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For many companies, year-end means performance reviews. As with other interactions these days, many of these reviews are done over a video call. While a computer screen can make feedback feel awkward, it is vital for staff learning and development. How can we effectively give feedback in this sense if we are not only remotely controlled during the performance review, but constantly?
To stretch and strengthen your feedback muscle and build a culture of productive setback in your workplace, here are some best practices that executives and managers can apply even if many employees continue to work remotely.
1. Focus on psychological safety first
It is impossible to provide effective feedback if employees do not feel respected, included and comfortable at work. To ensure employees have confidence that feedback is coming from a place of support, it is important to establish a psychological safety foundation on which employees will know they are undisciplined or embarrassed when they openly raise concerns , Ask ideas, bugs or questions. It is also important to create an environment in which diversity is not only tolerated but also welcomed. This type of environment not only makes a business a more pleasant place to work, it also leads to more engagement, innovation, higher productivity, and lower sales.
Building psychological security on your team doesn't happen overnight, but it is critical to building a feedback culture. One way to ensure that individuals feel safe is to speak openly and regularly about mistakes and failures and define them as insights.
Related: How To Make Negative Feedback Work For You
2. Make feedback a daily practice
For many people, giving and soliciting feedback is not a given – it can feel uncomfortable. But it's really just uncomfortable when feedback is viewed as critical or judgmental. If feedback occurs only a few times a year, e.g. B. During a formal review, this can lead to great anxiety. For this reason I prefer to define feedback as fuel, where frequent feedback is an integral part of our daily work and we work together as a team.
When it comes to formal reviews, I tell the managers on my team that if a formal review is the first time an employee hears feedback, they're not getting it right. No formal review should contain surprises. Instead, feedback should be an integral part of their weekly or bi-weekly one-on-one meetings. Instead, the formal review is a time to talk about patterns, topics, growth, and opportunities.
It is important to lay the groundwork for this approach by learning why managers and employees are learning why they are receiving feedback, how to ask for feedback, and how to provide good feedback so that conversations are constructive. Sharing is important – as educator Randy Pausch wrote for Entrepreneur, “If you screw it up and nobody says anything to you, it means they have given you up … your critics often tell you that they still love you and care about you and want to make you better. "
3. Reverse the dynamic
Less interaction while working remotely means less feedback. It is therefore important to give more, but also to seek from others on purpose. Feedback doesn't always have to be initiated from the top down. Actively soliciting feedback from the team or manager before a project begins reduces the pressure and potential for defenses. It also creates a space where giving and receiving feedback becomes part of the way everyone on your team works, rather than something the boss shares.
4. Set up the stage
A culture of feedback doesn't just happen. It requires dedication and effort from the team and regular discussions about how the practice of feedback supports the work. Discuss what feedback should be like for your team. Maybe share your feelings about feedback and share negative and positive experiences to identify some advantages and disadvantages of feedback.
Also, work with your team to find ways to maintain feedback while working from home. Managers can help stimulate feedback by regularly reminding employees, "Have you asked the team for feedback?" And "Where did you put the feedback loops?"
Related: Ask These 7 Questions To Get The Honest Feedback You Need
5. Catch someone who is doing something right
I started my career as a high school teacher. As I graded the student work, I sometimes felt the pressure to find all of the mistakes and help them correct them. Instead, I found it much more effective and engaging for my students than I recognized that they had always done something right.
This approach also applies to workplace feedback. It shouldn't just happen when someone does something wrong – we also need to provide positive feedback. However, feedback should be more nuanced than a binary made out of positive and constructive. In fact, there are 10 different types of positive and constructive feedback including appreciation, encouragement, maintenance, adaptation, and inclusion. It is important to find a balance. And when it comes to positive feedback, it's not just: "Great work, keep it up!" and move on. There is an opportunity to discuss insights and next steps even if you succeed. Using a specific construct like the SBI (Situation-Behavior-Impact) model can be helpful and serve as a reminder to discuss the impact and build on insights and achievements.
6. Let the feedback flow
Healthy relationships must always be maintained. While you may have had a good team relationship while working together in the office, chances are some of it has eroded while working from home.
Think it over well. Check in with the team. Add additional structure to encourage consistent give and take of feedback. Regular feedback means more engaged employees and less stress – especially during the review period – and we could all benefit from that now.