What is feedback and why is it so vital to your organization?
July 29, 2020
Feedback is the cobblestone of a company’s roadmap to employees’ ongoing development. It clarifies everyone’s expectations, helps people learn from their mistakes, and bolsters motivation.
In spite of the business world’s wide acceptance of feedback as a management best practice, many leaders find themselves asking the question: what exactly is feedback and what makes it so vital to today’s organizations? Feedback is the most direct way for companies to enable meaningful conversations at every organizational level that encourage growth, development, and personal connections. Applied and fostered correctly, feedback can shape us into the professionals we want to become.
Until recently, most companies still relied on a traditional feedback paradigm: an annual face-to-face sit-down performance review. Performance evaluations were the fora for feedback and they were conducted in a unilateral, hierarchical manner: the employee receiving feedback from his or her boss.
However, as work realities become more complex and business needs multiply, the annual performance review became outdated. Companies need their employees’ skills and knowledge to evolve just as quickly as the world around them if they are going to remain competitive.
Moreover, employees are insisting on more and better feedback. In fact, 72% of people are dissatisfied with the feedback process that exists in their companies in key areas such as professional development (72%) and job performance (70%).
Why should companies take action based on that feedback? Employees represent a company’s most valuable asset. New hires are subject to lengthy recruitment processes and companies invest significant time and money to hire qualified and suitable staff. Furthermore, retaining talent is less expensive than replacing the employees you already have. And, numerous studies show that personal and professional development opportunities are a No.1 priority for job seekers.
In fact, according to the 2018 Workplace Learning Report, 94% of employees would stay at a company longer if it invested in their career development. So, given that employees highly value training and learning in the workplace and feedback provides managers and leaders with the input to design highly effective programs and opportunities for career development is why it is so vital to today’s organizations. But not all feedback will fast track skill development and overall improvement. To make that happen, organizations need more accessible and more effective processes.
What is 360° feedback?
Unlike the one-way exchange from managers to direct reports traditionally practiced in annual performance reviews, 360° feedback brings the feedback process full circle. It involves gathering feedback from an employee’s peers, direct reports, and supervisor. Oftentimes, there is a self-evaluation. The final result is a more complete, well-balanced picture of the employee’s experience in the organization.
This comprehensive perspective allows HR leaders to identify individual strengths and highlights ways they can accompany employees throughout their professional development. It also pinpoints areas for improvement and highlights ways to address them that will be effective for that employee.
In real time: digitizing 360° feedback
In today’s fast-paced business world, 360° feedback alone is not enough for companies to stay ahead of evolving market demands. In response, many organizations dropped annual performance evaluations in favor of more periodic conversations. At some companies, these practices have evolved into real-time feedback.
For employees, regular feedback can eliminate the fear of being blindsided by poor performance reviews during which the criticism handed down is ultimately unconstructive and oblique simply due to the amount of time that has transpired.
Among the main benefits for a company, ongoing feedback helps streamline the development process for each individual, drives teams to reach their professional goals faster, and has an incremental effect for growth at an individual and organizational level.
The digitization of work environments has been key to guarantee agility in feedback. However, many companies continue to invest heavily in HR technology. focused on systematizing processes instead of creating employee-centric experiences of value.
Globant, a digitally native company that articulates its cultural strategies over its BetterMe digital feedback platform, is a clear example of how to implement real-time 360° feedback. Globant’s approach ensures that its people and the company are aligned with the demands for new knowledge and market competencies. They can also understand and measure organizational culture thanks to the metrics provided by the platform’s People Analytics feature, effectively evaluating how their talent is growing.
Boost your organization’s development with continuous feedback
Real-time 360° feedback empowers people, streamlines the growth process, and drives professional development as long as each company understands what it needs from a feedback program and the goals it seeks to achieve by implementing one.
A balanced mix of 360° feedback and agile tools that facilitate meaningful conversations helps increase productivity through recognition, dialogue, and support, creating a strong corporate culture.