Some managers shy away from it. Employees may cringe at the thought of it. No matter the perspective, feedback can be beneficial to both parties. Ongoing feedback is crucial to ensure your company is always improving and can hire and retain the best talent possible.
Feedback is most useful when a company sets the stage and the culture is built around making the work environment inviting, encouraging, and responsive to it. An article published in Canadian Psychology indicates that today’s companies would be well advised to make effective use of feedback. The study suggested that such companies would most likely give themselves a competitive advantage, especially in today’s fierce economic climate.
How can you create a feedback friendly environment?
Create A Culture that Views Feedback as a Gift
A first step is creating an environment that is receptive to giving and receiving feedback. This important aspect of company culture should be clearly communicated with employees. Feedback’s intent is as a gift that fosters self‑improvement and growth not only for the employee, but for the company.
Build an Environment of Trust
Trust is the first step in creating the type of environment that welcomes feedback. How can you build trust? Get to know your employees by taking the time to build a relationship with them. Some employees might think that providing constructive criticism of their managers might end them up in hot water, but this should never be the case. Give your employees an environment that they feel comfortable enough to voice their opinions. If you provide feedback and a foundation of trust is missing, you may not get the results you were aiming for.
Foster Employee Self Discovery
Self‑discovery is the most useful way to learn. Assist your employees with realizing alternative actions that can be taken: use powerful questions to guide the employee down a path of self discovery. For example, if an employee is trying to problem solve and asks for help, kindly ask them to take their first pass at it, and then you can work together. If the employee is truly struggling, never brush them off or make them feel as though their questions are not worthy of your time.
Be Aware of a Good Opportunity for Feedback
Timing is everything which certainly covers when to listen and when to provide feedback. Know when to listen and question, as well as when to offer advice and training. Feedback is more than just stating your thoughts or opinions. It is about having an engaging conversation that promotes learning and growth. If you’re having a review with one of your employees, ask them what would help them continue down their path of growth. Or ask them how they envision the company growing. They might have insight into aspects of your company that you may not.
How Can You Change Feedback Resistance
Providing feedback can sometimes feel awkward and uncomfortable, especially when not well received. Respond to resistance by uncovering the true root cause of the employee disengagement. Use situations when an employee fails or doesn’t succeed as an opportunity to learn.
Don’t be discouraged if it takes time for feedback to become second nature. Relationships take time, trust needs to be built and communication needs to be in place. Today’s diverse range of employees are open to constructive comments and a guiding hand to a path of improvement.
Looking for additional help with your feedback requests? PeopleSuite’s HR consulting services can help you find the reasons why your employees aren’t comfortable sharing their thoughts. Connect with us to learn more.