Continuous feedback can be defined as a process used to give an individual or team feedback on their strengths and areas for development on an ongoing basis. It includes allocating time for these conversations and actively creating an environment where everyone is comfortable giving each other feedback and responding appropriately to constructive criticism.
75 out of 100 employees feel that feedback is valuable, but less than 30 of out of 100 receive it regularly (Hogan, n.d.).
Companies are abandoning the ‘normal’ annual performance reviews. This is not simply a revamp of the old process but rather an entirely new process to answer to the demand for feedback from employees.
Organisations often fall into the trap of giving feedback on an annual or biannual basis. This form of feedback should be eradicated and replaced with a more frequent and open form of communication, i.e. continuous feedback.
If you create a culture where individuals ask for feedback, it eliminates the horrible feeling you get when you get unsolicited feedback. Initiating your own feedback allows you to approach the feedback with an open mind, and it encourages the rest of your team to ask for feedback too. An environment where everyone is comfortable giving each other feedback will be enabled. If you do however receive unsolicited criticism, it is critical to respond appropriately as you will set the example/tone for similar situations in future.
Feedback should be informal and instantaneous. Most employees receive feedback from their managers on a monthly or quarterly or annual basis. Feedback needs to be ongoing and given in the moment. Reinforcing feedback (also known as positive feedback) can be given in short, informal ways such as sending your employee an email or WhatsApp to boost their confidence and embed their positive performance.
Redirecting feedback (also known as constructive feedback), depending on how sensitive the situation is or how much of their behaviour needs to change, may need to take place through more formal means like a meeting or phone call. However, when addressed on an ongoing basis these conversations will come more easily for employee and manager alike. It is vital that you allocate time specifically to provide your team with continuous and appropriate developmental feedback.
By Ilana Bisschoff