During these uncertain times, the whole world is experiencing a new reality because of COVID-19. A lot of businesses have been affected and are trying to adapt under these new circumstances that have altered their way of working. While in the past there were some companies that used to work remotely, now more than ever, work from home has arisen as a necessity for more and more organizations. To make this work, online feedback will play an important role for employee management.
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Why old practices of feedback management don’t work anymore?
The new era of coronavirus has led to uncertainty and disorder. In the working environment, this translates into confusion as employees are not used to working from home. Communication becomes more difficult and projects can become stuck or not delivered efficiently. In this situation, companies can not continue with the same employee management techniques.
In the past, feedback was provided on a yearly basis as an annual performance review. In this way, companies wanted to reflect upon employee performance, evaluate the past year, improve performance and increase ROI (return on investment). Nevertheless, the results tend to be rather questionable. A lot of information was missing, uncomfortable conversations were taking place, money and time were spent, all while employees couldn’t recognize the value of yearly appraisals. What is more, people did not feel safe to express their honest opinions while they were feeling judged.
The role of online feedback during COVID-19
The transformation of feedback culture is essential for the survival of every organization. Continuous feedback is considered to be a much more valuable way of employee development and growth, especially when working remotely. To make this happen, having digital access and using the right online tools will make the work routine organized and structured, while ensuring employee well-being.
Giving constructive feedback on a regular basis will make people within the organization feel motivated and encouraged, and it will activate them. The employees will feel ensured that possible obstacles can be overcome, and managers will have the overview of all the projects and internal activities. Moreover, taking time out of the agenda and planning online meetings can significantly improve employee engagement and job satisfaction.
What are the different types of feedback then that can help facilitate the transition to a new feedback culture era?
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Different types of online feedback
- One-to-one feedback: It is usual that managers, due to a really busy program, do not often organize meetings with their employees. Nevertheless, it is a crucial process that will help employees perform at a high level and it will reduce employee turnover. One-on-one meetings can be organized weekly or monthly. It is important for the employee to be informed in advance and to be aware of what is going to be discussed so that they can be prepared. The meeting can last from 30-60 minutes and the managers can always leave some more time just in case it will be needed. In these meetings, apart from the points for improvement, it is important to share positive feedback, discuss the overall performance of the team and the long-term goals of the organization. This is how the employee will feel like a valuable and integral member of the team.
- Peer-to-peer feedback: Apart from the feedback between the manager and the employee, another beneficial type of feedback is peer-to-peer feedback. Colleagues can open dialogues with each other, share knowledge and experience, resolve conflicts and get help on how to improve. A new culture of open chat is established with advantages for the employee’s as well as the company’s goals. Collaboration is strengthened and team work takes first place in the company. These meetings can be either weekly to discuss possible issues on the ongoing projects or can be organized according to the needs of each employee.
- 360-degree feedback: This evaluation method requires feedback gathered from different co-workers, managers, and peers who provide direct reports about the individual’s performance. This way, it becomes possible to gain a well-rounded result based on different opinions. Normally, the manager is responsible for organizing this for the employee and a performance management system could be extremely beneficial for this type of evaluation. Feedback and performance management software can provide templates and surveys so that everybody replies on the same variables. Bias that comes from personal opinions can be eliminated, leading to a more trustworthy outcome. The results of this evaluation method can help with the creation of a correct development plan for employees.
- Self-reflection: While listening to others is important, self-reflection is also essential for self-growth. When you start observing and analyzing your past behaviors and results, you are able to be critical of your own work. Furthermore, you can take a moment and evaluate the feedback you received from your colleagues, see your current situation with a clear eye, set personal goals, and create a development plan for yourself. Reflecting on your own work allows you to discover your strengths and the areas for improvement. Of course, you can always ask for feedback during this process if needed.
To conclude, online feedback is an integral part of working remotely. The combination of these practices will ensure the effectiveness of performance management and will assist the organization in total. Even though the transition to a new feedback culture may seem difficult, the use of a performance management system will eliminate disorganization and fears, and will bring structure and rhythm to projects.