The pandemic has shown us that it’s more important than ever to continuously provide valuable feedback. Whilst best practices indicate managers should have ongoing development discussions with their employees at least quarterly, or even more frequently. But the value of these discussions only happens if they are development focused and actionable. Unlocking the true value of effective feedback conversations lies in equipping managers with the right tools to help them build their own capabilities (McKinsey 2021).
It’s crucial to make employees self-sufficient. Driving ownership and accountability is key to improving the development of employees and managers. Not only that but it can empower your people, giving them a greater sense of accomplishment.
Here are 5 ways to build a feedback culture:
Create a disciplined habit
Habits don’t come overnight and are best established when putting them into a clear structure, such as having a defined moment of time when you do something. We’ve deployed the concept of ‘Feedback Fridays’ (an idea we gratefully borrowed from Tamra Chandler and Laura Grealish, who promote the concept in their fantastic book ‘Feedback and other dirty words’. Over time it becomes a norm, Friday is when we do feedback and it becomes part of the natural habits and routines of the organisation, but bringing huge benefit to a feedback starved workplace.
Our Tandem data proves that where managers engage in feedback, employees will follow. One Our Tandem client got their role modelling so right that 94% of their employees sent upward feedback to their managers in the first month of Our Tandem usage.
Make feedback easy
Employees will only engage in constructive feedback if they have formerly built a habit of giving feedback. To deliver good constructive feedback, you need to have a bedrock of trust underlying that; otherwise, you risk destroying that relationship. Building trust can be done through establishing our 5:1 principle. Get your managers in the habit of delivering positive feedback so they earn the licence to give the constructive feedback.
The art of receiving feedback is just as important as giving
Sometimes we focus all of our attention on helping people give feedback, but we forget that receiving feedback is just as important. Setting up the right environment to receive feedback is key. Feedback can be resisted or rejected when the individual isn’t yet ready to receive, or receives it out of context. Their baseline fight or flight instincts set in and they can reject the feedback, even when it’s positive. Giving them a space and time when feedback is expected or can be received in a time that suits them creates a safe space, this is where technology really plays a key role.
Think about how the feedback is landing for differing profiles
Consider the profiles in your organisation. When introverts receive feedback, they tend to want to reflect before responding. Extroverts are more likely to react immediately. Ensuring there’s space between when someone receives feedback and when they should respond can really help to build greater capability to receive and respond to feedback. Even when feedback is positive, similar to compliments some profiles are prone to rejecting it, deflecting the praise to a team effort or some other circumstances that gave them the good fortune to be in the spotlight. Help your people understand how to gratefully receive feedback, without feeling the need to respond, deflect or reject the feedback.
If you’d like to find out more about how our approach can help your organisation, contact our VP of Sales & Marketing, Sadhbh Carson on firstname.lastname@example.org