Grow raises money to end burnout by building Growth Cultures. Learn more in this note from our CEO.

Giving, receiving, and acting on great feedback is essential for maximizing performance. But the truth is, we’re not very good at providing effective feedback, with 65% of employees saying they’d like more feedback in their day-to-day role.

If you, your team, or your organization struggle to give great feedback, this article is for you. First, we’ll look at the Start, Stop, Continue feedback model, one of the easiest and most effective feedback frameworks.

After we’ve explained what it is and why it’s so easy to use, we’ll explore examples of how to use it with our free Start, Stop, Continue feedback template.

Quick Links:

What is Start, Stop, Continue Feedback?

Start, Stop, Continue feedback is a simple and easy-to-use framework for teams of all sizes to gather effective feedback. Unlike other frameworks, which add layers of complexity, Start, Stop, Continue feedback breaks down into three straightforward questions:

  • What should I start doing?
  • What should I stop doing?
  • What should I continue doing?

As you can see, the framework offers well-rounded feedback by highlighting areas of strength, areas of weakness, and areas of improvement. This gives the perfect blend of praise, recognition, and constructive growth points, helping keep morale high while identifying new goals.



Why Use The Start, Stop, Continue Feedback Model?

In a world with so many different feedback templates, what makes Start, Stop, Continue so special? Here’s why we love Start, Stop, Continue feedback:

#1 - It’s a Good Model

First and foremost, Start, Stop, Continue is undeniably a good model for effectively gathering feedback. The structure of the three defined questions makes it a great foundation for communication, helping individuals to have better and more detailed conversations on how to grow.

#2 - It’s Easy to Get Started

The power of Start, Stop, Continue feedback is in its simplicity. It creates a low barrier to entry, giving employees at all levels the ability to give and receive meaningful feedback. From a wider business perspective, it’s easy to implement as well, with no need for extensive training or expensive software tools.

#3 - It’s Works For Everyone

Whether you’re a manager giving feedback to a team member, or a team member providing feedback to a manager, Start, Stop, Continue works for everyone. The easy-to-use structure means effective feedback can be delivered in any direction. Not only is this useful day-to-day, but it helps make feedback consistent across your entire organization as part of your wider people management strategy.

Liking the sound of Start, Stop Continue feedback? You should use these free copy-pastable templates to help you start gathering amazing feedback straight away!

Get the template now!



Start, Stop, Continue Explained

Now that we know what Start, Stop, Continue feedback is and why it’s so great, it’s time to get into the details of how it works in practice.

Let’s break down type of feedback and our Grow top tip for using it in your organization.

Start Feedback Explained

As we saw earlier, Start feedback is all about identifying new things you should be doing in your role. That’s to say, these are things you aren’t currently doing, but if you were to start doing them, your performance in your role would improve.

Top Tip - If you’re looking to build out your personal development plan, Start feedback is precisely the type of feedback you want as it will identify areas to grow your knowledge, skills, and experiences.

Stop Feedback Explained

On the flipside, Stop feedback helps you identify things you need to stop doing. These are the actions, traits, or skills you’re currently exhibiting that negatively impact your performance. Stop feedback also includes identifying tasks or responsibilities which you shouldn’t actually be undertaking in your role.

Top Tip - Whereas Start feedback is forward-looking, Stop feedback looks back at past performance. Because of this, Stop feedback should always be grounded in real-life examples with evidence of why those actions, traits, skills, or tasks create a negative impact.

Continue Feedback Explained

Continue feedback identifies areas of excellent performance that should be maintained or enhanced going forward. For both the giver and receiver of feedback, Continue feedback is often the easiest to elicit as it provides an easy way to showcase achievement and offer praise.

Top Tip - When you consider Continue feedback from an employee development perspective, it works in a different way to Start or Stop feedback. Continue feedback is all about recognizing your employee’s strengths and identifying ways they can further maximize their impact going forward.



How to Request Start, Stop, Continue Feedback

If you’re reading this wondering how to actually ask for great Start, Stop, Continue feedback this section is for you!

Here are a number of simple questions you can ask your managers/peers/team members to find out exactly what you should start, stop, or continuing doing day-to-day.

Asking for Start Feedback

Here are some ways to ask for Start feedback:

  • “What’s something I should start doing?”
  • “What additional tasks/responsibilities do top performers in my role do?”
  • “What would you suggest I focus on in the next few weeks?”
  • “I’d like to learn a new skill - what would you suggest I learn?”
  • “After our last 1:1, I realized X is really important to our team. Could I take it on as a project?”
  • “In the future, I’d like to take on X role. What additional skills do I need to learn to be a good fit for that role?”

Asking for Stop Feedback

Here are some great questions to ask to receive effective Stop feedback:

  • “What’s one thing I should stop doing?”
  • “If you could think of one thing I could stop doing to help us work better - what would that be?”
  • “Here are three things I’m working on right now. Do you think I should drop any of these?”
  • “How do you think I dealt with X situation? What should I do differently in the future?”
  • “In the future, I’d like to take on X role. What am I currently doing that I should stop doing to be a good fit for that role?”

Asking for Continue Feedback

Try these questions when asking for Continue feedback:

  • “What’s something I should continue doing?”
  • “What’s something I’m uniquely good at, from your point of view?”
  • “What do I do that helps you with your role?”
  • “What skills do I bring to the team?”
  • “Which tasks/projects from last quarter should I continue with into next quarter?”



How to Give Great Start, Stop, Continue Feedback

If you’re gearing up to give some Start, Stop, Continue feedback to a colleague, you want to make sure it’s as valuable as possible. Here are three things to consider to ensure you give great feedback:

#1 - Mix Positives and Improvements

By the pure nature of Start, Stop, Continue feedback, it encourages you to give praise (Continue) and identify areas for improvement (Start and Stop). Make sure that whatever feedback you give has the right balance of positive recognition and new development to ensure you don’t de-motivate the recipient.

#2 - Make It Valuable

Make sure that the feedback you give is actually going to be valuable for the person receiving it. In practice, your feedback should provide the individual with something tangible they can improve on. Let’s look at an example.

Rather than saying:

  • “Start improving your communication skills.”

Go for something like:

  • “It would be great to see you start improving your communication skills when presenting to the team. I’d recommend taking X course on LinkedIn. Then, let’s find you a regular presenting slot in the monthly team meeting to practice.”

#3 - Use Evidence

For all types of feedback, you should include examples to back up your rationale. Not only does it help you give accurate feedback, but it also provides context for those receiving it. Having real-life examples also helps individuals understand their actions' impact, both positively and negatively.



How to Use Your Start, Stop, Continue Feedback to Boost Your Performance

If you’re asking for Start, Stop, Continue feedback, you need to know how to use it effectively. Here are three things to consider when turning your feedback into actions for improvement.

#1 - Align To Your Career Ambitions

When asking for Start, Stop, Continue feedback, you should align your questions with your short, medium, and long-term career goals. That way, those giving feedback have a reference point to deliver feedback against. This will also make the feedback extra valuable for you, showing you exactly how to achieve your goals.

#2 - Make a Development Plan

From your feedback, start to plan how and where to improve. If you have detailed feedback from many colleagues, you may need to prioritize using models such as Now, Near, Next. Ensure your development plan includes various activities to grow performance, such as formal training, taking on new responsibilities, and mentorship.

#3 - Remember to Keep Looking Back

As you start to act on your feedback, remember to keep checking back to see how you’re progressing. There’s never just one path to any goal, and what works for others may not work for you. If you don’t see progression against your feedback, take the time to re-assess your personal development plan and make changes if needed.



How Grow Helps Deliver Amazing Stop, Stop, Continue Feedback

Start, Stop, Continue is just one way to do feedback and one of hundreds of helpful templates in Grow. Grow fits into your workflow seamlessly to help you build a culture of continuous feedback at work. Add Grow to your Slack and look around.

With Grow you can:

  • 🔁 Foster a culture of continuous feedback
  • 🙂 Help your team feel supported and grow together
  • 📈 Encourage a growth-mindset on your team
  • 💈 Live and breathe your team’s values through feedback


Before you go, copy and paste these quick Start, Stop, Continue feedback templates

START

What’s one thing I should start doing?

What would you suggest for me to focus on in the next few weeks?

I’d like to learn a new skill - what would you suggest I learn?

Hey - after our last 1:1 I realised __ is really important, could I take it on as a project?

STOP

If you could think of one thing I could stop doing to help us work better - what would that be?

Here’s the top 3 things I’m thinking of right now:

Do you think I should drop any of these?

What’s one thing I should stop doing?

CONTINUE

What’s one thing I’m uniquely good at, from your point of view?

What’s one thing I should keep doing?

Is there a project or initiative from last quarter you’d like me to consider in our next quarterly planning?

More Resources