Do you believe in the importance of feedback? Do you value it and think of it as an important component of your career development? If so, you don’t need to read any further – although this post will validate your perspective. This post is for those of you who do not believe in the importance of feedback. You know who you are! You’re the ones that say things like “I don’t care what other people think”, “I’d rather not know the truth”, or something similar that rationalizes why it’s ok to ignore or deny other people’s opinion of you.
The redefining of performance reviews and the feedback that goes along with them continue to challenge HR. Companies are continuing to drop or revamp their performance reviews. Some changes are more drastic than others. I recently found this SHRM article describing how some organizations are shifting their performance reviews to be adjective-based as a replacement for the now-doomed numerical rating scale. Surely words are better than numbers! The rationale is that adjectives are more personal than numbers, provide more information, and therefore increase employee motivation.
Recently I attended a session at a conference about feedback. I was looking forward to hearing material about feedback-related issues such as 360 assessment, the neuroscience associated with feedback, and examples of companies that have created a “feedback culture.” While these subjects were briefly mentioned, it didn’t take long for the audience Q&A to turn the discussion into a plea for help with performance management.
Recently I wrote about some great opportunities to ask for feedback. Hopefully reading that post gave you some ideas for upcoming opportunities you will have to ask for feedback. I don’t want to discourage you, but asking for feedback is only the first step in getting it. You can’t just put a survey out there and wait for the magic to happen. It’s unfortunate, but despite the increasing focus on feedback in organizations, some people are still uncomfortable giving it.
If you’re lucky enough to have a culture of self-driven development, employees at any level should be able to solicit feedback on a regular basis from their coworkers. This is growing more common as companies are moving away from the annual performance appraisal exercise and seeking ways for employees to receive more frequent, meaningful feedback, As with anything, some times are better than others to do so. This means HR organizations and employees themselves need to identify who, when, and under what circumstances feedback should be solicited.
The topic of feedback is all the rage right now. Just last week I found this article from the NY Times and this podast from HBR. And there’s plenty of great content written prior to these posts, so you really don’t need me to regurgitate it to you. In fact, the topic of feedback has been so hot lately I’m going to take a small leap and presume you don’t need to be convinced that it’s a necessity. I’ll even go so far as to say you are a feedback advocate! If not, review the material linked above, search for more if you need more convincing, and return to this post when you’ve come to your senses.