Feedback is critical to any business, and is at the core of the Work.com offering. Suffice to say however, for feedback to work as effectively as possible requires a culture that fosters and supports the regular giving of feedback.
There are a number of things that are critical to the creation of that kind of culture.
Giving positive feedback is easy, but ultimately it is the giving of negative feedback that is likely to see us improve as individuals, and by virtue of that as a company. In order to encourage candid feedback however, your employees need to be confident that such candour is welcome and appreciated. If there is an underlying fear that candour will precipitate the end of their promotion prospects then it will spell the end of your hopes of soliciting good communication.
Is giving feedback in your company something that is done at set piece events? Your 360 degree sessions perhaps? Or is feedback something that is simply part of the day to day routine? To encourage any kind of successful change, those behaviours need to become a part of the daily routine, and it’s no different with giving feedback. Achieving such lasting change requires you to create the kind of environment that supports this behaviour.
Giving thanks as well as criticism
There are numerous studies showing the virtue of a well timed thank you. This is especially so for Generation Y employees that have grown up in the feedback rich world of social media. Whilst constructive criticism is great, positive feedback is also critical for team morale. Despite this, it’s often something we find difficult to do, which perhaps explains why it happens so seldom. As before, the best way to get good at something is to practice it, so try and give frequent positive feedback as well as negative.
Take the lead
In addition to creating the right environment for frequent feedback, it helps to walk the walk. As a leader it pays for you to lead by example and both give regular feedback, but also request it from those you work with. Make sure you look for negative as well as positive feedback, to show that if well delivered, criticism is a welcome thing.
If you can master these four things, then your feedback culture will stand a good chance of materialising.