It’s not always easy implementing change. It can be difficult to get across why a new way of handling things is more beneficial: people can meet you with resistance or be reluctant to leave behind old practices.
Introducing new feedback practices is no different. People will often be filled with questions, doubts and need advice on how to move forward. We’ve answered your most frequently asked questions to help ensure that introducing 360-degree feedback in your workplace runs as a smooth transition and is beneficial for everybody!
FAQ 1: How do we change the current feedback culture?
Switching from more traditional review practices to real-time, continuous feedback is a big task. You can’t expect people to embrace things overnight. We recommend keeping your current practices in place, at least to begin with. Even if people are informed about the benefits and implementation of a new tool or practice, it’s both disruptive and unrealistic to completely switch things on their head from one day to the next. We suggest beginning to use continuous, or real-time feedback alongside your current practices such as your annual or quarterly reviews. It will ease people into things and make it seem like less of a dramatic change.
FAQ 2: How do we promote continuous feedback?
If you’re using a feedback tool for your new, real-time practices, introduce the tool before you plan on implementing it. Have your team become familiar with things before you expect them to engage with them on a daily basis. Holding a team or company-wide meeting is a great start. Introduce the tool, explain how you’re expecting people to use it, and show examples for how to optimize use. Explain the benefits, show how other companies are using it, and give people the opportunity to ask questions. Keeping people informed about both the specific tool and how continuous feedback will be beneficial is an essential first step in ensuring your team engage with changes.
Start encouraging people to send snippets of feedback at specific moments, to help them transition and get into a new mindset. For example, you can remind people and recommend they provide feedback after meetings, presentations, or when they’ve just worked with a new colleague on a project. If you begin by encouraging people to spend a couple of minutes giving feedback at these specific moments, they will form the habit and begin to do it automatically at these points.
FAQ 3: What is the best timeline for…
1. Completing self-assessments
Especially when first introducing them, give people time to get used to the practice of writing their own assessments. Allowing a couple of weeks for people to think about their answers is good practice, and means people’s responses will likely be way more meaningful, making for better insights, and more productive follow-up meetings!
2. Peer reviews/ Manager assessments
Again, it’s good to give people time to really think of and give thoughtful answers when completing their peer reviews. Giving 2 weeks for people to formulate their answers is good practice. It’s also a good idea to send reminders throughout this time to keep it in people’s minds and make sure they make writing the reviews a part of their working practices.
FAQ 4: How do I help my team give useful feedback?
We have a great free eBook with information which you can download here, which gives employees tips and information on providing great, effective feedback.
Leading by example is always a great place to start. Providing the kind of useful, insightful feedback that you’d wish to receive will show your team the way forward and set the standard from the offset:
Giving feedback that has meaningful direction is key. With constructive feedback, keep things useful. It’s not overly helpful to simply point out a load of things which people aren’t doing well. If there’s areas for people to improve upon, be specific about them, and suggest ways in which they can improve. Giving feedback in this format will make it far more useful for the person receiving it. If they can see areas for improvement, specific examples or context, and ways in which to improve, the feedback will be useful and easier to act upon.
Encourage positive feedback! Both give and encourage others to give positive feedback. Giving people credit for great work, a consistently great attitude, a successful project, or anything which they’re doing which contributes positively to the team or organization will not only make people feel appreciated and encourage them to continue with their efforts but also encourage the kind of culture where people have great things to say to their co-workers and peers when things are going well!
Optimize continuous feedback. Even if you already have performance management practices in place like annual or quarterly reviews, encouraging real-time feedback as well keeps things much more relevant and useful: getting feedback soon after something’s occurred is way more useful than hearing what you could have improved upon months down the line.
Follow up on feedback! Nothing is less encouraging than spending time giving someone feedback only to see they haven’t listened to it, acted on it, or done any follow up. People will be way less inclined to put the effort in if they don’t think it’s worth it. Always make sure you follow up on feedback, whether you’ve given or received it, by scheduling 1-on-1’s where there’s time to discuss things.
Don’t replace face-to-face feedback! If you’re using a feedback tool, this is great and an incredibly useful way to do things, but don’t let it eliminate talking to your team and having them talk to each other: this is also incredibly valuable and will go a long way in creating and maintaining a great, open and receptive culture. This is especially great for positive feedback: give praise on the spot in person when someone does a great job, and your team will follow suit!
Build your own feedback culture that becomes second nature. Here at Impraise, we hold a “cheers for peers”1 at the end of the week where people can anonymously give a shout-out to anyone in the office they feel deserves the spotlight that week. It’s a great way to end the week on a positive note and show appreciation for the small things which improved the working week.
We also have several great resources available which have in-depth information on various aspects of feedback. You can click the links below to download these free eBooks and white papers to find out more:
You can also check out our A-Z of feedback here for a simple outline of all the different aspects of feedback culture and how you can optimize them!
Photo by Artem Sapegin