How important can feedback be?

Fernando Doglio
Sep 19, 2018 · 3 min read
Right?

Feedback is part of our everyday life, we need it to understand the impact of our every action, still, we forget to provide it to those working with us, and that is a problem.

When working in teams, specially if they’re distributed teams, it’s extremely important to understand the relevance of feedback and the need for it. Otherwise, how can others and you, be expected to know if you’re all doing your job the way you’re meant to?

At Globant, we’ve identified several different instances where feedback can be provided and different types of feedback to provide as well.

Long, formal feedback

This is the most common case, we do this twice a year . This feedback is related to the last few months of work for the reviewed person.

As a leader, you provide feedback regarding the expected tasks for this person and how they actually performed. You highlight both, the good and the bad, in order to provide helpful information for them to improve wherever needed.

You can also provide feedback to your leader, letting them know essentially the same thing: if they’re actually good leaders, if they need to improve in some areas (from the perspective of the person being lead of course) and this is done anonymously to allow for full sincerity on the process (depending on your situation, it might be difficult to be completely honest with your managers, so anonymity in this cases comes in handy).

We do this using an internal in-house tool, which can then be queried when performing staffing activities.

Micro-moments

Micro-moments are also important. They’re called like that because they simply refer to individual actions that a person can take. Maybe they led a meeting with the client that went extra well, or maybe they covered for you with a report you didn’t have time to make yourself.

You can see how this can be very different from long, formal feedback, but it’s also very relevant, since these micro-moments tend to be lost over time, and once you find yourself writing feedback for a person about their last four months of work, these small pearls get lost.

We capture these moments in two ways, or should I say, through two different tools. One of them, designed to simply highlight actions related to our company’s values (like being a Team Player, or an Innovator to name a just a few). The tool is called StarMeUp (cute, I know) and it allows you to send “stars” as recognition to your teammates, or colleagues (they don’t really have to be on your team). The second one though, allows you to go into more details about these micro-moments, giving you the opportunity to highlight several traits at once, in a more generic but micro-moment related way.

Skill-related feedback

Finally, we also have the ability to provide skill-related feedback, similar to what you’d do in a person’s LinkedIn profile and “like” or “recommend” another’s colleague skills. So you can go into our internal feedback tool, look up that dev who is fixing all those Angular bugs in your project and “like” his Angular skill, in order to boost his internal score in that area.

Putting it all together

This and the rest of the feedback input will help in two different aspects:

1- During staffing activities, since a single system will have all the feedback provided. Whoever is looking into a person’s profile will be able to understand how that person works, how they behave with their colleagues and what kind of skill set they have.

2- People will have input on how their doing with their tasks and (arguably) even better, they will have positive feedback from those micro-moments when they managed to shine in front of others.

So, as a final thought for this post and if you’re going to take something from it, make it this: Feedback is crucial to both, the professional development of your colleagues (both under you and above you hierarchically speaking) and internally to your organization if you need to understand what kind of skill sets you can have access to. So make it a priority, specially if you’re a leader, to provide said feedback.

Fernando Doglio

Technical Manager @Globant. Author of books and maker of software things. Also blogging at http://www.fdoglio.com and http://mywritingcorner.net

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