In our previous post we looked at the internal communication crisis that a lot of companies are currently experiencing, along with the importance of feedback loops.
If some of the stats we presented you with were a little shocking then you may have wondered about what you can do to take action to prevent your company from finding itself in a similar situation.
In this article we’ll explore how to create a feedback loop within your company. If implemented properly, a feedback loop can go help improve an wide array of things, such as:
- Internal communication
- Employee development
- Employee satisfaction and motivation
- Staff retention
- Company profit
Crucial Elements in your Feedback Loop
A staggering 80% of modern-day workers favour instant or regular feedback over the outdated format of annual reviews.
If we’re honest with ourselves, it’s quite obvious that traditional annual performance reviews are a thing of the past. The workforce of today expects to hear how they are doing regularly, not once a year. Indeed, regularity might well be the most important feature of an effective feedback process.
Apart from low-frequency, another characteristic that’s traditionally associated with standard feedback processes is their formality.
Their rarity can lend assessments an air of overblown gravity as managers and employees feel the pressure of trying to review an entire year’s worth of material. The review is also often tied to a salary increase so whole process can become a somewhat sensitive one in which the employee may feel defensive – a surefire way to prevent open communication from occuring.
3. The Right Balance Between Positive & Negative Comments
Most people have probably worked with a manager who puts negative feedback front and centre. It’s an unpleasant and generally unhelpful method. However, so too is the flip-side of that feedback coin – the boss who’ll bend over backwards to avoid confrontation by only offering positive words even when they’re totally unwarranted.
According to a survey carried out by Zenger and Folkman:
69% of employees say they would work harder if they felt their efforts were better recognized.
92% of respondents agreed with the assertion, “Negative (redirecting) feedback, if delivered appropriately, is effective at improving performance.”
Remember, positive and negative feedback can both play a part in ensuring employee development. As with most things, the key is balance.
4. 360-degree Appraisal
Way too often employee performance reviews are a one-person job. Generally this falls into the lap of an employee’s line manager, which can bias the performance review.
Consequently, it’s important to extend the reach of the feedback process so that every person who interacts with a particular employee (customers, colleagues, collaborators, managers, and so on) has the chance to offer their thoughts. This kind of 360-degree performance review not only contributes to the employee’s morale, it also helps them to learn from their mistakes and consolidate their strengths.
5. Give Feedback on Feedback
One of the most common mistakes that managers make when they receive feedback from employees is failure to reply.
Think about it. If an employee can make the time in their day to offer valuable feedback that will improve the company then the least you can do would be to show them that you value and appreciate their thoughts.
Related Article: How to Foster a Culture of Communication with GoConqr Campus
In fact, if you want to go one step further, you shouldn’t just reply to employee feedback but actively promote it through your feedback loop.
6. Make it Personal
Words and phrases that are repeated too often end up losing their meaning. Is saying “thank you” really an effective way of showing gratitude to an employee, when you say the same polite but impersonal thing to dozens of strangers every day?
Feedback should be personal, not generic. If it’s to be stimulating or actionable then you’ll need to avoid trotting out tired old cliches such as “good job” or “keep up the good work”. If you want more from your employees then your feedback with need to go the extra mile too.
Your Feedback Loop: Putting the Pieces Together
We’ve already identified the essential elements of an effective feedback loop. The next step is integrating them into the workflow of your company so that feedback flows seamlessly.
This can become a challenge, especially if we take into consideration the structure of the modern workforce, which is more flexible than previous generations. Issues such as poor performance or tension within a team can lead to further problems down the line if not dealt with promptly.
But how can anyone reasonably remain abreast of things in order to ensure a high-performing workforce? By encouraging greater interactivity and engagement through a tool that allows micro-feedback as part of a continuous learning process.
If this sounds like something that might benefit your organisation, then fill out the form below and learn more about GoConqr Campus: