Great leaders understand that feedback isn’t about just telling people they do a great job, or letting them know when they make mistakes. It’s about providing a consistent coaching environment to help teams improve performance. Creating a culture of continuous growth and learning is motivational.
A culture of feedback tied to strategy is a powerful tool. When it’s practiced consistently teams are more engaged in the work. A Gallup survey compared performance across industries and organisations. Engaged employee units produced better results in every instance:
- 17% increase in productivity
- 41% reduction in absenteeism
- 24% less employee turnover
- 10% increase in customer satisfaction ratings
- 20% increase in overall sales
At Elevate we also preach ‘little and often’ when it comes to giving feedback. Don’t let opportunities for feedback slide. When it is delivered well, regularly and more importantly in a timely fashion feedback is one of the great tools that can help transform your business.
Types of Feedback
There are three types of feedback you can give your team members. It’s important to know the difference and when to use them.
- Positive Feedback
Positive feedback recognises an employee’s contribution and shows your appreciation for the work they do. Not only does this reward employees for doing a good job, but it helps reinforce the positive behaviour you want.
- Constructive Feedback
Constructive feedback is used to suggest improvements and help map a pathway to get there.
- Negative Feedback
Negative feedback is used when you need to let team members know their behaviour or performance needs to change.
Even when feedback is critical, if it’s delivered properly, it’s effective. 92% of employees say negative feedback is effective at improving performance if delivered appropriately. If you’re a manager that avoids confrontation at all costs, you’ve got a problem. Feedback that redirects actions and provides coaching is crucial.
Establish A Feedback Culture
It helps to establish a feedback culture early. In the hiring and onboarding process, reinforce that your organisation is focused on goal attainment. When they do well, they’ll hear from you. When there are areas that need improvement, they’ll hear from you about that, too.
Building a culture of feedback won’t happen if you just do annual performance reviews. It takes providing regular and consistent feedback.
This is especially important when managing younger workers. Millennials now comprise the largest group in the global workforce. 80% of Millennials say they prefer to get on-the-spot or in-the-moment feedback over formal reviews. They believe it’s crucial for them to better understand their job and grow. Yet, only 19% say they receive routine and meaningful feedback.
The Benefits Of A Culture Of Feedback
Developing a culture of feedback provides numerous benefits.
1. Increased Learning And Agility
Providing real-time feedback allows increased opportunities to discuss performance. Sharing in-the-moment helps catch people doing things right or demonstrate what needs to be corrected. Don’t make your teams wait until formal performance reviews to hear from you. Teams need to constantly grow, improve, and learn new skills. Feedback is a way to reinforce this imperative. Teams that get consistent feedback acquire new skills and become more agile. Lessons stick better when they are fresh in your mind.
2. Greater Alignment With Company Goals
Effective feedback will demonstrate what needs to be done, how to do it, and why it’s important. Connecting employee job duties to company goals helps create this alignment. Employees will have clarity about the importance of individual tasks and how it fits into achieving the company’s overall goals. When teams feel they’re working together to achieve a unified goal, they have more of a sense of purpose. When employees find real meaning in the work they do, they perform better.
3. Better Lines Of Communication
Too many team members only hear from the boss when there’s a major problem. Providing positive, negative, and constructive feedback via continuous conversations opens up communication channels for everyone. It can reduce anxiety in the workplace – especially around formal review times – and builds trust.
4. More Focus On Goal Management
In the traditional performance review cycle, employees are typically given annual goals that aren’t measured until the next review period. These goals are usually pretty big ones, too. With continuous feedback, smaller, more manageable goals can be set and monitored. Larger goals can be broken down into bite-sized bits which can build up to overall improvement. Measuring goals regularly, instead of just once a year, can improve performance and reinforce a high-performing workplace culture. Like we said earlier, ‘little and often’ is the key to fostering a robust culture of feedback.
5. Fosters Collaboration
When feedback is consistent and continuous, it’s accepted as a regular business practice. Employees become more open to conversations. Peer feedback is encouraged and leads to more collaboration and teamwork. Often, team members will help each other improve to meet team goals in a supportive way when they know the mission.
6. Develops Your Team Members
Most employees want to do a great job. They want to be productive and meet company goals. They also want to learn and grow. Feedback helps develop team member skills to help them succeed. In turn, this can help position them for advancement professionally.
7. Poor Performers Hate It
Poor performers don’t like a culture of feedback. When team leaders are providing continuous feedback conversations, this group isn’t happy. Rather than work to improve performance, they often just leave. While we want everyone to succeed, if they’re unwilling to make adjustments to improve, both of you are better off if they make the decision to quit.
8. Builds Better Relationships
Managers are often conflicted about providing constructive or negative feedback. While they know it’s necessary, they can be hesitant to inject conflict into the workplace or worry about damaging relationships with team members. When you can show a genuine interest in improving performance and helping team members grow, providing consistent and continuous feedback will enhance relationships. It becomes a running dialogue that fosters coaching and builds trust.
9. More Adaptable Teams
When team members are used to getting regular feedback, it’s much easier to implement change when business needs change or strategies evolve. Teams that get continuous feedback are more adaptable.
10. Retain High-Performing Employees
66% of employees who don’t feel valued at work look for other job opportunities. Positive feedback shows you value their work. Constructive feedback shows you are invested in growing their skills and career. 92% of employees say they would be more likely to stay in their current job if their boss showed more empathy. Regular feedback, done properly, demonstrates an investment in employee growth and improvement. Employees that feel they are putting their strengths and abilities to work are 15% less likely to quit their job. Feedback can help sharpen their abilities and showcase their strengths.
11. Encourage Team-Wide Feedback
When a company begins forming a proper culture of feedback leaders should encourage everyone to ask for feedback as well as offer it. It should not always have to come from a manager. We all have different skills and different perspectives so how can we leverage off this to build high performing teams. Often this starts with the manager setting the example. A manager’s role is to manufacture this environment where it is safe to ask for feedback and safe to give it as well.
The ultimate goal of feedback, the ninja of feedback culture is when individuals control their own feedback. That is, they are asking for it rather than hoping someone will give it to them. Feedback is a tool for growth. Control your feedback, control your growth.
Improve Your Leadership Skills
It’s not just a career investment in your team. It will improve your performance as well. Leaders that give honest feedback are rated as five times more efficient than their peers.