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Importance of Feedback

Chief Master Sgt. George Richey, 47th Flying Training Wing command chief, speaks on the importance of feedback in the Air Force, July 3, 2013. "Your feedback is a critical component to making Laughlin better," Richey said. "After all we are talking about making your mission better, making your resources better and making your base better because you are Laughlin!"

Chief Master Sgt. George Richey, 47th Flying Training Wing command chief, speaks on the importance of feedback in the Air Force, July 3, 2013. "Your feedback is a critical component to making Laughlin better," Richey said. "After all we are talking about making your mission better, making your resources better and making your base better because you are Laughlin!"

LAUGHLIN AIR FORCE BASE, Texas --

The impact of feedback, both positive and negative, should not be underestimated. 

Every day, I talk to our Airmen – our officers, our enlisted, the hundreds of civilians, and the many family members who call Laughlin home – about their experiences here at the base. Not surprisingly, people have unpleasant experiences from time to time.

As we dissect their experience, we often talk at length about where the experience was, what happened, and what was done in response. Very rarely do you find a person or organization who is completely derelict in their duties. Most times it is simply a disparity between the expectations we have and delivery of the service. I’ve also found that more often than not, people are not utilizing the methods to get the appropriate feedback back to the owning organization, like a feedback and suggestions box or the interactive customer evaluation program. My response to those who do not leave feedback is, “Why not?”

Every organization on this installation wants to know how they did. Equally, they depend on your feedback to identify shortcomings and improve their service to you. As an example, some of the improvements that resulted from your feedback are: on-base food delivery services, food trucks at the Base Exchange, 24-hour access at the fitness center, and extended hours on Tuesday and Thursday at the Commissary. If you do not provide honest, candid and timely feedback on our shortcomings, we are left to assume everyone is satisfied, and have no starting point for improvement. These recently added services are proof that we are listening! 

When engaging Airmen, another thing I often hear about are the pleasant experiences they had on the installation and the services provided to them. Again, to my surprise, I’ve learned this positive feedback is most often not passed on to the owning organization. My response to those not leaving positive feedback is again, “Why not?”

I take it a step further and explain to them, just as you should share your displeasure with the services you received, it is equally important to share your positive experiences. Many organizations on the installation use positive feedback and customer satisfaction as a metric for how well they are doing and what they should keep doing. Truth in advertisement though, even more important than a statistic, is the sense of pride a person feels when they are told they did a good job!

So fellow members of Laughlin, as you are out-and-about your installation, I challenge you to provide feedback to those organizations and people who render a service to you. Use the methods provided to give feedback. Trust me when I tell you, the leadership teams on our base want your feedback. Your feedback is a critical component to making Laughlin better – after all we are talking about making your mission better, making your resources better and making your base better because you are Laughlin!