February is Feedback month at Strong Training and Coaching! We’ll delve into all aspects of this ‘F’ word all month, so stay tuned!
Here’s the paradox of feedback: It’s the #1 thing managers fear the most and also the #1 thing employees crave. In a recent study by Zenger-Folkman, 94% of employees say constructive feedback improves their performance when presented well, and teams with managers who openly received feedback showed a double-digit increase in performance over those teams who received no feedback at all.
In essence, feedback is really just a conversation where we are ‘feeding back’ to people what we see for the benefit of their growth and development. While it might be easy to tell a friend while you’re shopping you don’t like that dress she grabbed, it’s much harder to turn that eye to someone’s performance at work. We’re simply not having the conversations necessary for us to thrive in our organizations.
So let’s bust some myths about this scary ‘F’ word, shall we?
Perception: The feedback will hurt
Reality: It will hurt them more if you don’t…and we’ve just learned that 94% of the time it helps. We do more harm than good by not ‘feeding back’ what we see, and what we believe might be in the way of their improvement. We’re thinking it anyway, how can it be helpful to not say it?
Perception: They will be unpleasantly surprised
Reality: Only 11% of employees are surprised by critical feedback. Most seem relieved when it is called out and they’re given the chance to improve.
Perception: They can’t handle the truth
Reality: The expect it! Thanks to social media, millennials have literally been getting feedback in real time their entire lives, and they will expect no less at work.
Perception: They’re getting enough already
Reality: 60% of employees say they have not received any useful feedback in the past six months. And a full 70% of employees indicated that “My performance and possibilities for success in my career would have increased
substantially if I had been given more feedback.” Now if that doesn’t just break your heart as a manager.
So, what are we waiting for? We know feedback helps increase performance, decreases turnover, strengthens morale and creates a culture of trust and transparency; so let’s set an intention right now to embrace these feedback conversations, not just during performance review season, but all year long.
–Mauren Falvey, Trainer