Growth Insights: Why Every Leader Should Embrace Continuous Informal Feedback

Posted in Insights, Motivational, News

Embracing continuous, informal feedback is not just a leadership strategy; it's a transformative approach to fostering growth, communication, and camaraderie within a team. Without question, every leader should provide employees with informal feedback in the workplace.

The Art of the Check-In: Mastering Informal Feedback as a Leader

What is your employee development practice? How often do you provide feedback to your employees? If your practice is annual reviews or formal meetings, you may want to rethink that. The benefits of informal feedback are numerous and critical to maintaining high performance.

Marshall Connects blog, Growth Insights: Why Every Leader Should Embrace Continuous Informal Feedback

Do Employees Prefer Formal or Informal Feedback?

Preferences for formal or informal feedback can vary among employees. Many appreciate a balance of both. Formal feedback provides structure and documentation, while informal feedback tends to be more immediate, personalized, and can feel more conversational. A combination allows for comprehensive performance insights and a supportive workplace. Understanding individual preferences through communication can help leaders tailor their feedback approach.

Why Promote Informal Feedback in the Workplace?

Informal feedback is essential for leaders as it promotes continuous improvement, strengthens communication, and builds a positive work culture. It offers timely insights that help team members understand their strengths and areas for growth. Informal feedback fosters a supportive environment, encourages open dialogue, and enhances employee collaboration, ultimately contributing to higher morale and productivity.

Best Practices for Leaders Using Informal Feedback

The best leaders are those who are emotionally effective. They offer informal feedback by scheduling regular one-on-one check-ins, providing specific examples of positive contributions, and fostering an open communication environment where employees feel comfortable discussing their progress. Additionally, acknowledging achievements promptly and offering constructive criticism in a supportive manner can enhance the feedback process. Demonstrating that you care through emotional intelligence positively impacts working relationships.

15 Strategies to Provide Informal Feedback

Here's a list of strategies leaders can use to provide informal feedback to employees:

  1. Schedule regular check-ins for frequent one-on-one or team meetings to discuss progress and provide feedback.
  2. Provide timely recognition to acknowledge and praise positive contributions to reinforce desired behaviours promptly.
  3. Offer specific examples of what the employee did well or areas for improvement, making feedback more actionable.
  4. Open communication fosters an open, approachable and trusting environment where employees feel comfortable sharing their thoughts and concerns.
  5. Utilizing informal settings to offer feedback can be more effective when delivered in casual rather than formal meetings.
  6. When offering constructive criticism, focus on the behaviour or outcome rather than making it personal and suggest improvements.
  7. Ask for input by encouraging employees to share their perspectives on their performance and seek feedback on potential improvements.
  8. Connect feedback to broader organizational goals, helping employees understand their impact on the overall mission.
  9. Utilize tools or platforms for public recognition, showcasing achievements within the team or organization.
  10. Train leaders and team members on effectively giving and receiving feedback to create a continuous improvement culture.
  11. Encourage peer feedback by fostering an environment where team members feel comfortable providing feedback to each other, promoting collaboration and shared learning.
  12. Ensure a balanced approach by highlighting both strengths and areas for growth to provide a comprehensive view of performance.
  13. Provide career development discussions by using feedback sessions to discuss employees' career goals and growth plans.
  14. Implement periodic surveys to gather anonymous employee feedback about leadership and team dynamics.
  15. Be adaptable in your feedback style, considering individual preferences and adjusting your approach based on the situation.

As we navigate the dynamic landscape of the professional world, the power of informal insights becomes increasingly evident. Remember, to get the best from your employees, the key is to make feedback a regular and constructive part of the workplace culture.

Leaders who embrace informal feedback create an environment that thrives on improvement by offering open dialogue and acknowledging achievements promptly. It's not merely about periodic evaluations but a constant exchange of perspectives that propels employees toward excellence. For more insight, I encourage you to read my book, The Power of Emotion: A Practical Approach to Making the Most of Your Emotional Intelligence. Or perhaps you prefer journaling, you'll want to check get, The Mindful Journal: Cultivating Emotional Intelligence through Reflective Writing.

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