Management expert Ken Blanchard once said, ‘Feedback is the breakfast of champions’, but, as the to-do list tots up, it can be easy to forget the importance of regularly setting aside the time to offer and gather feedback in the workplace. However, just as breakfast is the best way to kick start the day, the equivalent applies to feedback in the workplace.
Effective and regular feedback meetings encourage employees to understand and work towards their targets and provide employees with the opportunity to communicate anything that is restricting them from reaching their full potential. Without the existence of a two-way culture of open and honest communication between all levels of an organisation, a business can’t sustain the long-term, exceptional workforce they strive for…
The Employer – Employee Feedback Relationship
Whilst the annual performance review is a standard practice for many companies, how is feedback communicated throughout the rest of the year? An employee can only build on and improve their performance if they know what they’re doing right and where they need to develop. This continuous development requires regular contact with their managers to discuss not only their work but also their role within the company and their experience of it. Mary Ann Masarech, employee engagement practice leader, emphasises why this is so important:
“The powerful thing about recognition is that it reminds people of what matters most. This is a key part of engagement – to redirect employee effort and attention to the top priorities of the organization. Regular recognition throughout the year is a reminder of what you need employees to keep doing.”
Alongside this, 50% of employees say they feel more valued when performance reviews are focused on helping them succeed in their role. This recognition, therefore, not only benefits the efficiency and focus of an organisation but it also helps solidify an employee’s dedication to and position within a workforce.
But when it comes to delivering feedback, what is the most useful foundation to build from? Is it a manager’s own perceptions of an employees work, their co-workers experience or a combination of both – “crowdsourced” feedback? With 43% of employees finding peer feedback most valuable, this suggests that whilst a manager can provide feedback on how an employee’s work is impacting the wider business, co-workers offer an invaluable insight into how an employees work and attitude is impacting the business at a more localised level. However, despite these benefits only 21% of employees state that they are receiving peer feedback.
A culture that encourages 360° feedback lays the foundation for an organisation that thrives on well-communicated initiatives. It is something that impacts workforces at all levels: from a managerial perspective it offers a comprehensive evaluation of an employee’s performance from all angles; whilst from an employee – and consequently company – development perspective, comprehensive, regular feedback provides managers with a better understanding of where an employee could benefit from further training. With 62% of employees stating that their recent training has been only somewhat relevant to entirely irrelevant, a clear communication gap has emerged.
In a world where regular and easily accessible feedback is now the norm within all aspects of our lives, people have become used to its presence and importance. Its place within the workplace is even more invaluable because of this, as it now plays an essential role not just in the development and success of an employee but also of the whole organisation. Employees expect to have a voice and when that voice is heard, the whole company benefits from an integrated and comprehensive approach throughout all procedures and strategies. A culture based on two-way feedback from a 360° perspective builds its foundations from the ground up, resulting in strong roots that enable an organisation to continually grow and prosper.