KEESLER AIR FORCE BASE, Miss. --
Keesler’s Community Action Team is testing a new feedback process for Airmen, Civilians, and any other personnel on-base.
Rather than stuffing slips of paper into the old suggestion box, a team called RedBerry Innovations has teamed up with AFWERX, the Air Force’s innovation hub, to implement a new, more convenient way for base personnel to have their voices heard and it’s called: Let’s Burst.
Let’s Burst is a website that provides the prompt for a simple “canned” feedback statement called a “burst”:
The (best/worst) thing about ______ is _________. ________ would make _______ better.
Once the prompt is filled out, the site will ask for the person’s age, status (Active Duty, Reserve, Civilian, etc.) and gender. These demographics are optional as is anonymity.
Where does the burst go?
Personnel from helping agencies all over base are on the other side of the screen monitoring and acknowledging bursts.
Nicole Mayzner, 403rd Wing’s director of psychological health, is one of those “helping agencies” and she said the site is an attempt to make it easier for voices to be heard.
“The goal for Let’s Burst is for Keesler leadership as well as relevant agencies to have a better understanding of what is going right and what it needs to improve on,” said Mayzner. “The hope is that the simplicity of the online fill-in-the blank statement and prompt feedback, rather than dropping paper in a suggestion box and hoping someone reads it eventually, will encourage people to participate.”
On top of receiving feedback, she said, those who post a “burst” will then be able to see other people’s bursts and can “up-vote” them if they see something they agree with, allowing those monitoring a better understanding of the prominence of any one issue or non-issue.
What’s crucial for the site to really serve its purpose, though, is participation, said Mayzner. The site launched in mid-May, so right now they’re focused on letting Keesler personnel know it exists by putting up scannable Quick Response codes around the base.
“One of the only reserve-related drawbacks right now is that it can only be used while you’re geographically located on base,” said Mayzner. “So for reservists, if they think of something when they’re not here during a drill weekend or annual tour training, they have to wait until they’re here to use it, but nonetheless, members of the 403rd Wing are definitely encouraged to give feedback.”
As Let’s Burst picks up momentum, it will begin to manifest algorithms based on the data gathered which will benefit leadership, keying them in on the “hot” topics, said Mayzner. Also, for those submitting feedback, it will begin to create acknowledgments based on prior feedback and responses.
“Right now, since it’s in the beta testing phase, it’s only available at Keesler,” said Mayzner. “But with meaningful participation and results, it could be a great feedback tool that could go Air Force wide.