Creating a Culture of Feedback.

How can you set your Mindset to use Feedback to learn and grow?

Have you implemented some kind of feedback mechanism at your company and seen little to no change? Perhaps annual reviews and exit interviews have not improved high turnover, or client feedback has not allowed large-scale change, or maybe the problem lies with the company culture. This problem is compounded by hierarchy and power dynamics, different cultural norms, and a lack of clarity or trust around the process of feedback. 

The perception about Feedback

Your perception about the feedback may vary depending on the culture you live in. A culture of feedback is an environment in which individuals speak up and express concerns, offer innovative solutions, and provide opportunities for growth to one another in order to optimize performance. By its very nature this kind of feedback is both vertical and lateral across an organization; it encourages employees at all levels to seek out and offer feedback and support to one another. Leaders should be as open and receptive to hearing suggestions for their own growth as they are providing them to those they oversee. But the key here is “receptive”. This is where a growth mindset comes into play. Leaders with fixed mindset do not recognize the opportunity to learn and grow. They create the culture of fear where their team is too scare to take risks, innovate, or express ideas. Whenever problems come up immediately interpret the situation as a failure and look for someone to blame. This is because they don’t believe people can improve their skills to solve the problem. 

In fixed mindset cultures there is not only problem with giving and receiving honest and constructive feedback, but also with knowledge sharing and hiding the resources and information from others. That creates an unmotivated team that is not performing at their full potential or not expanding their potential.

On the other hand, leaders who adopt a growth mindset create a healthy culture of accountability that drives business growth. Leaders with growth mindset see opportunity for their teams in sharing feedback and find the ways to accelerate their team’s growth to overcome any business challenges.

People in all organization around the world struggle with feedback. Stop for a moment and do a self-awareness Quiz and reflect why do you avoid giving feedback to your team?

Is it because…?

1. You have tried giving feedback in the past and it has not helped and it was not solving the problem YES/NO

2. You do not know how they will react and You feel you are not good at handling it if they become emotional YES/NO

3. Your direct report used to be your peer and so it’s not easy YES/NO

4. You think that ongoing stress brought about by pandemic can make them take constructive feedback even harder than usual YES/NO

5. You can’t see that the Company culture supports it and encourage you to do it on regular basis YES/NO

6. You do not like conflict and you have bad memories from your own experience YES/NO

7. You have trouble to controlling your emotions when questioned about providing specific examples of performance issues YES/NO

8. You think that, you do not have time for doing it YES/NO

9. Your employees know what to work on YES/NO

10. Your employees already are the top performers YES/NO

11. You don’t have faith that someone can improve YES/NO

So how may Yes have you collected?

I wanted to share with you some of my observations related to giving and receiving feedback based on my recent projects and researches I have been conducting …

  • 92% of professionals believe that negative feedback, if delivered appropriately, is effective at improving performance and create a change in the organization.
  • We live in a contradiction – the urge to improve versus the need for approbation – that makes it challenging to receive feedback without getting defensive or losing motivation.
  • For all that we want to grow and improve, we also want to be accepted, respected and valued just the way we are.
  • Giving feedback to employees can also be challenging, with the risk of blocking someone’s progress or denting confidence in the attempt to correct behaviors.

How can you create a Culture of Feedback?

“47% of people actively looking for a new job blaming the company culture as the main reason for wanting to leave”, so if you want to improve both employee retention and profitability, setting the conditions for supporting the culture of feedback should be one of the most important business priorities. It requires buy in from decision-makers and those in positions of power and can take time to feel truly authentic and transparent. Fear of repercussions for speaking up can only fade by consistently modeling encouragement and support. Teams with a growth mindset and culture of feedback have better morale and higher success rates. Individuals are more likely to speak up, take on leadership roles, and make the improvements needed to ensure the highest quality teamwork possible. 

But what’s the best way to do that?

Create a growth mindset to increase performance. 

When employees enjoy their work, understand their goals, and know the values and competencies of the job, performance increases. 69% of employees would work harder if they felt their efforts were better recognized. Continues feedback helps align goals, clarify expectations, and motivates employees and creates a meaningful workplace where effort is valued. Giving and requesting feedback should be integrated with day-to-day operations, and should be easy for the employees to request and receive it. 

Train all team members how to give and receive feedback.

Giving and receiving feedback are skills – they must be developed and practiced. Building the culture of feedback starts with providing meaningful feedback that is behavioral based, forward looking, objective, continuous, in real-time and direct. 

Many companies have started to implement more continuous conversations and many believe that these conversations will extend beyond performance, and there will be a focus on employee well-being. Creating a great feedback culture where employees feel safe to give and share feedback on their perspectives of their performance, their workloads, and their mental health will differentiate great companies from their competitors.

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