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Using Feedback to Grow a More Efficient and Committed Organization The success of your organization, and the focus and energy with which your employees complete their work, all depends upon the strength of the leadership within that organization. If you aren’t providing a good example of leadership, then your employees will have nothing to follow and will not end up working efficiently. One of the best ways you can improve your company’s leadership and make your employees feel like they have a solid stake in your organization is to correctly utilize feedback. Here are several ways in which you can use feedback to grow your organization into a more efficient and committed establishment: 1. Start by having conversations. Whether you are conducting conversations for pre-employment assessments or you are speaking to longtime employees, it is important that you are open and that you really listen to what the other person is saying. We as humans have a tendency to avoid conflict and difficulties, including difficult conversations, but this can cause major problems in business. Start by going over and having those conversations you’ve been avoiding, whether you need to talk to employees about poor productivity, or you need to have a conversation where you know you are going to receive some harsh feedback. 2. Listen more than you talk. This is especially important when you are trying to gather feedback to improve your business. You already know your opinion on your organization, but you most likely don’t completely know what your employees or managers think. Make sure you actively listen and seek out this kind of feedback. Effective leaders spend more time asking questions, observing, listening and absorbing than they do talking or teaching. It’s difficult to lead people if you don’t know them and listen to them, so make sure you take the time to do so. 3. Ditch email and have a conversation. Having a conversation in person or over the phone gives you the opportunity to get more feedback and to understand it better. You can clarify it, hear the inflection with which it is said and really delve deeper than if you speak over instant messaging or exchange emails. 4. Ask specific questions. Many companies make the mistake of asking broad questions that elicit vague or unreasonable responses. For instance, asking “What would make you happier at work?” may elicit an answer along the lines of “Fridays off and fewer responsibilities.” Asking “How can we help you succeed?” or “Are deadlines reasonable?” can provide you with feedback that you can implement in a way that shows you are working with your employees to achieve mutual success. 5. Ask for feedback every chance you get. Make sure you always tell people that you are continually looking for ways that you can improve your organization and improve their experience working there. Encourage your employees to come to you with feedback even when you aren’t circulating surveys. An open line of communication is the best way to get candid, useful feedback. 6. Implement solutions. Don’t go crazy here. For instance, if employees ask for four-day weekends every week, you should say no. But if they say that they need

more time to complete projects, or that expectations are unreasonable, find out how you can change the structure or expectations within your organization to facilitate a more productive and constructive work environment. Please see SmartMoves! Inc.’s information on 360 degree assessments for more information on using feedback to efficiently grow and strengthen your organization, and make sure you seek specific, constructive feedback from employees at all levels of your establishment, on a regular basis, to ensure success within your organization. SmartMoves! Inc. Barbara Spector founded SmartMoves! in 1997 with the goal of offering organizations objective, valid, reliable tools for hiring, developing and retaining dedicated and hardworking employees. SmartMoves! serves the entire US and Canada, and offers webbased surveys and assessments, along with executive coaching and integrated training to help you improve your hiring practices, leadership and feedback-gathering skills and to move your organization up to the next level of competency. The company is based in San Rafael, California and is made up of a team of dedicated consultants that are located locally, and a virtual network of consultants located around the nation. Summary Feedback is one of the most important tools for growing your organization into a focused and committed establishment. Make sure you listen more than you talk, establish an open line of communication, speak to people in person instead of over email, and work to implement solutions. Sources: 1. Grossman, David (2014-2-24), “13 Ways to Become a Better Leader,” 2. SmartMoves! Inc, (2014-2-24), “Leadership Development and 360 Degree Feedback,”

Using Feedback to Grow a More Efficient and Committed Organization | Feedback is one of the most important tools for growing your organization...