Feedback Culture—and How to Build It in Your Organization

Great leaders know it feels good to be recognized for our accomplishments—and even better when “constructive criticism” is actually constructive, without the criticism. 

The mere mention of feedback in some organizations can put people in a defensive state. However, if organizations can create a culture of feedback – understanding how others experience us provides valuable opportunities to learn and grow as leaders. 

So what is feedback culture? And why do leaders need to create it? 

Feedback Culture: Rooted in Candid Communication

Having a feedback culture in your organization rests on a very important foundation: frequent, two-way, honest and candid communication.

When a regular cadence of authentic and honest feedback is implemented, employees are empowered to give feedback, regardless of organizational hierarchy.

So why does it often prove so hard?

The Feedback Struggle is Real

Organizations and managers struggle with feedback for a variety of reasons; but the ones we see most often include:

  • Ambiguity On Feedback Outcomes: The result of giving feedback is potentially scary or uncertain and, therefore, leaders, employees and managers avoid it altogether.
  • Lack of Structure or Resources: There is no formal process for collecting or garnering feedback, making it difficult to know when and where feedback is appropriate.

Leaders Set the Tone

Feedback also improves employee engagement, a huge indicator of how vital a company’s culture—and future success—will be. High employee engagement means higher morale and therefore productivity and achievement. Everyone wins.

In fact, 88 percent of employees believe a strong company culture is what will make the business successful. And 94 percent of executives agree.*

Leaders set the tone for how feedback is given and received and must show a level of compassion and vulnerability in communication throughout the organization.

The First Step is Asking for Help

We love to help leaders lead—and implementing an open environment of candid communication and collaboration, where two-way feedback is welcomed, is an important step.

The second step is having critical conversations in a timely manner, meaning, before there is a problem. 

The third and most important step is scaling the skills and tools across the organization to successfully have ongoing feedback conversations.

ORCA’s Engagement Report from TTI helps leaders understand themselves, and others, and make the most of the relationships that affect them in the workplace. It gives people a language for having difficult conversations, greater awareness of themselves, and a structured opportunity to give and receive feedback.

We are providing a shortened 4-page version of the new Engagement Report as a complimentary resource for leaders. You can take the assessment and get your complimentary report through the link below.  

Want a customized solution for implementing feedback culture in your organization and give people the skills to have healthy conversation?  Contact us today. 

The Rise of Employee Burnout and How ORCA’s New Engagement Report Can Help

In the new year, many of us have a renewed sense of hope and purpose, even though we still face challenges. 

As we talk to more and more leaders in the technology space, such as CHROs and Chief People Officers, their primary concern is the rise in employee burnout. 

What many of these leaders don’t know is that the risk of employee burnout is not just about working long hours. 

According to Gallup, when employees are inspired, motivated, and supported, they do more work with less stress. 

The question then becomes how do we keep employees inspired, motivated, and supported?

What is the cause of employee burnout? 

I’m sure each of us could name a laundry list of reasons, especially in a post-COVID world. We aren’t taking time off to get a needed reboot; there are home, work and social stressors; and communication can be more difficult in a remote environment. 

However, according to a recent study1, there are six main stressors that lead to burnout:

  • Overwhelming external shocks, compounded by workload. 
  • Feelings of isolation and lack of psychological safety. 
  • Unsupportive workplace culture. 
  • Existential crises and a lack of purpose.
  • Over-invested identity.
  • Gender-, racial- and age-based discrimination.

The cost of burnout for organizations represent significant loss in revenue, increased rate of talent attrition and loss of team and workplace culture. 

What can leaders do?

Communication and engagement are positively correlated, and can help create a stress-free environment. As a leader within your organization, you have the power to better engage your employees (and yourself) at work. Yet, just as the stressors that cause burnout are different for each employee, the way we engage employees is based on their unique style and personality. Therefore, how we inspire, motivate and support are different for each person, making blanket solutions difficult. 

TTI Engagement ReportWhat is the Engagement Report? 

This is where TTI Success Insights new Engagement Report can help. The assessment is meant to understand how to engage and reboard your employees and leaders, increasing employee wellness. The report combines DISC and the 12 Driving Forces to reveal the “how” and “why” of human behavior.  

The most exciting feature in TTI’s new Engagement Report is its easy-to-understand and shareable nature. The report now has updated statements, new words for each behavior in DISC, and new descriptors to increase understanding. My favorite page of the full 8-page report is the Communication Do’s and Don’ts which can be shared with your colleagues, teams, managers and leaders so they know how to best connect with you.  

(In order to provide important resources to leaders, we are providing a shortened 4-page engagement report to all those who are interested! Try it out here.) 

What are the benefits?

As an HR leader, the assessment can help to:

  1. Increase self-awareness in employees 
  2. Open the channel of communication and feedback between employees and managers 
  3. Give you the opportunity to reboard (and reboot) your staff 
  4. Better understand what engagement initiatives would work best in your organization  

The Engagement Report is just the beginning. Once you understand how your employees, teams and leaders need to be motivated, supported, and inspired, it’s time to get to work through leadership programs and initiatives. 

Take the first step and try out a shortened version of TTI’s new Engagement Report, as a complimentary resource from ORCA HR. 

If you’re interested in learning more about the Engagement Report, check out this blog from TTI Success Insights.

Need help finding customized solutions for your leadership needs? Contact us today for a free consultation. 


 1Study by Jonny Miller (Curious Humans) & Jan Chipchase (Studio D)