The Feedback Engagement Loop: The Building Blocks of a High Performance Culture

Great leaders know that feedback is the breakfast of champions. As employees work based feedback helps us to answer fundamental questions such as:

  • Why does my role exist?
  • What am I supposed to achieve?
  • How is my performance tracking?
  • What is the best use of my time?
  • How am I influencing others? 

Unfortunately, staff in many organizations are starved of feedback for two common reasons:

  1. Superstars are left to their own devices
  2. Leaders’ fears of difficult conversations

Let’s take a closer look.

1. The Superstars: Nothing to See Here

As a leader it’s fantastic to have high performers in your team. These are the people that you can rely on to show initiative, do what needs to to be done at the right time in the right way. As a leader of high performers it’s better to just get out of their way and let them do their thing - No news from the boss is good news, right?

While at first blush this approach may seem sound, leaders who fail to provide feedback to their superstars are failing to recognize a fundamental aspect of the human condition - People are social creatures who take cues from others. Because of this, even the most self assured individuals crave outside input and assessment in order to answer the question “How do I measure up?”.

It’s in the superstars’ nature to want to reach their full potential, and to do this they know that they need feedback. If they fail to receive adequate feedback from you, they will move on to find an organization that will take the time to invest in their development.

2. The Poor Performers: That Awkward Moment When…

Feedback conversations with poor performers can be stressful for both leaders and those receiving feedback. As a leader prior to giving difficult feedback you may be tempted to think that things aren’t that bad - just leaving the situation will somehow lead to improvement by itself, and giving feedback may be upsetting, so it’s better to leave it, right? 

Here, seeking to avoid uncomfortable conversations to preserve another’s feelings may seem kind, however it will only cause damage in the long run as continued poor performance stifles the poor performer’s future career prospects, frustrates coworkers, and causes key clients leave. As a Leader in this situation, it’s important to remember that providing feedback (especially difficult feedback) shows that you care enough about others to help them professionally.

The Gift that Keeps on Giving

For a long time, it was believed that financial investment was the key to a highly engaged workforce. However, research shows that at best there is only a moderate correlation between pay and job satisfaction/engagement. The true key to engagement at work is a different kind of investment - A leader’s investment in clarity through feedback. The payoff is a more committed, and more on point workforce.

HR Business Direction can assist you to strengthen your business’s Feedback Engagement Loop to build a High Performance Culture. 

Alistair Kerr, MPsychOrg; PostGradDip Psych; BPsych

Organisaitonal Development Strategist | Psychologist

alistair.kerr@hrbd.com.au

07 3890 2066

www.hrbd.com.au

Views: 1189

Comment by Benjamin Hume Walker on April 14, 2016 at 13:29

Great piece, makes clear the link between authentic, timely, objective feedback & enhancing performance

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