How to Create a Feedback-Friendly Culture

 

Many successful companies have corporate cultures that share some of the same characteristics: people are honest about what works (and what not), are receptive to new ideas and tend not to be resistant to change.

Feedback is important because it helps people improve their performance. It also provides leaders with the information they need to build the kind of society they aspire to. Without comments, it is very difficult for people to develop and for organizations to correct the course. Developing an environment where comments are welcome requires a little work. Here are some things to keep in mind:

1. Leaders set the tone.

A culture rich in feedback must start from the top. Only one false step is necessary as a leader to close it. If it ever comes to light that someone with well-meaning points of view has been closed or punished for speaking, others in your organization will avoid being open and honest.

As a leader, it is your job to show that you are open to constructive comments and want to play your role better. By showing that you can receive feedback, even when you feel uncomfortable listening, your team helps give them the confidence to speak, and also sets the standard they will follow when it comes your turn to provide feedback on the development.

2. Feedback must be part of daily life.

Feedback must be different from the performance evaluation process performed once or twice a year. In fact, if someone is presented with a performance evaluation and evaluation is a surprise, then you know that you have a serious problem in your feedback culture. Probably even the managerial skills of the person responsible for the development of that employee need some work.

For most people, being directly and openly critical with the behavior and decisions of others is already very inconvenient. As a result, they often respond or, even worse, channel those opinions onto the corrosive water chat that can really put an end to the company's morale. To ensure that this does not happen, a key role for a leader is to establish clear forums and channels through which people can exchange feedback, in all directions, and do so within barriers appropriate to their culture. A simple tactic that we often use in our company is to encourage our people managers to request and provide performance feedback to their team members at regular intervals between formal reviews.

3. It is a skill, not a talent.

A healthy feedback culture allows people to understand what they need to change, but does so without compromising the interpersonal trust that is crucial to constructive relationships in the workplace. The creation of this type of environment requires constant work and practice on the part of all those involved; probably it will not happen naturally.

In our company, we offer seminars to give people the opportunity to learn and practice their feedback skills. One piece of advice is to start with a simple, experience-based one: "When you did the impact on me / that other person / etc. Era . This allows you to be specific and to provide clear guidance on what someone might have done differently, and does so without questioning someone's inner motivation. Whether you are talking to someone from the first year, an elder or a partner, I have found that a direct and empathetic approach to comments leads to positive and lasting change in behavior. You can also create stronger relationships and ultimately improve business performance.