Just as constructive reviews from customers are vital for the success of any business, having a healthy feedback culture in the workplace is essential for overall productivity.
About 85% of employees worldwide are actively disengaged in the workplace, and Gallup lists "ongoing conversations" as one of the key drivers for employee engagement. You'd agree that continuously giving and receiving employee feedback is one way to keep the conversations going to build a healthy company culture.
Read on to learn why a culture of feedback matters in the workplace and how you can create one.
Culture of feedback: Why does it matter?
Contrary to some employers' beliefs, employees appreciate workplaces with a feedback-rich culture. In fact, according to statistics, 63% of employees want to receive feedback more regularly.
“Why the fuss?”, you might wonder.
Here's why a culture of feedback matters:
- Improves employee engagement & performance: Whether negative or positive feedback, performance reviews encourage employees to improve. The insights help identify strengths or weaknesses, reinforce positive behaviors, and promote accountability. Employees can contribute to their professional development through constructive feedback.
- Creates a healthy work environment: Periodic feedback to and from employees inspires healthy communication, which is an essential component of a healthy workplace culture. When the company acts on feedback received, it makes employees comfortable sharing concerns about the company, their colleagues, or managers without fear of retribution.
- Generates valuable data: Receiving feedback from employees about the company or their colleagues can provide useful data to track performance and see which processes need improvements. Thankfully, several feedback tools can help you collect and track data efficiently.
- Leads to better work relationships: Delivering honest feedback and offering guidance to team members can improve work relationships and build trust. When employees give and receive feedback, they feel more valued in the workplace and like their contributions matter.
Next, let's see how you can create a culture of feedback in your organization.
Creating a culture of feedback
Image source: Freepik
We've seen how a healthy feedback culture can boost employee performance and engagement. Also, requesting employee feedback can help companies create a healthy culture that promotes growth.
Sadly, some companies and employees avoid giving and receiving feedback because of different reasons, including:
- The fear of being criticized
- The fear of the consequences of airing their opinions
- Considering it a waste of time since some companies do not act on critical feedback
- The belief that feedback conversations don't matter
- Poor feedback process
Meaningful feedback gives clarity, and here are seven ways to promote a healthy feedback culture in your organization.
1. Provide feedback training
Proper feedback training will help employees give and receive positive or negative feedback with an open mind, free of bias. It will strengthen their growth mindset and help them handle constructive feedback without feeling unworthy or defensive. Instead, they will see it as a drive to improve.
Your feedback training should include guidance on:
- Why feedback is important
- How to give feedback respectfully and openly
- How to receive feedback and not take it personally
2. Value employee opinions
When employees feel you won't listen to them, they withhold their concerns or opinions. It's not enough to ask for their take on important issues; you also need to show them you appreciate their feedback.
Employees are empowered when they feel valued, and post-COVID-19 research by Gartner suggests that employees now want "acknowledgment, growth opportunities, and to feel valued, trusted and empowered."
Employees will go the extra mile, knowing their opinions count, and they contribute to the company's success.
3. Create a safe environment
A healthy organizational culture is critical to how employees give or receive feedback. When you promote a safe environment that inspires communication between team members and managers, people will share feedback freely without hesitation or reservations.
Understand that employees have different comfort levels. Some don't mind communicating openly, while others prefer giving anonymous feedback. Therefore, provide various options that suit employees' comfort levels to encourage participation.
4. Set clear rules
While giving feedback improves an organization's culture, spiteful or unsolicited feedback can do the opposite. Therefore, companies need to have strong feedback principles and set clear rules to guide the process and achieve the desired results.
Providing feedback should not be a means for anyone to be disrespectful or unprofessional. A healthy feedback culture doesn't allow for insults, bias, or personal grievances. Employees should provide it respectfully and constructively to improve employee and company performance.
5. Normalize it & make it regular
When you normalize frequent feedback, employees will be more open to participating because they will see it as part of the organization's culture. You don't have to wait for annual performance reviews; you can provide feedback weekly or even daily because accumulated reviews do not accurately show employee performance.
Normalizing regular feedback will reduce the fear or friction most people associate with the process.
6. Choose the right feedback tools
Most HR managers refrain from frequent feedback because they find the process tiring or stressful. Thankfully, we have several tools today that make the performance review workflow simpler and more efficient.
The right tool will not only help you collect responses, but it will also help track the process and store valuable data. You can try different feedback collection methods to make it more fun for employees based on their preferences.
7. Act on feedback
Most people do not participate in company surveys or reviews because they consider it a waste of time, as not all companies act on them. To build a positive feedback culture, you must take action on the opinions of well-meaning employees.
It not only shows that you value them, but it also gives them a sense of purpose and boosts employee engagement.
Regular feedback inspires employees to be more proactive and engaged in their roles. It is also essential for the company's growth and success.
To build an effective feedback culture, you must create an environment that promotes healthy communication between managers and team members. You can also leverage helpful tools and normalize regular reviews to encourage full participation.
FAQs: Creating a Culture of Feedback
What is a culture of feedback?
A culture of feedback encourages individuals to share their negative or positive opinions and concerns freely without being afraid of possible consequences. For example, if a company has a healthy feedback culture, it means they perform reviews frequently with the full participation of employees, without the fear of retribution.
Why create a culture of feedback?
Creating a culture of feedback offers companies many benefits, including:
- Improving employee engagement
- Boosting employee performance and productivity
- Reducing employee turnover
- Promoting healthy communication
How do you create a good feedback culture?
You can create a good feedback culture with the following tips:
- Training your employees on the importance of regular feedback
- Listening to and valuing employee opinions
- Creating a safe environment that allows healthy communication
- Setting clear rules and expectations for the feedback process
- Normalizing giving and receiving feedback
- Choosing the proper feedback tools to make the process more manageable
- Acting on received feedback