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Building an effective culture relating to employee feedback in the workplace, is a crucial part of any institution that seeks to improve itself. Feedback-giving should be seen as a practice in which employees from the different sectors of the company find ways on how to improve the services of the company. At the same, it is also a chance for the workers to commend and appreciate the hard work of others. In a nutshell, feedback is simply a means to express good points to continue, and points for improvement that should be addressed.
Here are some ways to promote an effective feedback culture in the workplace.
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The Sandwich Method
The principle of the sandwich method is fairly simple: STRENGTHS - POINTS for IMPROVEMENT - STRENGTHS. The delivery of the feedback is structured in a way wherein the worker's weaknesses are mentioned in between his strong points. As a guide, it is better to list the workers positive points and divide them into two. At the start of the feedback session, mention the first half of his positive points before stating his points for improvement. Afterwards, end the feedback with the remaining items of his strong points. This method is especially applicable when feedbacks are orally delivered.
It is important to start and end a feedback session in a positive way. Starting on a positive note will make the worker less defensive while ending on a positive note, too, will assure the worker that the company also recognizes the good things he has contributed.
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Collaborative Action Planning
Collaborative action planning is a practice in which the worker and the company agree on a solution to a problem or an issue. It doesn't focus on the problem or the points for improvement, but on what could be done in order to solve them. For example, if a worker received a feedback on regular tardiness, the worker and company could agree on changing the worker's working hours to a later time if possible. The essence of action planning is that it addresses the concerns of both the company and the individual worker. It should also be done in a manner where both parties are responsible for coming up with a specific doable solution to a problem. In this way, both the company and the worker will own up the consequences of the solution they have thought of.
For a healthy employee feedback culture, issues, concerns, problems and points for improvement should not be left hanging as mere feedback; they should be addressed in a way that focuses on solutions than on an individual's shortcomings. Action planning will help the workers see that work-related concerns are not personal attacks, but rather resolvable problems.
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Stop, Start, Continue!
Stop, start, continue, is an evaluation format which can be used during a one-on-one feedback session, written feedback form s or even during focused group discussions. This evaluation format is a guide on how the company and the workers can deliver their feedback. They are encouraged to think what are things that should be stopped, that should be started and that should be continued. This format summarizes the points for improvement (stop), suggestions (start) and the good points (continue). Because of its summative format, it encourages the workers to think of feedback holistically, and doesn't limit them to giving negative points.
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The essence of building an effective feedback culture in the workplace is to have workers work closely and openly with their supervisors. Both the workers and the supervisors would have to see feedback in a holistic approach meant for improvement of the company and its employees.
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Picture 1: (Photographer: Ambro) http://www.freedigitalphotos.net/images/Business_People_g201-Job_Interview_p27584.html
Picture 2: (Photographer: photostock) http://www.freedigitalphotos.net/images/Business_People_g201-Group_Of_Business_People_At_Work_p34801.html
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