Why feedback is important to the future of your business

BlogLeadership Development Posted: Sunday 13th May 2018 by

Do you remember the last time someone gave you great feedback?

Good, constructive feedback is probably one of the most important things a leader can do for their team.

Whether providing feedback to encourage improvements or simply praising a job well done, feedback is an underrated, underutilised management tool that can make a world of difference to staff and business performance.

Here are five reasons why feedback is important for the future of your business.

Feedback increases learning opportunities

For an employer/employee relationship to work well, both parties need to be willing to learn from each other. Seizing learning opportunities can provide an exceptional springboard for business and personal growth.

Regular feedback sessions, both scheduled and impromptu, allows us to reflect on our behaviours, and, if appropriate, upgrade or change the way we do things. Seeing ourselves from someone else’s point of view can be a truly enlightening experience.

Negative feedback, however, can have the opposite effect. Using feedback as a tool to berate a colleague or staff member, should never be employed as a leadership tactic. If someone is awful at their job, making them feel horrible about themselves will only serve to make things worse. In cases of poor performance, a more formal feedback stance or training route should be considered.

Feedback fuels change

Business processes need to change for many reasons; to make cost savings, to create efficiencies, to provide better service to clients… the reasons for change are endless.

When a business is experiencing a period of change, feedback is a crucial element of the change process. If change is not the direct result of external feedback, then it’s important to source opinions from those who matter to your business: employees, customers and stakeholders.

Most of the world’s most prominent organisations use customer and stakeholder feedback to make improvements to their products and services. No matter what the size of your business, don’t lose sight of the opinion of those that spend their time, money and resources with you.

Feedback provides managers with a useful listening tool

“Employees don’t leave bad companies; they leave bad managers.” Marcus Buckingham

A survey undertaken by employee recognition and reward software business, redii, uncovered the top ten reasons why people quit their jobs.

The top three included feeling undervalued, having a bad manager and poor communication. All of which can be fixed with a strong internal feedback system.

It doesn’t matter how well your employees are performing, how well they’re liked, or how great they treat your customers. If your business doesn’t meet the feedback expectations of your employees, you could be putting the entire future of your business at stake.

The rules of providing feedback

Be specific. Leave no room for doubt about who your feedback applies to.

Be timely. If a performance issue arises, provide feedback as soon as possible after the event or situation.

Be in the right place at the right time. Choose your timing and your venue carefully.

Be human and humble. Don’t let your ego or your position of authority cloud your judgement.

No ifs, buts, or maybes. Be firm, assertive and fair. Your feedback and intentions should be crystal clear.

And finally…

Be prepared to ask for help from an expert.

As a leader, a lot rests on your shoulders. Sometimes, giving employee feedback yourself is not the right move. It could lead to broader performance or disciplinary-related challenges when expert support would come in handy. Although feedback is critical, never be afraid to ask for help.

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