18 Jun 2023

Feedback culture strengthens your business

A healthy feedback culture is the basis for well-being, development and good cooperation between managers and employees. But how do you create a culture where everyone feels comfortable giving constructive and real feedback that benefits the entire company? That’s the topic we will explore here.


The starting point for any development is the willingness and ability to learn new things or to alter behavior. The development may be motivated by yourself because you want to improve your skills in a particular area or acquire new skills. This could be, for example, a goal to learn Chinese or become better at speaking up. 


But development can also take place based on feedback. In a workplace, it will typically be you as the manager who gives feedback to the employee regarding their strengths and weaknesses. The employee may have the potential to take on even more responsibility or perform a new role? It could also be that the employee can become a better colleague if they adjust their behavior in certain situations? 


Read: 10 tips on how to provide valuable feedback 


Sometimes it can be difficult for an employee themselves to see the development opportunities or requirements. It is therefore important that you, as a manager, draw attention to them via feedback. So, if the feedback culture in your company is not already flourishing, it may be worth putting extra focus on it now. 



What is feedback? 


Feedback means that you either give or receive feedback regarding performance, behavior or methods.  

Feedback can be both positive and negative, but you will be most successful with it if you are specific, objective and constructive in your approach. If you want to develop or change an employee's behavior to achieve better results, then it matters how you deliver your feedback. The feedback must first and foremost be valuable and useful for the recipient. 


Read: 5 tips for receiving feedback 



Create a feedback culture 


In some companies, managers and employees are good at giving each other feedback, both positive and negative. But many places have a culture where nothing is really said. This is a pity, because a healthy feedback culture is the essential basis for the development of employees and thus the organization.  


Feedback culture does not come naturally overnight. It is difficult to establish because giving or receiving feedback can be transgressive for many people. So be aware that it takes time, practice and patience to create a feedback culture that everyone thrives on.  


Here are 3 important steps to achieve a good feedback culture:  



  1.  Reassurance

    When you give feedback, it is crucial that your employee feels comfortable with you. Insecurity and a lack of trust can mean that criticism is perceived as a threat, and the employee will be afraid of the consequences. "Am I being fired now?"

    It is therefore important that you, as a manager, make it clear that the feedback is about development and not closure. The employee must feel valued for his personal and professional competences, despite their mistakes and biases. It creates a safe space with room for critical remarks.

    But you must be aware that real assurance is something that arises over time, when the employee realizes that there is truth and action behind your words. That confidence and trust must be built up from the very beginning of the employee's employment.

  2. Take the lead as a manager

    If you as a manager want to create a healthy feedback culture, you need to lead by example and show that you yourself can receive feedback in a good way. It's not enough to tell your employees to give feedback, because if it hasn't been standard practice in the company before, they probably won't do it.

    Instead, you should invite feedback by asking specific questions. This could be: "Did I manage the meeting well enough so that everyone had their say?" Or: "Are you satisfied with the way I review your assignments?"

    Some managers will see it as a sign of weakness to ask for feedback from their employees. But you shouldn't think of it like that. See the feedback as a gift that can help strengthen your leadership role, create closer and better collaboration with your team and, not least, contribute to good results for the company.

    Be open-minded when you receive the feedback, listen to the employee and tell them how you feel about it. 

  3. Set rules

    It is an advantage if your company establishes some rules for how to work with feedback. For example: 
  • When do we give feedback (all the time, in one-on-one conversations, on the way home from work)? 

  • Who can give feedback (managers, employees, everyone)? 

  • Where can feedback be given (in private, at joint meetings, at the coffee machine)? 


But there must also be a clear definition of the purpose of the feedback, namely that it helps everyone in the company to develop, to become more skilled and achieve better results. 



This is how Emply supports a good feedback culture 


With Emply's HRM solution, you can gather all your HR tasks in one system. The platform supports the entire employee journey, from job advertisement to termination, and it optimizes and streamlines workflows for both HR, managers and employees. Our feedback module provides you with the optimal options and tools to establish a good and effective feedback culture that benefits the entire company. 


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