The Art of Giving and Receiving Feedback for Leaders

Today’s workplace is changing almost beyond recognition. The traditional model of rewarding an employee with life-long employment is no longer the norm, nor is a strict hierarchical system. In today’s world, information is available anywhere and at any time. New networks of teams are being created to adapt to this trend, and the most sought-after talents are adaptability, agility, and the motivation to learn and grow steadily.

It is for this reason why feedback is becoming an increasingly useful tool in today’s modern working environment. And even if we realize it or not, feedback is part of our daily lives. It can also take on many shapes and sizes. Feedback can be as simple as a pat on the back or a simple comment, or it can be more structured and looks like an in-depth conversation about our work performance and what we can do to improve ourselves.

Day-to-day feedback happens naturally and is a typical interaction between colleagues at work. More structured forms of feedback, however, occur when you have a sit-down with your boss, supervisor, or manager and are discussing your job performance. Formal feedback can be part of a regular performance cycle, or it can be about a particular matter you want to consider.

Another way of looking at feedback is as a form of free consulting. Be it at work or even in a personal relationship, giving or asking for input in the right way can have a tremendous benefit.

Why Will Feedback Help Your Business Grow

Performance within an organization will always stand to gain when there is regular feedback exchanged between managers and employees. Be it a start-up or a large corporation; engagement is shown to jump by as much as 79% everytime feedback is involved.

It shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone that the top performing companies are the way they are since they are always on the lookout on how to improve themselves. And equally as unsurprising is that effective communication is a crucial part of this. For employees to be at their best, they need to feel encouraged, valued, and engaged. And you can do all of this by pointing out what they’re doing right and wrong.

Leaders Organizing Their Feedback to Feed Their Self-Reflection and Learning Agility

Like their employees, leaders also need to be able to give feedback. As part of the organization, like everyone else, leaders need to know who they are, what they want, and how their employees think of them. It is for this reason why self-assessment is a crucial first step in building a feedback culture within the organization and develop a company-wide growth mindset.

Both employers and employees can better develop themselves to their full potential by working in an open culture that encourages individuals to share their opinions and give constructive criticisms, without those on the receiving end feeling resentful or envious.

But as time has shown us, performance reviews, 360° feedback systems, annual staff appraisal interviews, as well as other HR tools are no longer sufficient in today’s world. The reason for this is somewhat straightforward. When feedback is handled as it should within an organization, performance reviews and other such tools will only act as a confirmation method. In other words, when a performance review reaches an employee, there shouldn’t theoretically be anything there that they already know.

The Power of Self-Assessment

Self-assessment stands at the foundation of every successful feedback culture. Both leaders and employees can evaluate the quality of their work, judge the level at which they uphold their goals and values, identify both their strengths and weaknesses, and revise their behavior accordingly. The thing about self-assessment is that it’s the only way that feedback can work. But for that to happen, it needs to be encouraged. And the best way to do that is by example.

The reason why self-assessment is so powerful is that it builds one’s natural tendency to check on their progress regularly. It also enables further learning as it is through self-assessment that one recognizes what needs to be learned, in the first place. Self-evaluation also encourages people to reflect on their knowledge, promoting both responsibility and independence. IT also supports the focus on the process, itself, and takes the focal point away from someone imposing a task and reshapes it into a potential partnership. These are a few benefits that self-assessment has to offer.

Persona.fit and the Feedback Culture

It’s important to remember that in a typical organization, employees may feel shy to ask their manager for feedback. Likewise, managers may also hesitate to give their employees feedback in fear that it may end up offending them and hurt their productivity. In this scenario, managers generally choose only to give praise to the top performers, thinking that this should be enough.

But with the Persona.fit app, people from all levels of the organization can give and receive feedback in real-time and on a continuous basis via their smartphones. This technique will eliminate all adverse emotional reactions as both managers and employees can provide feedback to each other. In other words, Persona.fit is a perfect tool for speeding up the creation of a feedback culture within an organization.

The two most common reasons for employee turnover in modern times are a lack of opportunities for professional growth and problems related to administration. The current workforce sees management as being responsible for their development opportunities. Managers also need to understand that a top-down management structure can have adverse effects on the organization and as a result, they have to be more open and engaged with their employees and be part of their career growth.

Unsurprisingly, however, the best way for leaders to prove their involvement is by providing their employees with the necessary feedback and advice on how to improve their skills going forward. Feedback was shown, time and time again, to boost productivity and employee morale.

And with Persona.fit, both employees and managers can have a better perspective of themselves, where they are currently, where are they headed, and what steps need to be taken to keep striving towards the right direction.

Over time, this will develop into an open feedback culture where people will feel comfortable and safe when giving or receiving feedback, to both their peers and their leaders. It will also help managers better determine their management style and whether it needs improvement. With Persona.fit, all of this information about you will be centralized into a single place, allowing you to become the best that you can be.

Jan Kwint

Jan Kwint

Jan Kwint is een van de oprichters van Persona.fit en CEO van LTP. Door zijn ervaringen als Executive en Consultant heeft hij een sterke interesse ontwikkeld in hoe een feedbackcultuur kan helpen bij het ontwikkelen van individuen en teams. Dit maakt ook deel uit van het boek dat hij onlangs publiceerde over Psychologie en Veranderkracht: 'Ik ben Erica!'