Like Most Leaders, You Probably Don’t Give Enough Feedback!
In almost every organization you can think of, leaders like you are told to give feedback and develop their employees. If you own your own company, you probably aspire to exchange feedback with people regularly. In a large company, you may have software for rating people and documenting their annual or semi-annual evaluations and you may be required to have regular feedback conversations with people. You may have been offered online courses on the topic of how to give feedback.
The Popular Excuse Now is Working from Home
When your team members are working remotely or everyone on your team is at home, it’s easy to blame the lack of feedback conversations on the non face-to-face environment and just suspend feedback conversations until you can meet up in person. However, this doesn’t hold up when you consider the research that I and others have done. 80% of human beings avoid feedback conversations, period, in person or remotely.
Employees Don’t Know Where They Stand or How to Improve
Very few leaders are giving constructive, objective feedback on a regular basis. Meanwhile, employees are deprived of the feedback they desperately want and need in order to learn, improve, and develop. And company results flounder. Very sad are the situations in which people perform poorly and never receive any feedback about how to improve. Eventually, some are “let go” with no clue about what they can or should do to hold down their next job.
Where Leaders ARE Comfortable Giving More Feedback
The good news is that in high-performing work cultures–where smart people are collaborating to get great projects done speedily–leaders AND employees are far more comfortable than the norm with receiving and giving feedback.
Feedback is free-flowing in all directions—to employees, leaders, peers, other functional managers, project team members, and everyone else. Groups who are used to doing it, do it more, and see better and better results come out of it.
A Feedback “Culture”
When a lot of leaders and a lot of employees get involved in regular, ongoing feedback, they create a feedback and learning culture. Everyone is used to feedback. Everyone gets it. Everyone gives it. And individuals know they are not being singled out. Far from feeling intimidated, people welcome feedback–and even ask for more!
It IS possible. And when you engage in giving helpful feedback, other team members, colleagues, and even your boss, are often encouraged to do it too!