Let’s face it: feedback can feel awkward for both the giver and the receiver. Maybe that’s why fewer than 6% of companies report feedback as a daily process.
But the days of once-a-year feedback sessions are long over. New research from Gallup suggests that the best managers around the world provide a regular feedback process, where “expectations are set and continually clarified through ongoing performance feedback and recognition.”
The good news? Creating a culture of feedback can begin immediately and can start with YOU. Here are some tips to modernize feedback in your organization, no matter where you fall on the traditional totem pole:
1. Use strengths-based and specific feedback.
Even when feedback is accessible, 65% of employees say feedback from peers and higher-ups is not specific enough to help them improve. Try offering strengths-based feedback, rooted in encouragement and affirmation. Instead of saying, “David, your inattention to detail is a huge flaw that needs improvement,” you might say, “David, you were so organized at last year’s event; if you used the same method this year, I think the event will be a huge success. Does that make sense?” Gallup found that employees who were given strengths-based feedback saw a 12.5% boost in productivity.
Employees who were given strengths-based feedback saw a 12.5% boost in productivity.
2. Make feedback a regular ritual.
Rather than offering feedback in an annual blast, try making feedback an everyday expectation in your organization. Try offering at least one piece of feedback a day, whether you are celebrating someone’s good work in the break room or offering a suggestion to a peer during a walk around the office. When offered regularly, feedback as simple as “Hey, I was thinking about your presentation next week and I thought of a great point to add!” can be a game changer in terms of creativity and employee engagement.
3. Consider your feedback motive.
Employees and peers are less likely to become defensive in the face of feedback if they understand your motive on the front end. Considering beginning your feedback with something like, “I really like the direction you’re moving in with this presentation, Sarah. Since we all want this deal to go through, I’m wondering if you’d be interested in hearing some feedback that came up for me during your run-through.”