Boost Your Credibility with Timely Responses

Linda Dulye's picture

StopwatchTechnical organizations typically have service-level agreements – or SLAs – for delivering a completed product or service in a specific amount of time, or the amount of “uptime” for business-critical systems such as email.

When a member of your staff provides feedback, when can they expect follow-up from you? In other words, what’s your response-time SLA?

We think a response time of two days shows urgency and respect for the person providing the initial feedback.

Anything longer and you’ll lose credibility and give the impression you don’t value feedback. Here are a few tips to keep in mind when preparing to follow up:

  • Communicate directly what your follow-up time frame is when conducting team meetings, one-on-ones with staff, or even a quick hallway exchange. When you receive an email comment or suggestion, reply as quickly as possible with your expected response time.


  • If follow-up actions take longer than expected, personally circle back by phone, face-to-face or email, and explain why. By doing so, you reinforce that you haven’t forgotten about their feedback or question, and reset expectations.


  • Sometimes an idea or recommendation surfaced by a team member isn’t the right thing to do. In these situations, follow-up personally with them and explain why.


For more insights on 2-way communications, read the latest issue of our newsletter, Spectator-Free Workplace.


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