The majority of individuals, whether they are just starting out or are higher level managers, want and need to get feedback regarding how they are doing in their jobs. They need to know how they are doing, what they are doing right, what they are doing wrong, and everything in between. A powerful tool for performance management, professional feedback is an important factor in managing a productive working environment. The term “feedback” often has a negative connotation as many associate it with criticism and nonconstructive critique which can be ineffective and doesn’t align with the simple goals of feedback.

Regular, active, and frequent feedback doesn’t have to be restricted to human resources or performance reviews. Effective organizations realize that regular feedback throughout many channels helps with communicating expectations that in turn, helps the business run efficiently. Such feedback can and should include not only topics pertaining to personal performance, but business performance and approaches. Particularly with high-potential employees, including them in the feedback process can benefit the organization through the gathering of meaningful, specific, and ongoing information.

In a work setting, feedback should ideally flow in and out in all directions and should come from both managers and their employees. There are a number of ways to ask for and receive quality, professional feedback from your colleagues and employees. Be specific and focus on questions that will generate the detailed answer that you are seeking. Ask questions that encourage open-ended responses and make sure to make your team members feel comfortable and candid with their comments.

What if the feedback you receive is not what you were seeking, or on the flip side, is not received well? How do you make the most of your feedback and make any necessary modifications to ensure that feedback is welcomed and implemented? Follow us next week as we discuss how to give your feedback in an efficient and effective manner that best benefits both the employer and the employee.