How to increase employee engagement? Build a feedback culture within your company!

In today's ever-evolving business landscape, companies must remain adaptable and responsive to thrive. One of the most potent tools at their disposal is the establishment of a robust feedback culture. This corporate ethos encourages continuous and constructive communication, making it a natural part of daily operations. But why is cultivating such a culture crucial? In this article, we will share effective strategies and tips for implementing a strong feedback culture within your organization, ultimately enhancing employee engagement and promoting growth.

The Pillars of a Feedback Culture

Did you know that many multinational corporations invest significant resources in nurturing a feedback culture? Surprisingly, this practice might not receive the same attention in some regions, despite its impressive return on investment. The fundamental principles of a feedback culture include maintaining balanced, open, and honest communication for all, ensuring that the exchange of feedback is mutual and constructive. It is driven by a shared commitment to improvement rather than a focus on mistakes. This approach benefits both you and your employees, fostering a culture of learning, growth, and development that significantly boosts employee engagement.

Why Is a Feedback Culture Essential for Your Company?

Employee engagement is not only essential for business success but also for overall company performance. Engaged employees consistently perform at a higher standard, willingly go the extra mile for the organization, and tend to stay longer.

By solidifying and maintaining a feedback culture, you not only enhance internal communication but also foster trust among employees. This, in turn, promotes a culture of continuous improvement and learning. Eventually, a feedback culture becomes ingrained in your organization's DNA, becoming an accepted and enduring core value.

Five Strategic Approaches to Implementing a Feedback Culture

Giving feedback can seem daunting. Why? Because employees might think that anonymous feedback is actually an "illusion". In contrast, a feedback culture is a prerequisite for a progressive, evolving and effective work environment.

  • Introducing a Feedback Culture: Start by implementing a structured and comprehensible feedback system that is easily accessible to everyone. This system can take the form of written, digital, or verbal communication.
  • Providing Practical Opportunities: Establish a campaign-like, regularly recurring feedback period. A digital format is the most convenient way to easily store and retrieve historical results. One of the most popular features on our platform is 'Recognition', where colleagues can send personalised recognition cards to each other with a personal message, but a simple Google Form can also do the trick, where colleagues answer the same questions using a template.
  • Leadership's Encouragement and Leading by Example: Managers play a pivotal role in promoting a feedback culture. Encourage employees to voice their thoughts and opinions. Consider introducing a weekly or monthly "feedback hour/session" where team members openly share their ideas. This can serve as an excellent example of face-to-face or one-on-one feedback methods.
  • Structural Feedback: In organizations with multiple divisions or departments, it is vital that managers and middle managers receive feedback on their performance from employees, and vice versa. Feedback should extend beyond work-related matters to include aspects like equipment and facilities. Distinguish between quantifiable expectations, such as training or new responsibilities, and qualitative elements like patience, empathy, or constructive feedback.
  • Summary and Conclusions: Use feedback results to set annual and monthly targets for both employees and managers. Regularly review these targets based on feedback conclusions to ensure everyone stays on track.
Blue Colibri App - Recognition feature

Beyond Feedback: Incorporating Feedforward

 In addition to feedback, it is also worth incorporating a feedforward methodology. While feedback focuses on past results and events, feedforward complements this with expectations and questions for the future. What should we do next, or what and how should we do differently?

The Role of Leadership

The importance of leadership in fostering a feedback culture cannot be understated. Leaders not only encourage feedback but also demonstrate the ability to receive it constructively. Balancing constructive and constructive feedback is key—addressing issues while maintaining a focus on employee engagement.

By leading by example and fostering a culture of open evaluation, you can create an environment where feedback becomes a natural part of daily work processes. Building this culture is a collective effort, and together, we can achieve it.