How to deal with this? For years, various tools have been created to collect information about employees' performance within the projects in which they are involved. In this blog, we will focus on a resource that has made its way into the labor review processes of the tech industry: feedback.
Feedback, as a review and continuous improvement process, is part of a work environment where the team members receive comments about their performance from their peers or their direct superiors. In this way, the sense of hierarchy dictates the form of how employees receive their feedback.
It is challenging to ensure that one axis has an absolute advantage over the other since each brings advantages and disadvantages. For example, utterly vertical feedback minimizes the possibility of confusion about which areas of improvement the team member can develop to advance in his career path since these suggestions come directly from his direct superior. Moreover, horizontal feedback could generate confusion about the relevance of the recommendations made due to work egos, lack of communication, or even understanding, among other things.
When looking for solutions to improve the way traditional feedback works here at Mind (ArkusNexus and michelada.io), we found that conventional feedback missed the opportunity to see the big picture of a team. Intending to find a comprehensive solution, we implemented what we the 360 feedback. This modality of giving and receiving feedback revolves around the premise that "everyone has something to share with you". In this way, the teams carry out a review cycle where they can give feedback to their colleagues and team leaders, resulting in a more comprehensive and less restrictive vision of the continuous improvement processes of each team member.
Elí Sánchez, Talent Development Manager at Mind and an expert on 360° feedback, shares his thoughts on how this type of feedback offers advantages for both those who apply the feedback and those who receive it:
"Without a doubt, offering objective feedback is like a muscle to be exercised and is the best moment to practice conversations focused on the areas of opportunity that you and your team may have. So you contribute to them to continue their professional growth. It is essential to share with all of our team how our results impact the business, so this possibly could give them a boost to improve their commitment."
Now that we have outlined an overview of feedback and its modalities, here are some tips to turn these feedback cycles into a routine within your company's internal culture.
1. Consistency and planning
One of the reasons feedback cycles find rejection tends to be that they come at the most inopportune time. Often, these processes find date issues with project reviews, deliveries just in time, or the team member's day-to-day. For this reason, we believe in dedicating a specific time in the organization's public calendar so that members can be aware of when these feedback cycles begin and end and plan their agenda.
To obtain the most accurate and effective information on the performance of our workers, the highest possible percentage of the company's population must be involved in the feedback processes. We suggest using all the official communication channels available to the company to inform as many people as possible. However, sometimes it is not enough to communicate (for more prominent companies, for example); there must be continuous efforts to involve people, such as team leaders, in these processes.
3. Communication: be assertive.
Assertive communication before and during the feedback process is one of the points where the battle could be a success or a mess. How and when we communicate this effort will directly influence the number of people participating. On the other hand, during the active phase of giving feedback, being assertive will allow you to provide a better review, always trying to overcome reason over feelings and making constructive comments to improve the quality of the work of the members of the organization.
Feedback is a fundamental part of the talent development system, and its function is fulfilled at different levels. It serves as a general thermometer to measure a team member's performance within the total that makes up the company. Additionally, it serves as a personal measurement tool to identify the areas of opportunity in which all professionals can improve to develop skills that will make them more attractive to the labor market. We can find the key to all feedback in the following three words: consistency, participation, and communication.