The Importance of Giving and Getting Feedback

Good communication is essential in the workplace, but it’s not just about speaking up to discuss tasks or chatting over the watercooler. 

At its core, communication is a two-way street. If employees and managers can’t share feedback, they’re not learning from each other and they’re not going to be at the top of their game as a result.

The benefits of building a feedback culture

Having regular conversations with employees about their progress builds a workplace culture where top performers are justly rewarded for their efforts. This is a powerful incentive to any employees who are coasting along or taking credit for other’s work to stop slacking and start contributing.

Studies show that consistent, meaningful feedback significantly improves employee development, engagement, motivation, and ultimately retention. The latter should be especially relevant to employers given the current labor shortage.

According to a Gallup survey, employees are 2.7 times more likely to be engaged at work and 3.2 times more likely to say they’re motivated to do outstanding work when they are provided with continuous feedback.

Ongoing feedback is best viewed as a complement to performance evaluations, which tend to focus on past performance rather than future progress. Gartner research highlights the powerful impact forward-looking feedback has on motivation, showing that this type of continual communication can boost employee performance by 12%.

How to handle negative feedback

Of course, not all feedback is positive. And the tougher the feedback, the harder it is to hear. 

Managers need to get comfortable having difficult conversations with their staff. All too often, leaders let things slide because they’re too uncomfortable to deal with issues directly. This doesn’t do the individual, or their team, any good over the long-term. 

So, how can you approach difficult feedback? Begin by reframing the conversation - seeing it as an opportunity, rather than a challenge. Giving difficult feedback is a great way for managers to hone their ‘soft’ skills, while also giving employees an opportunity to correct course and learn from their mistakes. 

By modeling the ‘radical candor’ form of leadership managers can learn to give constructive criticism in a way that’s respectful, sensitive, and honest. Defined as “caring personally while challenging directly,” radical candor works on the principle that employees are more likely to respond well to negative feedback when it’s given by someone who is genuinely invested in their wellbeing.

On the flip side, leaders should be as comfortable getting negative feedback as they are giving it. Open and honest communication works both ways, and employees should also feel confident sharing critical feedback about their managers.

Why feedback matters

Good managers are also good mentors, and it’s almost impossible to effectively coach your employees without making time for feedback. Over 80% of employees agree that effective feedback is key to helping them achieve their goals, according to Gartner.

If you don’t share updates on their progress, your team won’t be able to improve because they’ll have no yardstick from which to measure their performance and set future benchmarks. Communication may be viewed as a soft skill, but feedback is a key driver in producing the hard data that helps managers strategize for their team’s success.

Managers need data-driven tools to provide focused feedback that translates into effective coaching. Employee Productivity Monitoring solution Prodoscore is a cloud-based platform that gives leaders visibility into their team’s activities so they can accurately gauge  their performance on a daily basis and identify trends over time.

The easy-to-use dashboard displays all the metrics managers need to give tailored and continuous feedback to their employees - providing a window into what tools they’re using, how they’re using them, and their overall productivity score. With Prodoscore, you can be confident you’re tuned in  to your staff’s needs and can guide them to fulfill their potential. Talk to our team today to find out more or schedule a demonstration.

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