Most managers and leaders would say they want a feedback culture, but getting it consistently right is important, and not easy. Whether it’s individual feedback, or about the organisation, there are some key things to recognise. If it isn’t working, the sooner you find out about it the sooner you can fix it. Bite the bullet and learn to listen.
Fact: Enabling Staff to Feedback Improves Employee Engagement
- It’s a fact that the overall knowledge of 100 people is greater than any subset of that group. Recognise this and tap into that knowledge. Listen to the collective rather than the 5% of senior managers.
- Surprisingly, you will probably discover more positives than negatives when you receive feedback from your staff. Keep that in perspective and don’t let the fear factor inhibit you from asking – be positive.
- If you are asked to give feedback, never get into a stream of negatives and criticism. By all means be honest and give a true impression – but also make sure you include the positives as well.
- There’s a big difference between sugar coating and reflective input: Whilst you should look for positives when giving and receiving feedback, don’t feel the need to sugar coat everything – risking mixed messages.
- It’s unlikely that one size fits all: People are different, and those differences mean they will feel comfortable giving feedback in different ways. Don’t underestimate that. Gather all the available feedback – and don’t leave any group feeling excluded. Showing your staff you want to hear their views is a motivator, and likely to make them feel more valued – as long as it is genuine and you respond by acting on it.
- Remember it can be difficult for people to give feedback. The more staff believe you won’t use feedback as a stick to beat people with and trust your process, the more involved and candid they will be with you.
- Don’t over react if you get angry feedback, take a deep breath. Try to put yourself in the shoes of the person who gave it. Pick through any anger and see what you can learn – the person who gave it may well feel better for having gotten it off their chest.They may have a point in there you weren’t aware of (although there are of course always limits).
Feedback is like a puppy – not just for Christmas. Get into a routine and manage/raise the expectations and hopes of your organisation. The result – truly useful and actionable feedback rather than a cosmetic process.