Giving Continuous Feedback Helps to Create a Dedicated Team

Jüri Siilivask | @Upsteem

It's necessary to give and collect constant feedback from your team, even if the work is piling up and the pace is mental. While you're dealing with the load of work, moods and motivation of your team might be shifting and you won't even know about it. With the face pace everything is moving in today's world, once and twice a year cycles of 
satisfaction surveys and  performance interviews won't cut it. And HR information systems must keep up with that pace. 

Spending less time and keeping costs in check.

Well, one of the basic pros of giving your team continuous feedback, is the amount of time you have to spend time on it:
According to the study by CEB Global managers spend roughly 210 hours and employees 40 hours on performance interviews. That time could be used to actually inspire and lead your team and find ways to develop and bring positive change to the organization.
All organisations need people who are highly motivated and capable of accepting the feedback they are given and do something with it. Maybe even motivate their co-workers.

Pros of giving constant recognition and feedback:

  • Ability to act faster if there's a problem 
  • Have more meaningful performance interviews and make better leading decisions
  • Sharing the praise and feedback with the other members of the organisation

How to introduce continuous feedback as a part of your organization's DNA?

Successful organization's start change management from the managers. It's probably not worth trying to introduce any changes, if all the people in the management are a bunch of dried up losers. A study done by Meliorate found that 70% of changes fail. Therefore, you have to have one or more sponsors in the management who are passionate about making a positive change. By the way - collecting continuous feedback gives the managers much better chance to collect quality information than a traditional performance interview. That then can be used to make more successful leadership decisions.

Many employees view giving and getting feedback as an organization's way to evaluate who gets promoted, who get's a pay raise and who gets fired. Probably we all have noticed that that kind of thinking can bring forth different emotions in team members, and not always positive ones. Therefore, continuous feedback should be used as tool for recognition - a way to give praise to your colleagues and employees, making sure their strengths and accomplishments are noticed. More often than not, praise is a better tool for motivation than a pay raise.

To start giving continuous feedback, you need a good example to go from. You can also become one, by doing this:

  1. Provide information
Make sure your employees know, why constant feedback system is being taken in use. What are the pros and how that affects them. If they are not used to giving constant feedback, then they don't know where to start from. Be ready to give out study materials and instructions on how to give and receive feedback. Answer all questions and concerns employees might get in the process.

   2. Ask for extra feedback

After you have made sure everyone knows the basic components of the system, you are ready to let the ball rolling by making sure you yourself is active in giving regular feedback. Once the there's a rhythm, your colleagues will have a better picture on when, how often and to whom they should be giving feedback to and who to ask it from.

  3. Progress based on the feedback

If feedback is given about you, make sure you demonstrate what you are going to do about it, or why something can't be done about it straight away. For an example, if an employee asks for more responsibility, offer them to take the lead role in the next project. If you think they are not ready, let them know what kind of skills they should develop and hep them set goals to make it happen. 

When should I be sharing the feedback with my team?

Some people, for whom recognizing the good work of a colleague, have asked us in which situation it's reasonable to share feedback. I will highlight three situations as a guideline:

  1. Finishing a task

Every time a team finishes a task or a project, it's important to make sure everyone gives other feedback, so we could all learn from the experiences of others. There's no point of repeating the same mistake individually to personally find out what works for your business. One main use of using continuous feedback is that, it helps you realize the learning potential of your team.

  2. If there is a problem within the team
Even during a project, if you feel like it you should share your knowledge and support. For an example, if there is a conflict in the team that one member isn't contributing enough, problems like that should be dealt with instantly to make sure the relationships and work results wouldn't suffer.

  3. Recognizing good work
Every time your team or an individual employee fills their goals, falls a little short from it or exceeds expectations, that should be recognized. Showing that you appreciate a job well done, it motivates the staff to continue giving their best.
Studies have shown that recognition gives employees greater satisfaction than gifts or money. Giving continuous feedback is the best way to build a happy well-functioning team. 

Author:  Jüri is very client oriented, which helps him to fully focus on the needs of every specific client. Thanks to his analytical thinking and methodological approach, he will lead even the toughest of projects to the desired outcome. On top of being a start-up enthusiast, he also has taken part in Europe-wide development projects. He got is MBA in IT management from the University of Tallinn in 2014.

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