There is a fine line between criticism and feedback. Criticism can in fact be a form of feedback but no workplace functions effectively if the focus is always on the negative. Progressive and proactive workplaces rely upon managers who can effectively give and receive feedback in a way which is productive and progressive. Feedback can help give employees direction, but it can also help inform future decisions for management too. Let’s look more closely at just how important feedback is in a functioning workplace.
Feedback leads to Better Decision Making
Research by Know your Team found 65% of employees think their organisation is behind the curve in specific areas. If you regular feedback with your employees then you can have a good understanding of where they think you’re falling behind and look to act on this information if possible. Feedback helps you to make more informed decisions and can ensure your business is keeping with the competitions.
Feedback empowers Employees to do their Best
Most employees are desperate for the opportunity to hear candid and actionable feedback they can use to improve their performance. Research published by Harvard Business Review found 72% of employees believed their performance would improve if they received corrective feedback from management. As much as employees don’t simply want to be criticised, they also don’t want empty praise with no actionable feedback to work on.
Feedback creates Stronger, Better Leaders
Leaders who are confident in giving constructive and actionable feedback are viewed much more positively by the wider workforce. Leaders who provide honest feedback are building up trust with their team and are showing the team they want to help them develop. Similarly, leaders who accept feedback and learn from their own mistakes are able to improve more quickly themselves. Feedback from both the team and from the senior management can help frontline managers and leaders improve their working practices and work on themselves too.
Putting Theory into Practice
Implementing an effective employee feedback system doesn’t have to be a formal process, this will depend on your business. There are some steps everybody can take to move towards a more feedback-led work environment including:
- Lead by example – if you want your employees to accept feedback, make sure you can accept it too.
- Act on feedback – once you’re receiving feedback, you must take action, or the process is in vain.
- Position your feedback correctly – employees respond differently to different styles of feedback, asking for their advice or help may go down more positively than a request to fill in a feedback form.
If you want your business to move in the right direction you need to be actively involved in guiding your staff to feedback honestly and delivering the same.