Feedback is a management technique that first appeared in the United States. It has been only a few years that feedback is used in France as a managerial approach.

The feedback culture brings, without doubts, engagement in a company. It helps personal as well as collective development in the form of a positive or a corrective opinion given to an employee after an action he/she conducted. Feedback is a relevant way to value and rectify actions by engaging further actions.

But feedback is also an art, that must be taught and learnt by feedback masters.

“43% of highly engaged employees receive feedback at least once a week against 18% of employees with low engagement.”

Feedbacks appear to be a relevant approach to management and employee experience.

For the past few years, the art of giving feedbacks has become something big at work, from the small startup to the big company, it is on everyone’s lips : ascendant feedback, descendant feedback, parallel feedbacks and I am sure I am missing a few…

You got it, feedback has become a trending word as well as a trending technique. It has also gained popularity in France since the closest we could get from feedback was the annual one to one meeting you had with your manager or you delegated HR. After its arrival, we heard a lot about it, mainly positive from managers who saw a way to give more easily their opinions on employee actions.
But where does the feedback fit in a company organization? What role does feedback play in a colleague relationship and between a manager and its employees?

Office meeting
Photo by Charles Deluvio / Unsplash

Recently, as I was doing my weekly “future of work” watch, I happened upon a figure that made me question the relevance of feedback as a managerial practice.

Only 23% of employees strongly agree their manager provides meaningful feedback to them and 26% of employees strongly agree the feedback they receive helps them do better work” (Gallup report)

Analyzing it in the reversal way, 74% of employees do not strongly agree that the feedback they receive helps them do better… This figure was and still is surprising for me since the aim of feedback is to help employee do better and learn.

To go further with this figure, it also appears that rare are the people that receive feedback in a company. Moreover, lots of people are willing to be given a feedback after conducting a project. Feedback still appear to be a good way to stay engaged and motivated in a company.

Looking back to my own experience with feedback, I have been given feedback just a few time in my small working experience life but each time the feedback was kind of irrelevant to me. Why that? It was given to me the end of my mission when I couldn’t be able to change anything and improve myself with my job.

Then, how to engage employee in a feedback that matters? I am pretty sure feedback is a relevant practice but I guess the art of feedback is something that you need to learn before engaging yourself in the delicate mission of sharing your opinion with someone else.

After many readings on the subject, I notice that the main problem with feedback is that it doesn’t call for any response in return. As a former communication student I must say communication is key. There must be a proper way to communicate and give feedback to your colleagues, and absolutely avoid the solemn one to a meeting.

Through my reading, I finally got myself to underline few key points about feedback that must be respected or at least not neglected so that everyone can enjoy the benefits of a good feedback experience.

  • We need to learn how to valorize first, before launching ourselves into the tricky and harsh expertise of giving corrective feedback. We have to keep in mind that feedback is positive as well as corrective.
  • Feedback must be prepared in advance, you must know what you are willing to say before saying it, by choosing the right words and the right time.
  • Engage conversation on the point you just made, feedback isn’t only about expressing but also receiving in return (cheerz to two-way-communication)
  • Feedback must be followed by actions, otherwise it aims at nothing.

I have just started working at Jubiwee for a few months now. What I understood about our market is that the overall aim of the product we sell is to give people the opportunity to go beyond feedback. We help people focus on the future by implementing actions. And to do so, companies as well as employees must feel comfortable and listened to.

Feedback is no punition and with the art of feedbacking come the art of receiving the critic.

Feedback is difficult in both way : to tell feedbacks and to receive feedbacks.

Fun fact about feedback is that many people want to receive feedback but only a few people want to give feedback. This is no surprise but it helps understand the tension around “feedback”. Because it is a hard job. As a manager, people are expecting you to give qualitative feedback and this is a lot of pressure. But feedback is never good when it is forced out of your mouth as you were not feeling it. If you don’t feel it, don’t do it.

Then I guess, you need to practice and it must be given regularly to be efficient and adjustable for the next round. There is nothing worse than having no idea what people think of you and the way you are dealing with your job. Having feedback is I guess a perfect way to get yourself more comfortable with yourself in what you do. And then, to take actions that must be taken and that you feel comfortable about. Act on the things you’ve learnt.

Slate It
Photo by Jakob Owens / Unsplash

The feedback curse of non action

Actions are crucial. It helps keep the dynamic of a company, it gives the culture and helps create engagement around you. Without actions, you are going nowhere. And the feedback must be actionable. There is no sense to have a feedback on something is you cannot change anything about it..Most companies are failing at implementing actions and you cannot give feedback if afterwards, the actions are not following. It is not only frustrating for you but the people around you. Everyone can feel the stagnation when there is one, and with stagnation goes with disengagement. Most feedback, by focusing on the past, are not actionable. To be efficient, it must be oriented on the future.