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.