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How to Provide Effective Feedback Using Corporate Communication Tools

10 October 2017
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In most organizations, feedback for everyone from managers to employees is critical to improvement and success. While some corporate communications tools have improved this process in many cases, many more employees still crave more. How can managers provide crucial feedback to help improve their employees’ work?

Corporate communication tools make check-ins, group work, and other workplace communications much easier in most cases. But what about feedback?

There have been many studies on the effectiveness of feedback and how many employees actually crave more of it. According to Forbes, 65% of employees feel they need more feedback to do their jobs better and improve. According to Gallup, many millennials feel they need more feedback on their work, but are too nervous to ask.

Feedback and Corporate Communication Tools as a Part of Corporate Culture

Giving good feedback both requires and nurtures a culture of trust and emotional safety. When employees are open to criticism, they are less likely to become defensive, which causes most people to shut down their inclinations to heed feedback altogether.

In some ways it’s a catch-22, but if you can create a culture in which openness, integrity, support, empathy, and continuous improvement are pillars of strength, you’re on your way to creating a safe, productive space.

Over time, as employees become more trusting of their superiors and their peers, leaders can identify areas where their employees can grow and become inspired. Corporate communication tools can be a part of that process, but they can’t be the only tool in the toolbox.

Better Feedback for Better Results

Face-to-face feedback is my method of choice for receiving criticism, and many other workers feel the same way, but sometimes that’s impossible. Corporate communication tools can serve to deliver the same message to remote workers and others who might miss face-to-face communications at the office. Video communications can be particularly effective, creating a video link between management and employees when they need help improving their work.

But feedback doesn’t need to be done face-to-face all the time. It’s good to speak directly to employees when offering feedback, but once you have established a system of feedback based on trust, genuine improvement, and emotional safety, you can help your employees with written feedback as well.

A Safe Space

Feedback must be viewed as an integral part of workers’ everyday work. Improvement in recognized areas must be reinforced with praise, which is just as important as criticism and feedback. Above all, your feedback should be specifically aimed at areas of improvement and with the end-goal of improving employee work. Toss out any extraneous feedback that could hurt employee confidence. Be ready to accept your workers’ interpretation of work processes, as long as they get results and fit within the company culture. Always come from an angle of respect and a desire to improve the company and each employee’s position in the company.

Ben Renner

Ben Renner is an HR expert, writer, and Senior Editor of the Employee Communications Council. He has lived and managed his own business in Denver, Colorado since 2013. Connect with him on LinkedIn:

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