Feedback is a valuable tool in the business landscape, and creating a feedback culture is crucial for modern organizations. Feedback can be delivered as praise or steering a lost employee in the right direction. It’s the only way for team members to know which of their actions are beneficial and which they need to change.
Used correctly, feedback can improve performance and employee engagement. However, to get the most out of a feedback strategy, you need to know how to make feedback a fundamental part of your company’s culture. Too many business leaders wait until annual reviews to give their teams the insights they desperately need.
Today, we’re going to look at the best ways to make sharing insights a natural and valuable part of your business operations.
1. Nurture a Growth Mindset
Employees with a growth mindset believe they can improve their outcomes through practice, hard work, and learning. They are committed to constant growth and development, which makes them valuable to any business they work for. Feedback allows your employees to identify where they need to focus their efforts.
To ensure that your team has the right frame of mind, start by prioritizing this characteristic during the hiring process. Look at how candidates respond to mistakes and learn from the problems they had in the past. After you’ve hired people with the right attitude, invest in cultivating their desire for learning with regular training and development opportunities.
Make sure to recognize the effort your team members put into their growth, too. Bonus gifts, praise, or rewards for people who complete training programs are a great way to convince your entire team to embrace the same growth mindset.
2. Provide Feedback Training
While you’re working on developing your teams, don’t forget to teach them how to give and receive feedback. Responding well to guidance provided by a peer and providing constructive insights in return are skills. They require practice.
Provide your business leaders with plenty of useful information on delivering feedback in ways that yield results. For instance, it’s often more helpful to focus on positive outcomes. For instance, instead of telling someone they aren’t hitting deadlines, reframe the statement by saying: “If you could change your schedule this way, we think you would hit more of your deadlines.”
Train employees on how to respond to feedback correctly, too. If your team members get defensive, show them how to suggest alternative solutions to problems in a productive way.
3. Create a Feedback-Safe Environment
It is your responsibility to create an environment that supports feedback for your team. It doesn’t work if your supervisors subject employees to a barrage of negative, unproductive comments. For instance, supervisors should avoid giving negative feedback in a public space, which can be perceived as humiliating.
Make sure supervisors and team leaders know how to adjust their feedback according to the employees’ needs. Additionally, ensure that the feedback loop works both ways.
Nurturing a feedback culture is often difficult, especially when your leaders aren’t willing to take part. Employees need to see leaders modeling strong feedback principles so that they can fall in line and adopt the right behaviors themselves.
Make your team members feel safe by encouraging your leaders to show vulnerability, weakness, and growth. You could even ask employees to give their leaders feedback on how they can supervise or manage more effectively.
4. Make it Easy to Share Feedback
Some team members are going to feel more uncomfortable than others about sharing feedback – positive or negative. Because of this, it’s crucial to ensure that leaving comments and insights is a simple and painless process. If some team members feel uncomfortable saying something to a colleague in person, create a space online where they can leave anonymous comments.
An excellent way to establish such a safe space is by offering an internal app for your team members. On this app, your employees might be able to rate their colleagues’ work quality with stars and leave comments about things that need to be improved.
However, developing a good app has its own sets of rules and can be difficult. To ensure that your team members want to use the tech you create, you’ll need to follow the trends and best practices of app development. The most effective way to do so is to work with an experienced developer that can provide an excellent user experience.
5. Demonstrate Responses to Feedback
Finally, show your employees the positive impact feedback can have. If a team member changes their behavior according to a supervisor’s guidance, have that supervisor check in later, and show the employee how their performance has improved. Measuring employee performance with metrics makes it easier to demonstrate growth.
When it comes to the anonymous feedback that your employees leave for your leaders, make sure that your team can see you’re responding to that too.
Your team needs to see evidence that the feedback culture in your workplace is positively impacting the way they work. If they see the results, they will be more likely to embrace feedback as an everyday practice.
Make the Most of a Feedback Culture
Creating a feedback culture in your company is an excellent way to cultivate constant growth and improvement. Positive or negative, feedback shows your employees at every level which direction to take to reach their goals. It’s the ultimate tool for optimizing your company. Don’t underestimate the power of feedback.
About the Author
Michelle Laurey is a telecommuting wordsmith who especially likes writing on a cloudy day. She is always interested in ways to help people reach their full potential in life and loves telling stories on entrepreneurship, lifestyle, and health. Outside her keyboard, she spends time visiting cozy coffee shops and taking long urban strolls with her boyfriend. Reach out to her on Twitter @michelle_laurey.