1. Implement a feedback culture
Let’s start by defining what a feedback culture is. A feedback culture is an organizational culture where everyone is encouraged to communicate openly with each other. Whichever level of the organization you’re in, your insight will be valued! It’s understanding that everyone’s perspective can bring value and help the company make better decisions in the future.
It’s also about encouraging employees to speak out and have a flow of honest feedback within the organization. In order for it to work, managers need to lead the way. They need to openly share their positive and negative feedback with their team. Then, he or she will proceed to ask others to give him or her feedback. To communicate feedback in the best possible way, encouraging a feedback culture is extremely important. Without it, employees might not feel as comfortable doing so.
2. Give feedback based on facts
It can be easy sometimes to get caught up in our emotions and to not think before we talk. When giving feedback, we need to be very careful and make sure that our insight is based on facts and not emotions. Feedback needs to be truthful and reflect reality. Giving feedback based only on how you are feeling at the moment will just lead to the other person feeling attacked. That is the last thing you want and so it’s crucial to base your insight on observations.
3. Remember the purpose of giving feedback
The main purpose of giving feedback is to help others or to encourage them. Keeping the purpose in mind is crucial, especially when you’re giving negative feedback. In fact, you’re doing this because you want to help others, not because you want to attack them. This is why you need to choose your words very carefully when doing so.
For instance, saying to a co-worker that they’re lazy in front of everyone will seem like you’re attacking them and will do nothing for you or your co-worker. While talking to them in private and pointing out that you feel they weren’t prepared enough for the last meeting will go better. Here, you’re just pointing out that they could do better. The same goes for comparing employees with each other. This doesn't do any good and doesn't help anyone. When you’re giving feedback, your main focus should be on helping a co-worker.
4. Give a balance of positive and negative feedback
It can be really easy to just focus on what someone is doing wrong but this isn’t the point of giving feedback. Everyone in your organization is doing things that are good and bad. Feedback is about encouraging and motivating your team members. Could you imagine someone giving you negative feedback on your work every single day? This is why having a balance is crucial. While giving negative feedback, you need to make sure it’s relevant and will actually help the other person. Congratulating someone on their hard work is also important! Everyone needs to feel recognized in their workplace.
5. Give it frequently
In order to be effective, feedback needs to be given frequently. Annual feedback isn’t enough anymore. It prevents employees from being able to constantly improve and perform better. This means you can’t wait for an official meeting to give it. For instance, stopping at someone’s office for 5 minutes to congratulate them on their great presentation is way more effective than waiting 6 months to do so. The fact is, if you have to wait that long, you probably won’t even remember it. The same goes if you think someone could have improved something in that meeting. Giving feedback now will help that person to do better in the future. Real-time feedback is all about real-time improvement.
6. Always show that you recognize their hard work
This is especially important while giving negative feedback. Giving someone constructive insights about their work doesn’t mean you don’t believe they’re working hard, it just means you’re able to see that something needs improvement. Receiving negative feedback can be harder on some people. For instance, ending your feedback by saying that you know they’re working really hard and that you know they’ll be able to improve rapidly can go a long way.
7. Ask if they have any insights to help you
After giving feedback you can always ask others if they have any insights for you. Feedback isn’t a one-way conversation. You should make sure that if they have something to share with you, they do so. Taking the time to give feedback to them might make it easier for others to communicate openly with you. Sometimes people can be shy about giving feedback to others. If you show that you’re as open to receiving feedback as to giving it, you’ll open doors when it comes to being honest with each other. A flow of honest and open communication can go a long way in an organization. This can help shape the culture and define how the organization is going to move forward.
In the end, it helps to remember the importance of feedback and what it can actually do for your organization. Whether you’re an employee or a manager, your feedback can make a big difference. This is why it’s important to know how to communicate it best. Whatever your opinion is, as long as it’s communicated correctly, everyone will be grateful that you’re sharing it.