Implementing a team feedback system that works
If you’re managing a team that doesn’t feel comfortable giving and receiving feedback you’re not alone.
The good news is that there are some simple things that managers can do to make the feedback system more approachable for the team, and also so much more valuable for each individual.
Don’t confuse it with a performance assessment
Firstly, feedback is not a performance assessment. Keep them separate.
Performance assessments are binary, retrospective and often a negative experience for team members.
Feedback is forward looking and should always be about helping individuals to develop and grow. Done well feedback should be seen by every team member as being 100% in their best interests.
Increase the frequency
You can’t have continuous improvement without frequent feedback. Increasing the frequency of feedback to at least monthly allows for iteration and optimisation. For targeted areas our research shows that more than 75% of people want feedback at least weekly.
Annual or bi-annual reviews just won't cut it anymore - especially if your time with the team in the office has been reduced. If that’s what you’re doing, it’s time for a change.
Lead by example
Building an environment in which people feel safe to give honest feedback is super important. Done right, feedback becomes a powerful tool for the team.
Without question the best way to build this environment is to lead by example. The feedback culture you want in your team needs to be lived by the leadership team.
So lead by example. Always.
Make it positive and constructive
Structure how you give feedback so it is constructive and development focussed. Honest, yes. But always constructive. With Threeple we structure feedback around our qualitative ratings. Note, there is no “negative” option.
Threeple feedback ratings:
Core Strength - This refers to attributes that you excel at. Performance is consistently at a very high level. Awesome!
Competent - If you're rated as competent you are a solid performer for this attribute. It doesn't mean the "bare minimum"! Good work!
On the right track - This is for areas that you're showing proactive, positive growth in. You've got potential and are on the way to building new competencies. This is a very encouraging.
Room for improvement - This is for attributes that aren't strengths (yet!), or for areas that are not getting the attention they need. No one is perfect and we can always improve. Treat this as a prompt to target this attribute for growth.
Feedback isn’t fact, don’t treat it like it is
Encourage your team to treat the feedback they receive as a source of insight, not fact. There is so much potential for context and subjectivity to influence feedback that treating it is fact can be really counter-productive.
Instead, try focussing on feedback as a trigger for inquiry and deeper understanding. It helps take defensivess away, builds self-awareness and lets people get the most out of the process.
Interested in learning more about Threeple?
Get in touch to arrange a call so we can learn more about what you need and explore if Threeple can help.