To become more effective communicators and deliver excellent results, leading organizations embrace a feedback rich culture. In such a culture, feedback is asked for frequently, given freely, received openly, and most importantly, acted upon regularly. People provide appropriate feedback on appropriate topics. Team members are skilled in the feedback process and understand different types of feedback to provide. It is the responsibility of all employees to cultivate a Feedback Rich Culture within and between their teams, peers, leaders and customers. Feedback is everyone’s responsibility.
A Feedback Rich Culture is a foundational approach for all organizational initiatives. The outcome of a Feedback Rich Culture is the development of an environment of continuous performance improvement, higher engagement, and better overall results. If you want to know the business case for a Feedback Rich Culture consider that “Acknowledged and engaged employees lead to 2.5 higher revenue growth rates than employees who are not acknowledged and engaged,”(Source)
Most organizations that do not have a Feedback Rich Culture have a culture of Artificial Harmony – where work often gets done more or less to expected standards and employees have varying levels of engagement. Numerous organizations have toxic cultures or pockets of toxic cultures where feedback is not encouraged, and growth is stagnated.
Below is a comparison of three distinctive organizational cultures. Consider where your organization is and where you would like it to be. Take the poll below the chart to see where you currently land compared to others.
3 Type of Cultures
|Artificial Harmony Culture||Feedback Rich
|Frequency||Numerous Organizations||Most Organizations||Leading Organizations|
|Results||Low or just enough to stay under the radar||Expected – work gets done||High – consistently exceeding expectations|
|Accountability||Self-preservation||Personal accountability||Mutual accountability|
|Feedback||Low to no||Inconsistent||Intentionally part of the process|
|Conflict||Emotional outbursts Personal attacks and blame. Low ownership||People play nice.
Can feel like walking on egg shells at times. Issues may or may not get addressed
|Ownership of conflict contribution. Issues are addressed and resolved. Encourages high feedback|
Wait and see
|Perspective||Victims, deserters or self-protection||Believers and non-believers||Can make a difference attitude|
|Interactions||Interactions avoided, destructive, and or sabotage||Real and artificial interactions||Authentic interactions|
|Recognition||Overly self-promoting||Real and or may feel
|High acknowledgement of others|
|Growth and Development||Stagnated growth||As needed or desired||Continuously improving|
|Organizational Values||Not important or joked about||Values know but not fully exhibited in behavior||Exhibited in behavior|
|Engagement||Actively disengaged||Disengaged and engaged||Fully engaged|
|Culture Drift||May drift to Artificial Harmony at times||May drift to Toxic or Feedback Rich at times||May drift to Artificial Harmony at times|
4 Behaviors to Cultivate for a Feedback Rich Culture.
Organizations that “get it” cultivate a feedback culture where the following four behaviors are foundational to the workplace culture.
- Address – Addressing feedback is composed of Asking for feedback when needed and Apprising others of situations that are occurring.
- Ask – Asking for support or feedback will help all employees become more effective in all that they do.
- Apprise – It is important to apprise or tell your fellow employees things at certain times. This is usually a directed response to a situation. The goal is to bring a certain situation to light. Instead of with-holding we speak-up.
- Give – Offering your support or feedback to others is a sign that you care. The goal is to help others become more effective. Your ability to actively extend assistance or offer feedback involves understanding and appreciating the other person’s needs.
Think you are giving enough feedback – consider that “65% of Employees feel that they don’t get enough feedback at work,” (Source). Quadruple the amount of feedback that you are giving.
- Receive – Offering support and feedback is only effective if someone is willing to receive it. As individuals, we can become more effective by embracing the feedback we receive and determining the value it provides.
- Do – When you ask for and receive feedback, it is presumed that you will take action to address the situation. To take your performance to the next level requires action.
3 Keys to Cultivating a Feedback Rich Culture
- Leadership must model the way
Leaders must embrace that the feedback process is just as important or even more important that getting all the taskwork done. Leaders need to be intentional and dedicate time for feedback – both giving and receiving.
- Develop Employees skill levels
Most employees lack significant experience delivering and receiving constructive feedback. Employees need training and development to provide them with tools and techniques to be more successful.
- Encourage a safe environment for feedback.
Providing feedback is risky business for those whose current culture is not a feedback rich culture. Leaders and all employees must provide a supportive and consequence free environment for people to step into living a Feedback Rich Culture.
The Corporate Learning Institute is a leading provider in developing a Feedback Rich Culture who offers consulting and workshops on this topic. Call us today to learn more about how your organization can become more effective in the feedback process.