Feedback is important for any position, but especially for those who work remotely. Similarly, while it’s useful to provide feedback to employees, it should be a two-way street. Employers can also greatly benefit from receiving feedback from those who they’re managing. Here’s our rundown on how feedback works and why every company should be implementing it.
Feedback does many things, but the two most important are that it corrects errors and inspires better work. Remember, feedback can be both positive and negative, and if you’re doling it out, you want to be sure that you’re providing both. Too much negative feedback can be discouraging, while all positive feedback leaves the receiver with no ways to improve (and let’s face it, there’s always room for improvement no matter what you’re doing).
If you’re not providing feedback, then there’s really no way to understand the process of how something is running. Whether it’s communication practices, technical work, or overall results, sharing feedback provides a way to find a smoother and more productive way to work.
On the flip side, if someone is already doing something perfectly, you want to let them know so that they keep that aspect of their job up to par.
For remote workers, feedback can be especially important because of the lack of a usual office environment. Remote employees are working independently, which means that they can be at a loss for picking up social cues that hint at the quality of their work (for example, coworkers can’t just swing by their desk to provide a pat on the back or a complaint).
To help keep remote workers feeling like the part of a bigger machine (and a part of the company’s community), regular feedback sessions should be implemented. Not only will it help to guide their work, it will also assist in creating a communal environment for remote workers.
Remote workers aren’t the only people who should be receiving feedback on a regular basis. Employers can greatly benefit from feedback as well, both in terms of hearing feedback regarding their communication efforts and how employees believe the company is functioning as a whole.
Employers shouldn’t hesitate to ask for feedback from their employees, and it certainly shouldn’t be taken as a form of disrespect. On the contrary, it will be the best employers that are secure enough to ask for feedback from their employees. Those who think they know it all will be missing out if they choose never to hear what their employees think could use improvement or change.
Providing regular feedback doesn’t have to be a huge ordeal. Doing something as simple as sending out weekly pro and con lists or questionnaires can get the job done simply and effectively. Additionally, by having weekly opportunities for feedback, employees and employers will become less sensitive to any criticism that they may face, instead working to fix problem areas instead of moping around for days at a time from hurt feelings.
While weekly check-ins are of course a great idea for normalizing the feedback process, it’s also smart to implement yearly or bi-yearly reviews of employees (or employers!) that take place as more formal conversations over the phone or a video call.
How important do you think feedback is in helping a business to succeed? We’d love to hear your thoughts on Twitter!
This article was originally published on Remote.com