3 Steps To Creating a Healthy Feedback Culture

Tania Braukamper
Tania Braukamper

January 24, 2022

3 Steps To Creating a Healthy Feedback Culture

True story: one of our users once told us, “It’s like I’ve never been given feedback in 10 years.”

This situation is not uncommon. Giving feedback is hard. Receiving it is hard. 

What’s even harder is weaving continuous feedback into your company culture.

One step in the right direction is learning to approach feedback – both positive and negative – as a valuable gift. 

When you deliver constructive criticism well, you’re giving the gift of growth and professional development. 🎁

This shift in thinking is just the start. It’s also important to understand the various angles of the problem and create a solution that trickles down to every corner of the company. That’s how you create a healthy feedback culture.

Let's take a look.

❓ The Problem: 

Giving improvement feedback isn’t easy (or fun). We avoid it and keep on prioritizing other things, because:

  • We don't want to hurt the person’s feelings and face them the next day.
  • We're too agitated to deliver the feedback in a nice, constructive way.
  • We know the team member has fallen short, but we haven't fully thought through how they can improve.

Giving positive feedback isn’t hard at all. But even though you’re proud of your team, you can easily forget to recognize them for their good work.

Finally, receiving feedback can be painful:

  • We tend to focus on the negative messages because our brains are simply wired that way (it’s called negativity bias).
  • We apply an all-or-nothing mentality and convince ourselves everything is going wrong.

🌊 The Consequences: 

When people’s efforts go unrecognized, they can end up feeling unappreciated. And guess what? Feeling unappreciated is one of the top reasons people leave their jobs. 

Lack of growth is another big driver for voluntary resignation. That’s why people actually crave improvement feedback - they expect guidance on how to be better and grow. 

No wonder those who have regular feedback chats with their managers are three times more engaged

Lack of feedback is also bad news for the entire team, not to mention the company. Not course-correcting early enough can lead to a lot of work hours spent heading in the wrong direction – aka, time and money down the drain. 

✅ The Solution:

At Skoach, we think about feedback as having three sides: giving, receiving, and responding. A healthy feedback culture happens when teams are coached on all three.

In giving positive and improvement feedback, it’s key to:

  • Stick to observations, give concrete examples, and explain the impact of the other's actions.
  • Have both scheduled sessions on your agenda and offer feedback on the spot, making it very clear what's to be reinforced or improved.
  • Offer feedback as a gift: an investment in people's growth via a new insight into how they might be perceived.

In receiving feedback, it's key to:

  • Understand your usual reactions and inner dialogue after feedback and then challenge them.
  • Look for the new insights in feedback and separate them from your feelings about the messenger.

In responding to feedback, it's key to:

  • As a manager, provide growth opportunities that follow up on improvement pieces of feedback.
  • Promote the frequency of next chats.

💬 Quote

"Asking and giving feedback has been very interesting, it made me feel valued." — a Skoach user after getting challenges about feedback.

🤔 Something To Think About:

What are you doing to make sure people exchange feedback constructively and improve the way they work together?
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