A company thrives when employees take accountability for their actions. Attributes like accountability and responsibility are basic expectations from an employee. But it is also important to note that an organization is equally responsible for driving good behavior.
Companies with great work cultures do better than others because they can motivate their employees to be the best versions of themselves.
A recent poll revealed that 70% of employees in the US do not feel enthusiastic about their work. Another study showed that nine out of ten American employees do not contribute to their full potential because they do not feel excited about work.
A proven way of engaging employees is by creating a culture of feedback in the organization. A feedback-rich culture stands on the foundation of healthy communication. When employees feel that they are heard and have the freedom to express themselves, they perform better.
What is a feedback culture?
Giving honest feedback to anyone in the organization irrespective of hierarchy is a regular and common practice. It is called feedback culture. An organization successfully builds a feedback culture only when they make it a custom to give and receive feedback.
How to create a feedback culture?
People often do not give feedback voluntarily. And most people are not comfortable with receiving feedback. A company has to put conscious effort into building a feedback culture. So a company should put a process in place so that feedback becomes part of its culture.
Here is how.
Giving good feedback is an art. Therefore, it requires training and guidance. The objective of creating a culture of feedback is to be open with one another but not at the expense of being rude and demotivating.
Conduct in-house and external training on how to give effective feedback. Regardless of title and rank, everyone within the organization must undergo training on delivering feedback.
“Great Work!” or “Redo the assignment” might sound like feedback. But, in reality, they are not.
Feedback is supposed to be meaningful and should convey specific points. Establish a system for giving detailed feedback. Share format of a feedback form that helps the provider to enlist precise points.
Put a checkpoint
Most people dread giving or receiving feedback. The reason being, receivers can take it personally and become defensive. But, on the other hand, people can be rude or vindictive while giving feedback.
For an organization to have a healthy feedback culture, it is necessary to put a checkpoint in place. The exchange of feedback between two parties must involve a third person. Without being too intrusive, the third person must ensure that feedback meets the proper standards.
Complete the loop
As earlier mentioned, feedback is part of healthy communication. Thus, the process of feedback is incomplete without a two-way interchange of information.
When setting a feedback process, make sure that the receiver has a say in it as well. For example, the receiver of the feedback must rate delivery and effectiveness.
Employ software and tools to automate the process of feedback. A single platform to collect feedback and turn it into analytics helps perform assessments. Using a tool to conduct regular feedback automates the process and makes it hassle-free.
Employ several methods
Feedback can become part of company culture only when there are multiple ways of providing feedback. Not everyone is comfortable with one-on-one feedback. At times, written feedback is more effective.
Different situations call for different types of feedback. For example, feedback can be attributed, anonymous, face-to-face, group, 360 degrees, etc.
Open door policy
The leadership team and the managers are building blocks of a culture within an organization. They are the ones establishing the ground rules and deciding how to build company culture. The onus lies on them, and they can successfully promote culture by being the first ones to follow it.
The leadership team should practice an open feedback culture with the help of anonymous feedback tools and be quick to implement good suggestions they may receive. Then, when they walk the talk, other employees will be motivated to do the same.
Tips for giving feedback
Let us look at some tips on how to give feedback.
- Strike a professional tone
Even when the employee needs discipline for a grave mistake, keep your calm. Focus on improvement and not punishment.
- It is not personal
Refrain from making personal remarks such as immature or lazy. Address the issue and not the personality of the person.
- Be on point
Don’t beat around the bush. Talk in specifics. If it helps, make a list of brief points for the discussion.
Tips for receiving feedback
If giving feedback is an art, so is gracefully receiving feedback. These are some points to remember while receiving feedback.
- Listen intently
Whatever the feedback may be, and whoever it is providing feedback, listen carefully.
- Ask questions
Listening and not responding can come across as being indifferent. Ask relevant questions but refrain from being aggressive.
- Say thank you
Even if the feedback is not delivered correctly, or is meaningless, thank the provider at the end.
There was a time when only managers were supposed to give feedback to subordinates, and it was one-way communication. That culture has become a thing of the past. An organization that supports a culture without open communication and feedback becomes stagnant.
Today, companies like Google, Ikea, and Twitter have proven that creating a feedback culture is more conducive to productivity and growth.