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How to Build a Feedback Culture

One of the biggest challenges faced by managers is finding the best way to let employees know they are doing a great job or where they need improvement. Creating a feedback culture is the best way to address performance issues and acknowledge the hard work of your team and individuals. Innovative and agile organisations are often more willing to look for improvements, however, this doesn’t mean that they are equipped to provide and accept feedback within their team.

Listening in Feedback

A strong feedback culture values and encourages feedback, listens to employees', and feedback is considered and acted upon. Importantly, there is consistent clear communication back to employees about why or why not feedback was or wasn’t acted upon. Organisations with feedback cultures invest in their employees and encourage individual, team, and organisational growth.

Creating a feedback culture requires planning, so here are a few ideas to get you started.

  1. People with a growth mindset believe their abilities can be developed through dedication, learning, and hard work. Strong feedback cultures value this mindset as you are continually learning and growing.

  2. To support a feedback culture, it is vital to provide training and resources to your employees for giving and receiving feedback. Most training focuses on how to give feedback, however, receiving feedback is equally, if not more, important.

  3. Nurturing a feedback culture relies on having a safe environment where employees are willing to give honest feedback without ramifications. Creating psychological safety is a key leadership capability.

  4. Create feedback standards and consistently role model and communicate what it looks like to employees and leaders.

  5. People prefer to receive feedback in various ways depending on their personal style. It is important to tailor your feedback to the individual and context.

  6. Find the right balance of positive and constructive feedback and provide outlets for employees to give and receive both on a regular basis.

  7. When you make a decision or change based on someone’s feedback, let them know. This is positive reinforcement and encourages the individual to continue to give feedback.

  8. Lead with vulnerability, strong leaders show a willingness to receive and learn from feedback.

  9. Be transparent about where the organisation and leadership can improve.

  10. Feedback cultures can be achieved through formal recognition, employee surveys, and 360 reviews, to name a few strategies.

When organisations incorporate feedback in their culture it increases employee engagement and motivation. Multiple studies have found employee recognition increases retention and productivity.

If you'd like to build your confidence as a leader and feel equipped to give and receive feedback so you can role model a feedback culture, then our Thriving Leaders Program. The program is focused on first-time leaders becoming more confident, by equipping them with the leadership and management skills to effectively lead a high performing team. The program is delivered in 2-hour sessions over 8 weeks. These sessions are interactive virtual coaching sessions, with practical and focused training in small, intimate groups to allow for collaboration and sharing. In between sessions participants, complete activities, curated readings, and videos to embed learnings. If you would like to join us please follow the link to the Thriving Leaders Program.

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