How to maintain a feedback culture in a fast growing company

Photo by Alexandru Tudorache

One of the most difficult things companies face when they begin to grow is how they can continue to maintain their culture, in spite of a high influx of new employees. This can also become an issue as your company ages. How can you be certain your new talent will carry on your feedback culture as they become managers? What you need is to institutionalize feedback into your company in order for it to continue.

  1. Include feedback in your company values

Enshrine the importance of feedback into your company values. Values can be seen as the ‘behavioral compass’ of your company. Creating a strong set of values from the beginning helps to institutionalize the right kinds of behaviors for future generations of employees.

2. Make feedback training part of onboarding

Whether they’re coming from a high feedback culture or not, introducing employees to your company’s own brand of feedback from the beginning will highlight to them the importance your company places on feedback.

3. Hire for company culture fit

At the end of the day feedback onboarding will only take you so far. If you hire people who are averse to feedback it will take much longer to integrate them into your culture. To maintain their unique cultures, companies like Zappos are hiring exclusively for culture fit, even going as far to offer new hires money to leave the company if they don’t feel they can get with the program. Try integrating questions about feedback skills into your recruitment procedures.

4. Assess employees on the quality of feedback given

Make feedback an important skill which is assessed during performance reviews. Asking questions about the quality and frequency of feedback given by managers, employees and peers clearly demonstrates your company’s expectations.

5. Have traditions in place

Create certain traditions around positive feedback in the workplace. Maybe every time someone makes a sale you ring a gong, maybe you have a secret santa style session for giving positive peer feedback every week. Centering regular rituals around employee recognition ensures feedback will continue to be a key aspect of your company’s culture for generations to come.

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