Winning in the Workplace: How To Create a Culture of Feedback That Positively Affects Your Bottom Line

Feedback isn’t just a nice suggestion here or there – it’s a secret weapon that can strengthen your company’s culture so that it’s built to last.

The best workplaces thrive on continuous feedback. Open communication enhances performance, builds employee engagement, fosters professional growth, and helps you avoid conflict on the job before it even happens.

This type of culture also creates victories that tangibly improve your bottom line. Consider these tips for putting feedback to good use so you can win in the workplace.

Use surveys and anonymous assessments

Your employees need space to speak candidly for feedback to meaningfully impact your company’s culture. Surveys and anonymous forms provide this outlet. You’ll gain useful criticism, data, and opinion that can shape company policy and direction.

Anonymous surveys and forms remove the fear of judgment and retaliation so that you can shine a light on crucial blindspots in your workplace. A mix of quantitative and qualitative feedback can help you by:

  • Bringing any toxic behavior or negative trends to your immediate attention
  • Increasing employee engagement and lowering attrition
  • Allowing you to gain insights from employees who wouldn’t normally speak up
  • Providing an ongoing outlet for employees to feel heard, increasing job satisfaction
  • Using employee polls to make more directly-informed decisions

A Gallup workplace poll revealed that a shocking 70% of employees don’t live up to their potential at work – mostly because they aren’t engaged. This leads to wasted time, which leads to wasted money, and that eats away at your company’s profit potential.

Consider setting up a digital anonymous feedback system so you can avoid this in your workplace and instill transparency and communication into the lifeblood of your company culture.

Encourage a growth mindset

Feedback often falls flat when both parties involved operate with a fixed mindset. A fixed mindset is the belief, overt or subconscious, that talent, creativity, intelligence, or other behaviors and performance are all rooted in gifts we’re either born with or not.

In other words, this belief might lead to those in the workplace believing that the ones who succeed are meant to be the cream of the crop and those who are struggling cannot improve. These ingrained beliefs might make feedback feel less important or useful.

Instead, encourage a growth mindset in both yourself and your employees. This mindset thrives on effort, trial and error, taking accountability, and recognizing that you can achieve any goal or characteristic worth having with the right information and hard work.

A fixed mindset fosters hiding and blending in for fear of failure. A growth mindset recognizes that collaboration, shining a light on mistakes, and figuring out the puzzle isn’t just half the battle – it’s the entire game.

Pushing a growth mindset will shake up your company’s culture and feedback then becomes a tool to effect change. Try these strategies to break your workplace out of a fixed mindset loop:

  • Make employee performance reviews learning opportunities and not “pass or fail” grades
  • Speak transparently on company-wide failures and how they led to useful change
  • Invest in training and professional development for employees and management

This mindset change will not only encourage more commentary from employees, but it’ll improve the quality of employee feedback altogether.

Put employees in positions to lead and contribute

Reward employees with opportunities to lead and contribute whenever they bring quality ideas to the table. This signals that their feedback can be translated into value and isn’t just lip service.

Put people in charge of teams and committees so they can flesh out their ideas and exhibit talents that they might not always get the chance to show. This not only creates more employee engagement but also lets you pinpoint future leaders. You can then promote from within, greatly reducing costly turnover in your company.

Some ways that you can encourage leadership and contributions include:

  • Putting someone in charge of games for the company picnic
  • Forming committees to establish and monitor short-term and long-term company goals
  • Appointing someone to take notes in meetings or to gather ideas from co-workers
  • Taking lunch orders and letting employees choose the restaurant
  • Leading the charge by facilitating brainstorming sessions and games

Every contribution counts. Most importantly, employees will recognize that their thoughts and efforts are valuable and have a place in both large and small parts of the company culture.

Become an active listener

You are the common denominator of whether or not a culture of feedback will take hold. None of these efforts make a difference unless you, as an employer, receive feedback well when it’s given.

Become an active listener so that people in the company feel comfortable coming to you with concerns, ideas, and criticisms. Withhold the need to immediately respond, as speaking too quickly may keep you from fully taking the other person’s point into consideration.

Consider some steps to become an active listener:

  • Take out a notebook or pad and write extensive notes on the feedback. This signals that you’re listening and you can use your notes to respond more effectively
  • Ask clarifying questions about the speaker’s points
  • Keep your emotions in check and adopt the adage of speaking without offending, and listening without defending
  • Make eye contact and offer affirmative statements to show that you’re engaged
  • Avoid speaking just to fill the silence

Your employees will check for cues from you when you start asking for more feedback. Bristling at the feedback or not taking it well can damage your efforts and put your employees back into their shells. Make certain that you’re ready for this journey more than anyone so that you’re ready to enact positive changes with the feedback you receive.

Winning in the workplace starts with feedback

A culture of feedback can spark change in companies of any size or industry. It’s a catalyst that makes people want to show up each day because they know they are heard and that their opinions and observations matter.

It doesn’t have to happen all at once. Every effort at instilling a feedback culture can bring benefits, so enact a change at a time as you watch your workplace blossom.

In the meantime, stock up on the tools and products that can help you put these ideas into action. Browse our selection of products that will help you motivate your team and create a winning formula in your workplace.

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