Embracing a Feedback Culture in Your Startup’s Workforce

The success of your employees will dictate the success of your startup as you are growing your business. As a result, it only makes a lot of sense for managers and HR leaders to focus on the effectiveness of the most valuable company assets: your workforce. Having a strong upward and downward feedback mechanism in place ensures that you not only embrace trust in your culture but also that your employees are aware of the expectations.

In fact, 82 percent of employees appreciate both negative and positive feedback, according to an article on Forbes. However, leveraging a feedback culture to improve business performance is neither a walk in the park nor a one time job. While it might be easy to point out what you love about an employee or a manager’s work, sending out negative feedback can be a tad damaging if not done in the right way.

Read on to learn more about integrating feedback into your organization’s culture:

Feedback Increases Talent Retention and Acquisition Rates

Talent retention is an everyday aim of modern day businesses. On the other hand, career development tends to fuel employee performance, and giving the right feedback will be pivotal in determining how they can best perform and increase their love for working with you. Sadly, a good number of employers and managers tend to turn a blind eye to employee feedback with the mindset that they are happy with their current job positions.

Giving feedback, through one-on-one discussions or the use of employee scheduling apps such as the Humanity app, showcases that you are committed to your job as a manager. On the other hand, receiving upward feedback from employees will help you sharpen your management skills while improving new business initiatives.

The Fear of Negative Feedback Is All Mental

While everyone will appreciate positive feedback, most people will feel intimidated by negative feedback which means that you need to work out ways to improve how you deliver it. This fear of negative feedback comes from how the brain works naturally. In times of negative situations, the brain might go into fight or flight mode where it stimulates the production of hormones cortisol and adrenaline, digestion stops, and the heart and breathing rate might increase.

Additionally, the brain will also perceive ambiguous situations as negative ones, and once the threat (negative feedback) passes, the hormone cortisol remains behind to speed up the recovery of the body. This is why most people will feel stressed after a scene of negative feedback, but if feedback can be done regularly, the body can become more accustomed to it.

There are situations where you feel that the company is doing well enough and that no kind of feedback is needed, but you might be wrong. Since the brain will react to ambiguous situations in the same way as negative feedback, some employees will tend to think that they are doing something wrong. This situation can lead to your employees reacting to small changes with workplace aggression which can range from slow-burning resentment to passive-aggressive behavior.

Using Feedback Templates for Employee Performance Review

With feedback templates, you will have outlined the details that need to be addressed during any performance review. It helps to bypass bias which is a looming threat when addressing the performance of employees face to face. For employees who fall short of the suggested goals, such templates offer a simple and non-threatening way to approach the situation while encouraging them to make specific changes in their work practices.

In return, this builds employee loyalty as they feel that they are appreciated as part of the organization and that their optimal performance means a lot to the development of the business. In case you find creating templates a daunting task, you can download free employee performance review templates online that you can customize to fit your business needs. Such templates can be especially effective in case you have mobile employees.

When used effectively, they can unearth a loophole in the performance of the employees that they didn’t realize existed before. To improve the success rates of this program, the feedback process ought to be non-biased and non-threatening to the recipient. Additionally, you also need to provide the recipient with the tools necessary to make the adjustments.

Using A 360 Review Method To Embrace Feedback

There is more to employees than their workplace productivity. While they might seem productive, some traits in them might weight down the productivity of other team members which might go unnoticed. A 360 review helps to identify any inconsistencies within the performance of the employees and their interpersonal skills. It will mainly involve:

  • Establishing measurable progress
  • Identifying the starting point of the development of new skills
  • Challenging personal blind spots that might hinder personal development

What 360 Reviews Deal with

At their core, 360 reviews are meant to complement the valuable traits while redirecting the questionable ones in a non-threatening manner. They broaden the scope of the review by involving peer to peer reviews. As a result, the teammates of an employee will come forward with a review of what they think about their colleagues.

This review can, therefore, help to expose a bevy of employee performance issues in the line of management skills, leadership ability, problem-solving skills, and teamwork abilities. Eventually, this is meant to point the employee to the right direction career wise.

How to Balance Off Positive and Negative Feedback

Most people prefer to offer constructive/negative feedback that is sandwiched between two layers of positive feedback. Others prefer to offer the feedback one after the other. While there is no standard script on how to balance off between both types, it is always wise to assess your exact situation before offering any views on your employee’s performance.

First, ask them about their thoughts on their performance on a certain issue to gauge whether they feel the kind of impact they are making to the organization. When offering the feedback, avoid approaching it from a personal perspective, and be clear enough about what you mean. Lastly, avoid using words like “but,” “however” and “although” to connect statements of positive and negative feedback as this often makes the message from the positive feedback obsolete.

Encouraging Employees to Engage In Upward Feedback

No one is ever perfect, and there will be flaws in how you run your workforce or team as a manager. Also, there might be issues with how certain policies were introduced into the organization, and listening to the feedback from your employees might help to set everything straight. Sadly, most employees will tend to fear to provide upward feedback with the mindset that it might have repercussions were you to get angry for instance.

Those who offer you feedback might at first offer you information that is guarded to protect their interests. To enhance an upward feedback culture, as a result, you ought to explain to your employees what their input means to the development of the organization. On the other hand, make feedback sessions consistent enough to encourage the contribution of every employee.

Feedback is worth nothing if it is not used. Make the necessary changes that employees point out and follow up on anything that they may ask for. This will showcase that their opinion is valued.

Conclusion

Building a trust culture in your organization starts with promoting communication throughout the organization. In return, you will be rewarded with high performance and talent retention rates. Include the strategies above into your organization and watch it climb to great heights.

Robin Khokhar

I do web development and SEO. But when I get time, I do write and share tips and tricks about marketing and technology.

6 thoughts on “Embracing a Feedback Culture in Your Startup’s Workforce

  1. Hi Robin,

    Excellent article, building trust culture among your colleagues is a step forward to achieving your desired goals and target. Feedaback positive or negative is very important for the development of the working environment of your business. Positive feedback gives you appreciation and fuel to move forward and do better. whereas a negative feedback reminds you of your shortcomings and pushes you to eliminate them.

    Thanks for sharing this post. Have a great day. 🙂

  2. Hi Robin,

    Very well written and explained post. Feedback is a good way to improve your business work culture and move forward towards achieving your goal. It keeps every body on your organization on their toes and eggs them on to do better.

    Thanks for sharing, have a great weekend. 🙂

  3. Thanks for the article, modern technology has enhanced the global working environment and it has massive shifts in the last few years and now it accelerating faster now than ever before. After reading out this article I have armed with this new knowledge as well as tips, tricks, and links. I hereby trusted that we can feel more confident in the task of creating an energetic, productive and profitable business with a remote team of employees

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