The Steps to Change podcast is about allowing people to improve their workplace etiquette and behaviours so that they can contribute to a more constructive workplace atmosphere. People tend to underestimate the importance of feedback when it comes to improving productivity, employee relationships, and various other aspects of everyday jobs. However, a lot of people find the idea of feedback challenging in many instances, particularly when delivering or receiving negative feedback.
During this episode of the podcast, host Allen Liedkie is joined by Sarah-Jane Georges, a client relationship director at Steps who has put together many programs that centre around feedback. Having been in her trade for over twenty years, Sarah-Jane has seen first-hand the many challenges that clients face when it comes to handling the topic of feedback, so she has a clear understanding of the different ways that these issues can be overcome. Together the pair discuss ways to improve various aspects of workplace feedback.
In all workplaces and in various situations, it’s necessary for people to give and receive feedback. Generally, when people hear the term ‘feedback’, they associate it with something negative. However, it’s easy to forget that feedback can be given or received in a positive context. If you are excelling in your work, it shouldn’t be uncommon to receive positive feedback and praise. When people associate feedback with something negative, it’s usually connected to how feedback is approached in their workplace.
Feedback is vital to the continued growth and improvement of your employees as it will help them to better understand the expectations of your workplace and provide them with a framework within which they can achieve targets. Without the implementation of effective feedback processes, you and your staff won’t be able to rectify errors or feel comfortable bringing up current workplace issues. Only through effective feedback approaches can you ensure that the changes you need to have made are implemented.
One of the main issues that people face when it comes to feedback is the discomfort that comes with negative feedback. Whether you’re giving out feedback or receiving it, no one likes approaching a potentially conflict-heavy conversation. Of course, it’s only human to react defensively when being told that you’re doing something wrong, but it’s important to try and be open and understand where the other person is coming from.
Similarly, some people are unrealistic when it comes to how long it will take for their feedback to be implemented. It’s important to remember that it takes people time to develop habits and change their everyday actions. As such, if you’ve given someone feedback on their punctuality, for instance, you must be considerate when contemplating their situation. By maintaining honest, open, and continued communication with your employees, you can ensure that effective feedback channels are maintained.
When it comes to feedback, there are generally three types of people to consider: seekers, receivers, and extenders. Seekers are individuals who will actively go looking for feedback so that they can improve their actions. Receivers are people who are being given feedback in any general situation. Extenders are those who give feedback to people, and they tend to be those who are in a higher position in an organisation. To ensure effective feedback delivery, you should identify which category you fall into most.
One of the methods that we have integrated into our programs when it comes to improving the feedback process is the FEED system. By having a set structure in place, to begin with, you can build up effective feedback methods. The FEED model consists of the following steps:
When it comes to giving feedback, it’s vital that you frame your point clearly when having the initial conversation. It’s essential that you have a clear idea in mind of what you want to talk about and a goal regarding how any potential issues will be resolved. There’s no use jumping around your problems. You must ensure that you’re clear with the subject of your feedback so that they understand where you’re coming from.
One of the most effective ways to help people understand the feedback that you’re giving is to provide them with an example. If someone is being given feedback regarding missing deadlines, having an example of a time when this happened will help to reinforce your point. Taking this step will also help people to understand exactly why it is that you’re having a conversation with them and providing this type of feedback.
As well as understanding why they’re receiving a certain type of feedback, it’s crucial for people to know why it’s important that they change their behaviour or actions. You can do this by explaining the positive effect that the individual will have by taking your feedback on board. People are more likely to take your feedback to heart and think of ways to improve themselves if they know the positive effect it will have on others or your organisation at large.
Finally, you can take steps to develop your feedback so that the individual that you’re speaking with can take more effective action in the future. It would be most beneficial to frankly discuss the feedback at hand so that they both leave with a mutual understanding of the steps that need to be taken. Remember, you will always be finding ways to improve your feedback delivery methods, so be sure to communicate with your staff members.
There are always ways to improve how we both deliver and receive feedback. With this in mind, we encourage listeners to delve further into the concept of feedback and discover what works best for them. You can always learn more about feedback and how it can be beneficial for all workplaces by reaching out to the experts at Steps today. With our Steps to Change program, you will be able to find effective methods of receiving and giving feedback that will help you to cultivate a better working environment.