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I hope you are well. This is your direct report, I hope you remember me from our last appraisal discussion (or should it be called a speech, because I didn’t get to speak much). I have been waiting for your feedback ever since you said we are going to become more agile & that I will get ongoing feedback and coaching from you & my peers.
I just wanted to ask where I can see all of that continuous feedback meant for me? I have checked Jira & it doesn’t seem to be there.
Working sincerely from home,
Your direct report
Is that an everyday conversation between you & your manager or maybe you & your direct report or maybe in your team? Do you think the pandemic forced work from home worsens the feedback exchange frequency? Well, we definitely think so.
Thus, today we will talk about a few ways you can encourage/improve continuous feedback conversations in your team.
Stop giving those excuses about not having time. Continuous feedback conversations are as important as the more traditional performance appraisal discussions, if not more. Simply set up a recurring meeting on your calendar, you being the only attendee. Now the frequency of recurrence is up to you. But we do recommend at least a monthly cadence. How many peers you have, what is the total number of people reporting to you etc should have a say in this frequency.
By far, this is the easiest way to make the habit stick.
People are flawed, including you. Especially so when dealing with feedback. Emotions run high & knee jerk reactions are not helpful. Writing feedback gives you sufficient time to empathise with the receiver & get rid of any judgemental bits that are not adding any value to the conversation. At the same time, if you are the receiver - you have time to soak in that feedback substance. See if there is a different perspective other than yours.
Mind you, we are not saying that written feedback is somehow a replacement for the face to face conversation, no. But having the feedback documented before it is discussed is always fruitful.
Irrespective of whether you are giving or receiving the feedback, you are always in an advantageous position if it is a documented conversation.
Writing effective & constructive feedback is hard. No matter how good you are with words, some amount of training can elevate everyone’s experience. There are research identified ways to ensure that the feedback is effective. See how you can incorporate these tips into your feedback discussions. Having a few templates at your disposal makes it way much easier to just write that feedback. Have templates for at least a handful of situations e.g. all in all positive feedback or praise, sandwich feedback (depending on whether you like it or not), negative (as we like to call it, constructive) feedback & so on. These templates should be accessible to everyone with least amount of friction.
We call this feature 'Formats' in UpRaise apps.
Ask your HR team to help out with a few templates to get started. This repository can be kept up to date as you become more aware of your team’s behavior around continuous feedback.
Like it or not, there is going to be resistance when you try to implement something as difficult as continuous feedback. After all, changing habits takes time. Thus, try to introduce the methods that make minimal changes to your team’s daily workflow. For example, if you are tracking your projects, tasks in Jira it is much easier to implement continuous feedback in there. Shameless plug - you can use UpRaise for Employee Success or UpRaise People apps that are natively built for Jira.
This not only reduces the barrier to adoption but also provides the necessary context surrounding the feedback conversation.
What other ways have you tried for making the feedback process more agile in your organization?