How to create a Culture of Feedback in your organization
Feedback has become a buzzword in today’s innovation of the workplace but research tells us that 65% of employees say they don’t receive enough feedback from their managers. This means that even if we talk about feedback more often it’s not being implemented successfully within organizations.
Why do we care about feedback? 9 out of 10 employees will fail to be engaged when managers give little or no feedback. Disengaged workers have 37% higher absenteeism, 49% more accidents, and 60% more errors and defects.
Lower productivity, profitability and job growth are some of the effects of employees’ disengagement.
But what does it mean to have a Culture of Feedback and how do we implement it? For our first event with the Bay Area HR Professionals group, we were looking for answers and best practices.
We had the opportunity to discuss the topic with a fantastic panel, three experts with different backgrounds and expertise:
- Alex Moffit, Senior Product Manager at BetterWorks
- Kerry Leidich, Co-Founder of Humantelligence
- Eva Helén, CEO of Epiquette and Initiator of EQ Inspiration.
What is a Culture of Feedback?
First, how do we define culture? This has been proven to be hard to define — most of the time is considered to be the elephant in the room in executive’s meetings.
However, Kerry had an interesting definition:
“Culture is how things get done here and how people feel about working here”.
At Beaconforce, we believe culture is the sum of collective behaviors. Therefore, you can’t design it by introducing a feedback method or tool and then expect culture to follow. To change behaviors, we must change the environment in which the desired behaviors will grow.
What does a Culture of Feedback look like?
To answer that, we need to think about the desired outcomes we want to see by implementing a Culture of Feedback.
Alex had an inspiring story to illustrate this.
One of the board members of his clients told him that to prove if his company had adopted a culture of feedback, he would count how many smiles he got while walking around the company. It may sound odd at first, but what these smiles meant is that there is a “no-fear” Culture.
Research shows that when we don’t receive feedback at work, we become anxious and suspicious: we are afraid of what people are thinking, and we don’t feel empowered.
By implementing a Culture of Feedback, the turnover rates decrease by 14.9%.
What are the enablers and blockers to implementing a Culture of Feedback?
One of the tips Eva gave us to successfully cultivate an environment where a culture of feedback can grow was to train people on how to give and receive feedback.
Giving feedback is a delicate process. If done right, it enhances collaboration and communication, resulting in improved performance and productivity. If it lacks empathy and understanding, it can deteriorate the relationship with employees and their dedication to the job.
Research done by OfficeVibe found that only 58% of managers think they give enough feedback to their employees. Additionally, 83% of Millennials say that the feedback they get from their managers is not meaningful.
Eva advises people that when giving feedback, they should “detach the person from the activity.”
By doing this, we remove the aspect of the feedback that feels like a personal attack, and it can be considered as an observation on behaviors. Therefore, the feedback given can have the desired outcome and have a real impact.
We closed our panel asking our audience “What is the most important thing for a Culture of feedback to be successful?.”
58% of attendees believe that trust is the most important thing.
This makes us think once again about the definition of culture and how to shape it. As Luca Rosetti, CEO of Beaconforce, says: “to create a behavior, work on the environment and not on the individuals.”
— — — — — —
When employees feel they successfully worked on their skills and see a better version of themselves, they acknowledge their work and get more motivated to improve other aspects of their self. A compelling digital learning experience fosters innovation and creativity.