Real time recognition and feedback have a major role to play in an individual’s growth
Have you ever felt like checking for how many likes or comments your last Facebook or Instagram post got? How do you feel when you get complimented when you share the product of your hobby with others? (a painting, a baked dish, or even a marathon run!)
What does this tell us about the human psyche? We crave instant gratification in the form of applause, likes and even feedback. It makes us feel fulfilled, and even motivates some of us to do even better the next time. If our need for instant gratification is so prevalent in our personal lives, why is it that our performance management systems at work are so far behind in the game?
Many of you would agree, continuous feedback on our performance at work is extremely useful in driving collaboration, providing encouragement and even the much needed recognition from our peers and seniors. This is why progressive organisations world over are now exploring tools that can enable continuous feedback, check-ins and other ways of instantaneous collaboration to bring a revolution in how we approach performance management and even daily work life.
But no tool can make lasting change on its own. So how do we take this from an identified need to a changed behaviour, day-in and day-out? Here’s our take:
Shift outlook to feedback from judgement to support
Managers are now looked towards for coaching and development support rather than opinionated judgement in the form of numerical ratings on an appraisal form. If you’re a team leader, make sure you try to make your feedback constructive, actionable and low on bias.
A good way to do this is to orient your feedback towards certain goals, tasks or deliverables rather than the person as a whole. This shifts the mindset from value-judging a person to doing our best to achieve high-quality output.
Make sure you remember the good and the bad
Willingness to accept negative feedback, no matter how constructive it is, can only come when one trusts and respects your opinion. As a manager, look for ways to build trust by acknowledging your team when they do a good job, and appreciating their hard work in front of their peers, seniors and even clients.
If you feel a team member is defensive or unwilling to take your feedback seriously, try our tried and tested rule of thumb: give 4 instances of timely, well-deserved appreciation for every 1 constructive, hard-hitting feedback you want someone to work upon.
Feedback isn’t a one way street
Feedback should be multi-directional, so push for peer-to-peer feedback and upward feedback for holistic adoption of feedback culture within your organization. In many cultures and circumstances, it can still be hard for people to give feedback to their peers or seniors. To make a systemic change, build in small habits like asking your team members for feedback publicly and humbly on team review calls.
Something like – “I’d love to get your thoughts on how we should present our findings in the next client meeting as you have the most context” or “I’ve gotten a little rusty on Power BI – since you’re the analytics whiz on our time do you mind reviewing this report I put together?” – can break the ice and make people feel their opinion is valued.
Role model the desired behaviour by sharing your own vulnerability on hurdles you’re facing, and requesting inputs on how to overcome them.
Lastly, make it count
Acting upon feedback is crucial to one’s development – whether one is helping their team achieve more collectively or looking to grow into a larger role individually. Hence, try to take note of any improvement in one’s performance as a result of accepting this continuous feedback, and make sure you highlight it during performance reviews and appraisals.
Mesh makes it easy to give and track clear, objective and specific feedback in real time. Sign up for a demo today and see how easy it can be to give your employees the feedback they crave!