When’s the last time someone praised your work? Or shared an idea that helped you crack a problem you’d been chewing over?
Feedback is a powerful tool. It recognizes strengths, addresses skill gaps and helps people grow. It also gives organizations more opportunities to spot issues and innovate.
But to be effective, feedback must be part of your working culture. Here’s how to make it happen.
Why do you want your employees to give and receive feedback? Is it to recognize achievements? To show people how their work impacts others and your organization? Or identify areas for individuals and teams to develop?
Communicate openly with everyone in your business – explaining why you want people to solicit feedback. Do that and they’ll give more accurate, honest and helpful responses.
It can be tough to know where to start when giving feedback. To help, you can share learning resources that detail the type of information you want people to collect. In Job Feedback,  Manuel London highlights three areas to consider:
Knowing the types of things to look for will help people structure the feedback they give and better understand the observations they receive.
Encourage employees to cast their feedback net wide. People from different teams – and from different backgrounds – bring fresh perspectives. Clients, for example, can help you assess your customer service skills. You can try:
These tools help form the process of feedback, allow you to track progress, and show that real change comes from it.
But results should be delivered in a meaningful way. If you provide performance ratings, for example, give context by showing the highest, lowest and average scores for each area, plus figures for peers in similar positions. And alongside ratings, open comments can help employees better identify areas for learning and development.
It’s important to encourage leaders to set an example and seek out feedback from their managers, co-workers and direct reports.
As Carole Burman, managing director at MAD-HR says, “Leaders must hone their ability to give and receive feedback and set the example. They must consistently ask for feedback, at all levels, and visibly show that they receive feedback well.” 
Showing you’ve taken feedback on board also builds personal accountability. Leaders can hold their hands up for the actions they take, acknowledge any mistakes made, or admit when initiatives fall short. This inspires others to be accountable and continue to take risks.
To bake in feedback, it must happen outside of quarterly reviews or just when something goes wrong. As Forbes writer Heidi Lynne Kurter, says, “When something such as feedback becomes a habit, it naturally becomes a part of the company culture.” So, consider:
Follow our tips to make feedback part of your organization’s culture. It may take time to see the benefits, but you can send that email or fist bump emoji to praise someone right now.
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