Every manager wants to make their company more effective, and encourage employees to give each other, positive feedback. But it can be hard to create this culture, especially at larger corporations.
Too often, feedback of any kind is dreaded and seen as negative. At worst, some employees may even consider feedback to be useless and irrelevant. To solve this problem, you must establish a positive feedback culture at work.
A feedback culture helps your employees understand how they are performing, rewards them for great work, and promotes a healthier and more constructive work environment. Read on, and find out our top 10 tips on how to establish a positive feedback culture at work!
1. Provide Regular, Constructive Feedback
The process must begin by providing regular, constructive feedback that is based on honesty and trust. If you can provide feedback that is honest, and do so in a way that does not make another person feel negative – even if there are areas that need improvement – you’re well on your way to developing a positive feedback culture.
You should also try to provide feedback to coworkers and colleagues more regularly. For example, consider ditching the traditional “annual performance review” in favor of project-based feedback sessions – regular, focused feedback helps nurture a positive feedback culture.
2. Nurture A Mindset Focused On Growth
If an employee has a growth mindset, they are much more likely to receive feedback well – whether it’s positive, or focuses on areas where an employee could improve.
This is because a growth mindset helps employees recognize where they have succeeded as a person and an employee, and where they can still grow.
A growth mindset helps an employee realize that there will always be areas where they can improve – and as long as they are trying to do so, they’re on the right track!
3. Train Employees On How To Give – And Receive – Feedback
One problem with feedback is that employees often give feedback in staggeringly different ways. One project manager, for example, may focus on giving only positive feedback, and avoid negative comments altogether. But another project manager might almost exclusively focus on areas where employees can improve.
This disconnect fosters a sense of fear and dread about feedback – because employees don’t know what to expect from each other, or their managers.
Because of this, it’s important to train employees on how to give and receive feedback. If everyone gets on the same page, it’s much easier to communicate.
4. Start From The Top-Down
Change always starts from the top. If you really want a positive feedback culture, your C-suite execs, VPs, and other important managers must be serious about encouraging change. They should ask for feedback from each other, and give feedback – all up and down your organizational hierarchy.
As employees begin to notice this, they will feel more comfortable giving feedback to each other and their managers – encouraging a more open, honest work environment.
5. Encourage Honesty In Employees – And Make Them Feel Safe
A feedback culture only works if employees feel they can be honest. And if employees think they will be punished for sharing their honest opinions, your feedback culture is broken.
Encourage employees to be honest about their feelings, and encourage a “feedback-safe” environment. Emphasize that they will not face any kind of negative repercussions for sharing honest feedback with you, or their colleagues.
You should also understand that different people have different levels of Emotional Intelligence – and some are going to be more (or less) comfortable giving feedback. Be respectful – don’t force feedback from these people.
6. Create Clear, Reasonable Feedback Guidelines – And Follow Them
Setting feedback guidelines helps standardize the process, and makeS employees feel more comfortable. You should outline things like:
● Who gives feedback to who?
● How often should feedback be given?
● How do we give feedback? Is there an official process?
● What is the goal of each feedback session?
7. Practice What You Preach
The only way to create a feedback culture is to put in the work – every day. Practice always makes you perfect – and unless you “practice what you preach” and work to make a positive feedback culture a reality, your efforts will fail.
Integrate feedback into your daily operations, meetings, and more. Ask your employees how you can make the process of giving and receiving feedback more efficient, and how they feel about its integration into their day-to-day work.
Yep, that’s right – the best way to build a feedback culture is to ask for employee feedback! It’s ironic, but it’s true!
8. Utilize Multiple Feedback Channels
You shouldn’t have just one formal system for employees to give each other feedback. Different people prefer different modes of communication – one employee may be fine with giving feedback face-to-face, for example, while another may prefer to send their feedback online.
It’s best to use a mix of online and face-to-face feedback,– as well as both group and individual feedback. If you give your feedback online the receiver has time to think about the context, afterwards you’ll be able to go deeper into the feedback face-to-face. Keeping things varied and diverse helps each employee find their “groove” and see what form of feedback they prefer to use.
9. Balance Both Positive And Corrective Feedback – But Don’t Be Negative
Feedback is not all “sunshine and rainbows.” At some point, you’re going to have to give some corrective feedback and constructive criticism. No employee is perfect – and unless they understand mistakes or errors they have made, they won’t be able to improve.
But this doesn’t mean you have to be harsh or cruel about delivering corrective feedback. When delivering corrective feedback, focus first on what an employee or colleague is doing well. Emphasize their achievements and accomplishments – then discuss what could use improvement.
Avoiding negativity is so important. When employees begin to feel negatively about giving – and receiving – feedback, your entire feedback culture breaks down. Make sure you address areas of improvement, but deliver criticism with a light touch.
10. Highlight Decisions Made Based On Feedback
Feedback that does not influence business decisions seems useless and pointless – that’s just a fact. So when you do make a decision based on someone’s feedback, you should let them know.
Don’t just focus on communicating the change itself – tell them why you made the changes based on their feedback. This makes them feel like what they say truly matters – encouraging future feedback, in turn!
If you don’t bother communicating why you make business changes – or worse, you don’t make changes based on feedback at all – you will never be able to build a positive feedback culture. People hate feeling like they’re being ignored, or their efforts are being wasted, so they’ll just give up on providing feedback to you.
Follow These Top 10 Tips – Start Nurturing A Positive Feedback Culture At Work Today!
Creating a positive workplace culture focused on feedback is a wonderful thing. And, like most wonderful things, it’s not easy! But with these 10 handy tips, you’re sure to be on the right track.
Next to these tips to create a positive feedback culture, an online feedback tool might help to nurture feedback into the workplace. TruQu offers an online tool that makes it easy for your employees to ask and receive feedback from colleagues, managers and clients. If you want to know how TruQu can help your organization you can request a free guided demonstration!
Think about how you can incorporate these simple pieces of advice and a feedback tool into your day-to-day work, and you’ll be astonished at how your work environment improves!