As Bill Gates said, “We all need people who will give us feedback. That is how we will improve”, we often underestimate the power of feedback and how beautifully it can work for our growth, both professional and personal.
I say this with a decade long experience of working with startups and some of the best leaders in the country that the single biggest factor that ensures success, is feedback. Of course this is only possible if one is receptive to feedback and acts on it.
It is interesting that having people in your life to give feedback and inculcating the positive mindset to acknowledge and act on it are two different things. Superlative success and development is incumbent on both of these.
The above is not just true for individuals but also organizations as a whole. In the last decade and a half, organizations around the globe have invested time and resources in building a culture of ‘Outcome Oriented and Ongoing Feedback’. Let’s try to break down this phenomenon. The potential of feedback working wonders for the organization and its people is far more when it is outcome oriented than when its not. Outcome oriented feedback means one which is pivoted on the end result or destination that was set out to achieve. This is not to say that the process or journey of achieving the outcome is less important, but that feedback which is over indexed on outcomes provides one the focus that leads to differentiated learning and hence growth.
The other noteworthy element of feedback is it being ongoing or continuos. Ongoing feedback is feedback that is regular and on a continuos basis rather than milestone based or few times in a year. There are many organizations today across the world that agree with this and have commenced the journey of Ongoing Feedback for its employees. There are examples where ongoing feedback is set up as a structured process as part of performance management and
there are also organizations that have implemented a more informal mechanism of ongoing feedback where peers and managers share feedback for their colleagues over regular conversations. What is important to note is, many organizations have been able to create a platform – structured or unstructured for their employees to give and receive feedback.
The only question that comes to mind is, what makes outcome oriented and ongoing feedback in organizations possible? Or what is it that ties both of these together? The answer to both of these to a large extent is managerial capability or managers having the necessary skills to ensure they give feedback that is result oriented and continuos. The number one reason for employees to stay or leave an organization is their managers. It is natural, therefore that the focus on building managerial capability is at its peak. After all, ‘Great managers help shape great careers’ and feedback is the core to building one. Capable managers are able to provide critical feedback as effortlesslessly as non-critical, provide it timely and make it actionable.
Here’s to organizations and managers that continue to invest in building successful careers and providing a platform to their employees to be better versions of themselves, each day!