The importance of feedback is enormous for companies. Daily feedback is an essential tool for developing individual professionals and organizations.
Instead of just telling workers what is good or bad, feedback gives employees a voice and broadens the vision workers have of the company and themselves. Besides those benefits, feedback also strengthens ties between managers and staff and coworkers among themselves.
Keep reading if you wish to understand the importance of feedback in a company and why it is becoming a more relevant tool each day.
The importance of feedback for companies
Today’s relevance of feedback as a management tool can be illustrated by its presence in organizations of all sizes, from the smallest startups to the largest corporations.
And it is simple to understand why: the human brain has an effective reward system. Because of it, we tend to repeat behaviors that have brought some benefit to us. Such a feature is so powerful that it rules over several areas of our life, including at work.
In a changing market, employees have a new way of seeing themselves and the companies they work for. This new perception causes leaders and managers to play a much broader role now than in the past.
Today, it is not enough to give orders and demands to be carried at any cost without considering personnel. It is also not sufficient, nor acceptable, to address employees aggressively because they came short.
The moment requires a reformulated paradigm and a search for new ways to manage relationships in the organizational environment.
Such an approach will enable workers’ performance and contribute to their development towards effectiveness. That is when the importance of feedback for companies gets noticed.
The term designates a process of communication heavily relying on response to practices. It is a tool that aims to promote learning and improvement throughout the business sphere.
In a corporation, feedback can manifest itself in many ways. The most common is an opinion about a group or a person, evaluating their performance in carrying out a task or function.
The main goal is to reinforce the qualities and contribute to the professional growth of the employee and the company, finding, in partnership with collaborators, ways to deal with the points that need improvement.
It is a way to motivate workers to perform by giving constructive criticism and a chance to have their voice heard, making employees feel recognized and valued for their contribution better.
It is also a way to tap into the reward system. Leadership is essential in the feedback process. Part of a good leader’s role is to understand the importance of open communication to ensure the outcome of actions does not backfire.
Doing so takes more than knowing what to say. A skilled leader knows how to say it, when and where to say it, and most importantly, how to listen.
Such well-thought interactions prevent the person on the other side of the communication field from taking the massage as a personal attack or shutting off the chance of taking the message as positive feedback to keep growing.
The importance of feedback in numbers
A study by the Top Employers Institute, with 600 companies from 99 countries, revealed that professionals consider feedback the best method to measure performance.
According to the data collected, the traditional annual performance review is not enough for most workers, who prefer faster and more constant feedback and transparent processes for setting goals.
In this regard, Brazilian companies give a good insight into how it looks to be in line with the global trend.
There were 26 participating organizations in Brazil, with 300,000 professionals. The survey found that 100% of these companies have management training programs focused on open, constructive, and ongoing feedback.
The percentage puts Brazil ahead of several countries considered to be more developed — like Italy (87%), the United Kingdom (90%), and France (79%).
Another interesting fact is goal transparency. In 79% of the Brazilian organizations in the study, managers have fully transparent communication on performance objectives with collaborators reporting directly to them. This rate is only 13% in France and 43% in Germany.
The study concluded that companies certified by the Top Employers Institute have evolved and started redefining their employees’ performance goals by changing them from assessments made only once a year to processes of continuous and transparent dialogue carried out daily.
What does your company gain from giving feedback?
For some people, feedback means scolding and is related to negative feelings such as fear and hurt.
In some cultures, criticism is not encouraged. And when it is necessary to correct something that does not meet expectations, the most used resource is aggression.
To change such perception, the feedback process must have its status raised to the company’s culture level. And to be promoted as a fundamental exercise for individual development and building and maintaining a business.
When providing services or offering products, being evaluated is common. However, the answer might not be as positive as expected, bringing about discouragement.
Learning to deal with negative feedback is essential to take advantage of growth opportunities. Doing so is about choice: one can improve ahead or pull back in anger.
Creating a feedback culture within the organization, and encouraging it among managers and subordinates, reinforces its dual path. In time, the maturity to take feedback will be a natural consequence, bringing harmony to the work environment.
With the adoption of feedback as a culture, respect is mutual, generating a more synchronous and dynamic communication and relationship. Everybody wins – team, leader, company and customer.
To better demonstrate the importance of feedback in corporations, we list below some advantages of incorporating it into the company’s daily life.
Agility in decision-making and problem-solving
The importance of feedback also promotes agility. Issues are detected much faster with a regular feedback system. As a result, solving or preventing problematic areas is more agile.
Managers and employees get closer
An open dialogue brings more trust to professional relationships, and it shows, in a way, care and appreciation.
This attitude opens up a communication path that allows employees to turn to their leader whenever they feel the need and vice versa.
Evolution of individuals and companies
It is not enough to know something is wrong; it is necessary to understand why something is not good and how to improve it.
Effective feedback promotes learning, business process improvement, and employee performance.
Better organizational environment
In a place where employees at the same hierarchical level know they can count on their leaders and each other, there is no room for gossip and conflict.
Everyone works with the same goal; team unity is a consequence.
Reduction in turnover
Many people wish to grow personally and professionally, and therefore, they seek a place that allows them to achieve their goals and objectives.
A company that listens to and respects its professionals, seeking to help them whenever possible, guarantees their permanence in the workforce.
Increase in company profits
The importance of feedback is simple to understand: a company that constantly listens and evaluates its employees forges a sense of belonging in its professionals.
These, in turn, are more satisfied and become more engaged in their roles. The result is more productivity and, consequently, more profitability for the organization.
These are just some of the many benefits that feedback brings. The tool can also reduce uncertainties and anxieties. And it is a compass that guides the path to achieving goals.
The importance of feedback as a fundamental motivational tool
Believing that the single way of getting positive results is by giving positive feedback is a mistake. In reality, negative feedback is crucial to catapult the desire for improvement.
In the long run, a positive-feedback-only scenario will spoil one’s ability to handle criticism, making corrective actions harder than necessary.
Bear in mind that human beings usually have a favorable view of themselves. And to keep that vision, one tends to turn to social connections that reinforce such perception.
That is why even soft and well-intended, yet faultfinding, feedback can be perceived as a threat to be dodged.
Of course, there is an exception to every rule. But being aware of such traits shared by everyone in an organization brings balance between positive and negative feedback, highlighting the need for a cautious evaluation of what is more appropriate for each case.
The Hawthorne Research
In 1927, researcher Elton Mayo conducted a study at the Western Electric Company to evaluate how much working conditions influence productivity. Mayo changed the light intensity to measure factory workers’ efficiency.
One team worked under variable light while the other group was under constant potency. At the end of the first phase, both groups had improved productivity.
The second phase came along. The luminosity in the experiment room got decreased, and diminished productivity was the expectation. However, data showed the opposite: production went up.
Confused by the findings, researchers could not prove any simple relation between production pace and light intensity in the work environment. The study became known as Hawthorne research.
The conclusion was that it was not the luminescence that influenced productivity but the attention the workers received while participating in the experiment.
How to use feedback to motivate
Different approaches to psychology postulate that motivation is intrinsic to human beings. That means no one can motivate another person unless there is already a predisposition to face changes.
There are many reasons someone might be motivated at work, like wages and promotions. However, acknowledging efforts and offering a growth perspective can have more impact.
Feedback, positive or negative feedback, does not guarantee that change will magically come. But still, workers need to know they are valued, and their contributions are noticed.
The role of management is to bring up dueling information to make motivation surface within the team. It means that a professional needs to know what he does best and where improvement is needed.
When the importance of feedback is noted within a company and encouraged as a culture, positive stimuli result in an engaged workforce. Employees are better motivated and feel more comfortable in the work environment.
The importance of feedback in the digital era
Online resume repositories, corporate social networks, and recruiting websites are a few of the undeniable digital era. However, technology brings constant challenges for HR departments and general people management.
Resignifying departments in charge of the relationship between companies and the internal public is a matter of concern and debate amongst specialists since some catching up is needed.
Some companies, especially the youngest ones, are adapting more quickly. On the other hand, traditional corporations can offer some resistance and have difficulty fitting in a new context.
At some point, all companies will give in to technology since it is a fundamental part of the inherent evolution of society. After all, people are more connected every day through social media, online banking, or internet purchases.
The organization that wants to stand out or remain active in the market has to follow and align itself with such transformations. Companies must understand their own needs and choose, among many resources, the one that best fits their reality.
Digital transformation needs to involve the entire company, which means deploying systems that facilitate processes in various sectors.
Costs should be considered investments that will yield short and long-term returns. Also, leadership must be involved and have a different mindset.
Leaders must encourage change and see it as an innovation that will result in a better experience for themselves, their employees, customers, and suppliers.
Thinking about feedback in the digital age is to idealize positive transformations that will leave the organization one step ahead of its competitors.
Putting into practice projects that involve technology takes the company out of obsolescence and makes it a reference.
Internal communication is not just a supportive resource to a company anymore. It has become a strategic area. Seeing people as the most relevant resource of a corporation has made a huge difference in promoting such change.
Now, people are not satisfied with shallow information and unreliable media. Workers not only wish to know a company and its processes but also want to be a part of decision-making.
Open dialogue and frequent interaction are growing demands from employees who execute projects within corporations. A healthy environment and a strong culture rely on such openness and inclusiveness.
And so, specialized platforms existed to ease communication between leadership and collaborators. Feedback is made possible with a few clicks on smartphones or tablets.
It is an easy and effective solution. Information flows in real-time through processes accessible to all employees without taking too much time and ensuring their voices are known.
Feedback apps for the corporate market are powerful and disruptive tools with the potential to redefine management.
Engagement through such platforms is much more perceptible than through annual performance surveys.
5 other reasons to value feedback
A feedback culture generates countless benefits, and we have already mentioned some.
But if you still have doubts about what this culture can do for your company, we will show you five more reasons to believe in the importance of feedback.
1. Difficult conversations made easier
Some tasks are admittedly more complicated than others. Seeing them through requires more dedication and a change in approach. Such change it’s not always easy to be explained to an employee.
However, it is easier to talk about sensitive subjects when there is a habit of providing feedback. The same is true in times of crisis or when significant changes in the organizational context involving employees are needed.
2. Goals and objectives made clear
Setting goals and objectives is essential in life. Everyone needs to know where they are and where they want to go.
The same is true for a company. Employees must be aware of all targets since their first day onboard.
It is up to the company to define objectives for the team. In doing it, no one should be left out. Each employee needs to remember their responsibility in the process; this way, they can help achieve the intended results by collaborating with the team.
Having a feedback culture helps in this process because it brings the necessary transparency. In addition, feedback tools guarantee monitoring of the plan’s execution and the rapid correction of failures that may arise in its course.
3. Improved listening skills
Many people find it easy to speak up but do not develop listening skills. We all learn to express ourselves from childhood, but almost no one knows how to listen.
Listening attentively to what others say can facilitate the resolution of many problems.
It is essential to be a good listener when receiving feedback. There is always something to learn, and those with solid listening skills acquire more knowledge.
4. Processes are humanized
Aligning the workforce is the desire of every company. This leveling makes event planning more fluid, facilitates the management of changes, and promotes the creation of growth strategies, among other advantages.
Understanding and empathy strengthen when all employees’ voices are heard, favoring the care among employees and between leaders and teams.
Feedback helps to humanize relationships, which directly impacts the organization’s processes.
5. Increased trust within the company
Trust is the most crucial element in high-performing teams. You can’t have an effective team or a lasting relationship without it.
Trust in the workplace is the common denominator in most thriving organizations. But to conquer it, it is necessary to align the team’s values with the company’s. Rules are essential in determining what you can and cannot do.
However, the values are the indicators of what should be done or not. Recognizing an employee’s honesty and demonstrating their value to the company is the best way to earn their trust.
Capturing employee insights is essential in taking an organization into the future. Collaboration, creativity and engagement are more valued than ever.
But cultivating these principles takes time and dedication. However, this is the only way to ensure everyone’s involvement. And feedback is the bridge that connects the agents in a company.
How many times do you receive feedback per year?
Most of us practice very little feedback. Unfortunately, the average frequency for most companies is only once a quarter. And this is because we often fail to practice it for not knowing a simple, fast and autonomous way of doing it daily.
Owlisten was born to revolutionize how we do feedback, bringing freedom and autonomy to implement it in meetings, workshops, projects and discussions.
Creating your free Owlisten account is fast and easy. The app will help you discover which skills need attention and development, turning feedback into a habit that promotes self-awareness and contributes to constant growth.