The Power Of Feedback

“The most fundamental thing about leadership is to have the humility to continue to get feedback and to try to get better – because your job is to try to help everybody else get better.”  Jim Yong Kim

Feedback And The Workplace

Feedback is a two-way street – you give it and you receive it. With feedback, you are able to access a plethora of ideas and strategies to take your company from point A to point F in less time while establishing yourselves as an innovative leader and business expert.

Today, both the corporate world and consumer world are fast becoming feedback supporters since you can rate almost anything whether it be an Amazon product, Uber driver and passenger, or the customer service in a department store. Feedback is in most of what we do. This is because companies have realized the power of feedback.

With feedback, companies, businesses, and organizations are able to tweak their product or service to become more trusted, excellent and reliable.

The concept of feedback has been around for many years; the application is dynamic as it adapts to the needs and demands of the era. While feedback may have started in the consumer world, it has begun to monopolize the corporate world as more and more companies make use of surveys, feedback apps, performance appraisals, and the like.

The Role Of Feedback In Your Office Environment

Feedback in the office environment is perhaps among the best ways to keep team performance optimized. With feedback, you will be able to know what is working or not working in your office environment. This insight will help you to make the necessary adjustments towards improving job satisfaction, company loyalty, employee efficiency and effectiveness, trust, and much more.

In his article for Forbes, Josh Bersin explains that according to Deloitte University Press’ article Simply Irresistible, employee engagement is affected by a variety of factors including culture, recognition, career progress, quality of management and jobs, etc.

Bersin continues to say that without feedback, employees become suspicious, less productive and a bit nervous. Thus a correlation lies in feedback and employee security. The more feedback in the office environment, the more secure employees become in the organization and their role in the company. Team performance continues to maintain and grow thanks to feedback.

The Two Ways Of Receiving Feedback

Feedback can be given and received in two ways:

  1. Managers give feedback – This is usually in the form of performance appraisals, surveys, and other feedback apps where employee’s behavior, attitude, and overall satisfaction is measured by their managers. Such feedback helps staff discover their strengths and blind spots.  As employees listen to this feedback, they are given the opportunity to take the information given to them and work towards self-improvement and future growth.
  2. Employees give feedback – Employees are often the ones who are being asked to provide the company with feedback in the form of performance appraisals, 360-Degree feedback tests, surveys, etc. The benefits of employee feedback are more significant than we realize. They span into the very heart and success of a company, bringing about those areas that need improvement or giving solutions to dilemmas.

Regardless of whether you are giving feedback or your employee is, feedback is accompanied with listening. The more skilled you are at listening to feedback, the higher the impact of the feedback will have on both you and the employee. Not only will you gain valuable information but you will also show your employees that they are valued, appreciated and heard.

Both managers and employees need to engage in active listening. This means that you remain fully present with your employee throughout the feedback session or any other time that you engage with them. Listen attentively to what they are saying without preplanning your response. Focus on understanding what they are saying from their perspective. Finally, be open minded (Keyser. 2014)

The Benefits Of Feedback

With feedback being the key to corporate success, being able to give and receive feedback is critical whether you are an employee 

or a manager. Although feedback can be uncomfortable at times, the benefits far outweigh the discomfort and people would rather have feedback than none at all.

One of the benefits that apply to both managers and staff pertains to the more feedback that is given by both parties, the more skilled you both will become at giving and receiving feedback. You will learn with each staff member or manager how to phrase your feedback in a style which will be well received and heard. This, in turn, will enhance the following feedback benefits to team performance.

#1 Managers giving feedback

When managers provide their employees with feedback, the benefits are significant. According to Hoffman, these benefits include:

Performance and future growth

When employees receive the feedback they are given a clear indication of their performance and management expectations. As you provide your staff with the necessary feedback, you are going to be giving them information that will encourage them towards personal growth and team effort. The recognition they get for a job well done will also improve their confidence.

Alongside the improvement in performance, you will see and experience an increase in future growth which will lead to increased responsibilities and promotion.

Increased loyalty

Regular feedback from managers will encourage employees towards loyalty to the company or organization. The more they are recognized, appreciated and given room to grow, the more staff become invested in the company. Their success hinges on the company’s success.

Plus, employees appreciate the heart of managers who dedicate themselves to helping others improve and succeed. These are managers that many people want to work for. It also fosters a genuine level of respect and mentorship within the company teams.

Cost effective and increased profits

As new people are added to a company and other staff members are moved into different roles or departments, further training and development are required. In order to minimize the mishaps that may come with finding your feet within your new role, regular feedback will help keep staff on the course. Bottom line, regular feedback helps reduce the cost and possibility of needing to hire replacement staff.

Because feedback promotes employee loyalty, you (as a manager) can rest assured that your clients will continue to experience great customer service and support with the staff that they have built a relationship with. This allows your company’s sales to remain and grow.

#2 Employees giving feedback

The benefits of receiving feedback from your employees may be greater than initially thought. According to Patrick, these benefits include job satisfaction, compliance issues, relational dynamics, performance, and productivity. In each of these benefits, you will see what makes employee feedback irreplaceable in your office environment

Increase employee performance and productivity

Having a high staff turnover in any company results in increased expenses and a strain on resources as you scour the industry for that ideal candidate who will not only work well with your current employees but also add an important skillset to your current team.

Receiving feedback from your employees will give you insight into some of the reasons why your company is experiencing a high staff turnover and how you can shift your current staff to boost productivity.

Office dynamics

Feedback is a great way for managers to understand the office dynamics such as what situations are causing stress or what staff members are experiencing friction in their relationship with each other. Employee feedback will also reveal how managers are treating their employees and if the company vision is being clearly conveyed.

In addition to this, employees experience validation and ownership when they are given the opportunity to express their opinion regarding their office environment and relationships.

Job satisfaction

Let your employees teach you about their experience working for your company. This feedback will help you tailor your training programs, employee benefits, and company procedures to continue to improve and maintain employee job satisfaction.

 

Resources

Hoffman, Janet. 2016. Key Benefits of Effective Feedback. HR Aligned Design.http://hraligneddesign.com/leadership/key-benefits-of-effective-feedback/

Patrick, Monica. The Advantages of Taking Feedback From Employees. Small Business Chron. http://smallbusiness.chron.com/advantages-taking-feedback-employees-18036.html

Keyser, John. 2014. Listening Is a Leader’s Most Important Skill. Association for Talent Development. https://www.td.org/Publications/Blogs/Management-Blog/2014/07/Listening-Is-a-Leaders-Most-Important-Skill

Bersin, Josh. 2015. Feedback is the killer app: a new market and management model emerges. Forbes. http://www.forbes.com/sites/joshbersin/2015/08/26/employee-feedback-is-the-killer-app-a-new-market-emerges/3/#12fc074550f9

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