Tuesday, July 10, 2007

All Employees Should Use Feedback to Create a Better Workplace

by Richard Hohmann, Senior Consultant and Vice President of Innovative Leadership

Everyone is talking about employee engagement. Everyone is trying to make every employee “emotionally well-rounded”. The real key to engagement, emotional intelligence, or whatever is the communication that is the result of your understanding of yourself and the behavioral style of the person you are trying to talk to. It is important that feedback becomes the mainstay of any communication within an organization. Communication is a two-way dialog that is the responsibility of both the manager and the employee to provide feedback in a timely manner that can support the company in this highly competitive world. Proper feedback can provide enhancements in policy and procedure, quality assurance, rapid responses to customer needs, and much…much more.

Everyone within a company should try to follow these guidelines for proper feedback:

1. Make feedback Routine – don’t wait to communicate a success story or a customer complaint, or whatever so that others are able to provide resolution if necessary in a timely manner…..make feedback part of your communication plan of action.

2. Make feedback yours – own the feedback by using personal pronouns like “I” and “We” and make sure the wording of your sentences eliminate any potential for “accusatory” comments.

3. Make feedback timely – it is so important and much more effective to offer corrective instruction or solutions immediately after the behavior or action in question rather than waiting hours, days, weeks or months.

4. Make feedback clear – make sure your feedback is understood both in the right context but also in regard to the recommended action. Everyone should be encouraged to speak up about any reservations or questions they may have with the feedback information.

Use your planning and administration system or tools to compliment and support your communication. An effective feedback process can certainly keep everyone engaged.