Unfortunately, transitioning to a feedback culture won’t happen overnight. There are several obstacles your company will have to keep an eye out for:
1. Unwillingness to change
Not everyone will be completely onboard with the new plan at first. Even if you have most managers supporting the idea initially, some may change their minds after receiving their first piece of critical feedback from a report. Or, it could be that initially people begin giving and receiving feedback, but eventually the momentum starts to slow. Meliorate found that 70% of all change initiatives fail due to management behavior that does not support the change (33%), employee resistance to change (39%) and budget and other obstacles (28%). Be prepared to address these issues ahead of time by teaching managers how to accept upward feedback well and having a strategy in place for handling lulls in feedback behavior.
2. Fear of feedback
Most people have difficulties receiving feedback well. For others, the only thing worse than receiving constructive feedback is giving it. When given correctly, feedback is not meant to harm or criticize people, but meant as a way to improve. Even if we know feedback is good for us, some employees will have to overcome psychological barriers to feedback. For those who aren’t open to feedback, it can induce a fear of exclusion that bars them from really hearing what’s being said. However, this fear can be overcome. Help your company tackle this problem head on by teaching them how to open their mindset to feedback.
Before starting the change to a feedback culture, make your HR department aware of these common barriers. Prepare a plan to address resistance and fear of change ahead of time.
This article is part of a guide for HR about how to create a feedback culture.
HR Manager Handbook: Setting-up a feedback culture