by Raquel Nogueira (Talent Manager, Bee Engineering ) for Human Resources Portugal
We’ve all certainly heard and/or used the expression “positive feedback vs. negative feedback” however, if we only focus on feedback, we will more easily get started when it comes to building this culture that increasingly seems to be in everyone’s interest.
Whether with the aim of reinforcing and congratulating, or with the aim of stimulating improvement and change, feedback should simply allow for a dialogue about how performance is perceived and how the proposed objectives are being worked on to be achieved.
Regardless of the role within the organization, for feedback to be effective, its content must be focused on the activities/objectives of the person in question. The perception of those who give feedback is totally different from the experience and reality of those who receive it and, therefore, when we work with and for people, it becomes essential to develop our sensitivity to understand that what works for some may not work for others. . It may be necessary to adjust the approach and timing of transmitting feedback.
Leaders who want to motivate and enhance the growth of their team will find feedback to be a very effective and cost-free work and guidance tool, which allows them to understand each person’s perception of the work environment and their motivations. The advantage of giving feedback is also the advantage of receiving it, as it allows you to work on developing talent, identifying their strengths and areas for technical and behavioral improvement.
There are several ways to create and implement a feedback culture in the organization, however there are some starting points that are important to take into account:
- develop a safe and transparent environment based on respect and valuing opinions, in order to allow people in the organization to feel comfortable talking about the desired issues.
- work on empathy, as this will make the person receiving feedback feel valued and realize that their difficulties are interpreted as opportunities for improvement and not as weaknesses. When transmitting feedback, try not only to point out what can be improved but also to highlight the positive points – Praise your people.
- encourage the practice of continuous feedback and not just during performance assessments. The purpose of experiencing a feedback culture within the organization is to feel open to expressing ourselves in all interactions.
- asking for feedback, validating how the person felt about a certain activity and establishing a commitment plan are essential tools. Working on active listening will allow you to identify the organization’s strengths and areas for improvement.
- developing and implementing involves close monitoring and frequently evaluating the impact. There is no feedback culture without continuous improvement and openness to adjust practices and procedures.
Creating a culture of feedback takes time and is, without a doubt, an ongoing effort that can depend on several factors, especially when we talk about consultancy. The way an organization creates, implements and maintains its feedback culture may therefore, naturally, differ.
The important thing is to reinforce that, when we talk about feedback, we are talking about boosting the growth of each person individually, but also of the organization as a whole. When we talk about feedback, we are talking about promoting an increase in productivity and results, as well as promoting the development of a mentality focused on improvements, both in terms of behavior and in terms of achieving goals/objectives.