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Building a Culture of Feedback: A Guide to Nurturing Your Team's Most Helpful Ally



In today's fast-paced business environment, it's no secret that feedback is essential for personal and professional growth. However, simply providing feedback is not enough; it's crucial to create a culture where feedback is embraced, valued, and acted upon.


Today we will explore the mindsets and practices required to build a culture of feedback, where your team can leverage feedback as their most helpful ally.


Embrace a Growth Mindset


The foundation of a culture of feedback is a growth mindset. This means that individuals within the organization believe that their abilities and intelligence can be developed through dedication and hard work. In a growth mindset culture, feedback is seen as an opportunity for growth, rather than a criticism or judgment.


At Google, employees are encouraged to embrace a growth mindset. They believe that everyone has the capacity to learn and grow, and that failure is an opportunity for growth. This mindset is reinforced through regular feedback sessions, where employees are encouraged to share their thoughts and ideas, and receive feedback from their peers and managers.


Create a Safe Space for Feedback


A culture of feedback requires a safe space where individuals feel comfortable sharing their thoughts and receiving feedback. This means creating an environment where everyone feels valued, respected, and free from judgment.


At Zappos, they understand the importance of creating a safe space for feedback. They have implemented a system called "Zappos University," where employees are encouraged to share their feedback and ideas, and receive feedback from their peers and managers. This system has helped create a culture where feedback is embraced and valued, leading to increased collaboration and innovation.


Provide Regular Feedback


Regular feedback is essential for personal and professional growth. It helps individuals understand their strengths and weaknesses, identify areas for improvement, and develop strategies for growth. In a culture of feedback, regular feedback is a norm, and individuals are encouraged to seek and provide feedback frequently.


At Microsoft, they believe that regular feedback is essential for growth and development. They have implemented a system called "MyAnalytics," which provides real-time feedback to employees on their performance. This system helps employees identify areas where they need to improve and provides them with the necessary tools and resources to do so.


Act on Feedback


Providing feedback is not enough; it's essential to act on it. A culture of feedback requires individuals to take action on the feedback they receive, whether it's positive or negative. This means that individuals need to be open to change, willing to learn, and committed to growth.


At Amazon, they understand the importance of acting on feedback. They have implemented a system called "Customer Obsession," which encourages employees to act on customer feedback. This system has helped Amazon become one of the world's most customer-centric companies, with a focus on continuous improvement and innovation.


Celebrate Successes and Failures


In a culture of feedback, successes and failures are both celebrated. This helps to reinforce the growth mindset and encourages individuals to take risks, experiment, and learn from their mistakes.


At Facebook, they celebrate both successes and failures. They believe that failures are an opportunity for growth and learning, and that successes should be celebrated and shared with the entire organization. This culture has helped Facebook become one of the most innovative companies in the world, with a focus on continuous improvement and disruption.


Conclusion


Building a culture of feedback is a crucial step in creating a high-performing team. By embracing a growth mindset, creating a safe space for feedback, providing regular feedback, acting on feedback, and celebrating successes and failures, teams can cultivate a culture that values continuous learning and improvement. This not only helps individuals grow and develop their skills, but also fosters a collaborative and innovative environment that drives business success. By implementing these strategies, organizations can create a feedback-rich culture that helps them stay ahead of the competition and achieve their goals.

 

Jonathan H. Westover, PhD is Chief Academic & Learning Officer (HCI Academy); Chair/Professor, Organizational Leadership (UVU); OD Consultant (Human Capital Innovations). Read Jonathan Westover's executive profile here.



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