One of the most effective ways to ensure that feedback will be accepted and lead to positive change is by ensuring that the managers delivering it are perceived as trustworthy. Managers can establish their trustworthiness by developing workplace climates that encourage feedback. To create this climate, managers must:
*Make feedback a priority. Both positive and corrective feedback should always be framed as an ongoing process that aims to improve the entire organization. The idea that every employee should always know how he or she is doing should serve as a foundation to the organization’s culture. To establish this, managers must set visible examples of feedback on a regular basis and be open to receiving feedback from their colleagues.
*Give positive feedback publicly. Another effective way to build a culture of frequent feedback is to acknowledge positive performances frequently and publicly. This can help quell some of the anxiety surrounding feedback by demonstrating to employees that it is ultimately about personal development. Additionally, the more managers acknowledge good work with positive feedback, the more employees will trust the credibility of their corrective feedback.
*Empower everyone. A culture of feedback requires the participation of everyone, not just people in leadership positions. To make sure that all voices are included in the feedback process, managers must always address challenges in a group context. Employees should not be punished for identifying areas that need improvement. Instead, they should be encouraged to work together to develop solutions. Another key ingredient to a culture of feedback is having clear expectations for teams, goals, and ongoing assignments.