Creating a Culture of Continuous Feedback

Nothing zaps the impact of feedback quite like lag time. Mid-year and annual reviews alone just aren’t enough to give the people you lead the input they need to truly thrive. In fact, Forbes reports that 65% of employees crave more feedback, more often. As a leader, you have the opportunity to meet that need for the good of your team.  

Creating a culture of continuous feedback ensures that your team has a full, ongoing understanding of what’s going well, where improvement is needed, and how they can grow every single day. It also encourages a more collaborative environment in which people feel free to share ideas, take risks, and innovate.  

A coaching mindset is the cornerstone here — continuous feedback is about helping others grow, not evaluating from a place of authority. Think of feedback as an ongoing tool for two-way communication and team-wide growth, and employ it to offer both praise and constructive criticism.  

Feedback when someone is excelling

Positive feedback is just as important as constructive input — perhaps even more so! Don’t gloss over your top performers or skimp on feedback when someone knocks a project out of the park. Take the opportunity to build on success and people will reach greater heights.

 

Your positive feedback has more powerful impact when you go beyond simple kudos. Make sure your team member knows the specific behaviors that make them successful, and offer guidance for building on their achievements. Open a deeper conversation about how excellent work could get even better, or give them the opportunity to share their expertise with others. Use feedback to help them maintain a growth mindset, and they will excel even further.

Feedback when you need someone to make a change

The key words here are immediacy and encouragement. Provide constructive feedback in the moment, even if it feels uncomfortable at first. Letting problems fester deprives individuals of the chance to improve and places undue burdens on the wider team. Approach the situation with a coaching mindset and employ these growth-focused best practices:

 

  • Make sure the change is genuinely important and not just based on your personal preferences

  • Explain your reasoning for needing the change and make your expectations crystal-clear

  • Ask the person what support they need to make the change and if there’s anything getting in the way 

  • Listen openly to any concerns and be open to suggestions (within reason)

  • Offer support and resources to facilitate improvement, and be sure to follow up frequently   

The gift that keeps on giving

When you approach it with a coaching mindset, feedback is a gift. Don’t wait for official review time to come around — give it now, give it often, and give your team the opportunity to grow. Weave feedback into the fabric of your workplace. The results will speak for themselves.

 

Powerful question: How often do you offer specific feedback, and in what situations do you provide it? Where do you see opportunities to weave more feedback into your day-to-day interactions?

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