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Importance & Strategy for Effective Feedback

Realization in the scope of improvement or increasing requirements or receiving proper feedbacks results in innovations. Generation after generation, we have been learning something new and evolving to reach what we are now. While adaptation to the changing ecosystems has been a part of all living beings, the human ability to learning and knowledge transfer through these learnings was significant. Moreover, for it to be effective assessments and feedbacks have been of immense help.

Importance of Feedback & Assessment in the Workplace

Assessment and feedbacks have been a part of human life for ages.

  • While these assessments are very informal in our personal lives, corporates and the professional world provides them in a very systematic and structured manner, as it is one of the foundational elements of the company’s growth;

  • It helps in recognizing the right talent, acknowledging them for their contributions, and reward accordingly;

  • It also gives an opportunity to understand the training needs and other requirements of employees further strengthening and managing the human resources effectively

In spite of companies being very serious about it, many feedbacks and assessments become flawed, making the process ineffective

Instances/ Examples of Ineffective feedback and Assessment:

1. When the facts are not available: Even though companies develop robust systems to keep the facts in place, a lot of factors are still subjective. As a result, the overall assessments can be skewed.

2. When the manager is biased: For a variety of reasons, the managers become biased, both positively and negatively, towards their team members. As a result, the feedback is not provided in the right spirit.

3. When the facts are altered: Another significant problem is the ability of some people to alter the facts. Sometimes, a few people are already aware of the data points and have control to change them. As a result, the data become skewed, especially when the data points are negative to them

4. Evaluator’s incapability to assess properly: In the current times, with steep growth in a few sectors, employees are not getting sufficient exposure to managerial roles and responsibilities, still have to work in those roles. As a result, assessments become ineffective.

5. Lack of Proper Set-up: Some companies, especially Startups and small companies are not interested in setting up proper mechanisms for effective evaluations.

6. Misinformation from third parties: Generally, third party information is taken as is. A customer could be dumb or wrong, still negative feedback given by them is directly considered affecting the employee in spite of putting sincere effort.

Whatever the reason is, inconsistencies in giving feedback affect the teams significantly.

How to Provide Effective Feedback?

  1. Create effective systems for issue redressal: When skip level interactions with HR or high-level authorities are effective, managers will hesitate to deviate from the right path

  2. Create awareness: Many employees are not aware of the right channels for proper communication. As a result, they become disappointed or indulge in gossiping, which becomes another problem to tackle.

  3. Give Training: All the evaluators need to be trained properly and the necessity of effective assessments needs to be clarified.

  4. Improve infrastructure: Create the required infrastructure and procure the software to manage the information well. Minimize the opportunity of some employees to manipulate the facts and other data useful for effective communication.

  5. Keep information anonymous: Employees many times are worried about the consequences in the future. So make sure the negative instances about their seniors are taken anonymously. Also, ensure that this anonymous information is provided in good spirit.

  6. Evaluate third party information: Not all information provided by a third party is accurate. Even though, as a company, utmost attention is given to it, make sure it is not completely affecting employee’s assessment. It should be evaluated based on the facts and constraints related to the company.

Looking at the other side, employees are also equally responsible to ensure effective feedbacks. Not that everything is in their control, but they can take a few measures:

A) Be aware of false assessments: Make sure you are able to understand false assessments. For this, you should be very clear about the points discussed. Many times, we give more weightage towards our own performances and discard any wrong-doings. Rather, make a good assessment of your own and see the differences that arise in the evaluation provided by your senior.

B) Avoid false perceptions: We many times create a false perception of seniors based on what colleagues say. As a result, even a good evaluation looks negative.

C) Show facts: Make sure you always save facts at your end. In case of any mistakes in evaluation, talk to the specific person based on facts. Many times, seniors could make mistakes.

D) Skip Level Interactions: When you are sure that your senior is involved in wrong feedbacks intentionally, look for the right skip level channels and talk about your case. Ensure it is handled by the right person and then the issue is solved.

Overall, effective assessments keep people motivated and help in retaining them; and it is everyone’s responsibility to have such an environment.

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