with her manager. “I’m in control, and that motivates me more. As project managers, we want to stay in control of our personal development”, emphasises Marjan.

A helping hand during implementation and continuous support and advice

While the Spiegelapp offers a user-friendly experience, integrating it into the company’s performance management cycle may appear daunting at first. This is why H+C supports the implementation process. Marjan explains that this especially was a great help. The developers helped them navigate complex security measures related to data protection. These included the importance of two-step authentication and regularly changing passwords.

Marjan adds that the helpdesk support also works well for questions after the implementation. They always respond quickly. “To me, the way the Spiegelapp works makes perfect sense. We all find it easy to use.”

When it was introduced in 2019, the Spiegelapp was a great addition to the training portal used by the municipality of The Hague. With the Spiegelapp, you can work on your personal development by asking anyone for tips or asking open questions. “It’s important to point out that a feedback culture needs more than just the Spiegelapp”, says Marjan. This is why we organise feedback and feedforward courses together that help employees give and receive feedback and feedforward effectively.

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