A Feedback Fix
How Leaders Can Grow Through Employee Feedback
A few years back we implemented a feedback method that puts our employees in the driver’s seat. At Assurance, we make it a point to gather feedback from our people for a variety of reasons – big and small. But this effort was different. We asked all of our employees to provide feedback to their immediate supervisor through a one-on-one conversation. The feedback focused on one or two things their supervisor can start, stop and continue doing to be a more effective leader.
The reason we did this was simple. Feedback is fuel for performance – and multidirectional feedback is critical to ensure we’re performing at the top of our game. The goal was to help make our leaders stronger while also encouraging people within the organization to be comfortable with providing and receiving feedback.
We’ve since incorporated this type of sharing into our continuous performance process that encourages real-time feedback, amongst other things. However, I recently had a few new people join my team and after spending a few months working closely together, I thought it was the perfect time to check-in on how I was doing.
Here are a few things I learned from the most recent round of feedback:
1. It allowed me and my team members to gain alignment. There were a few smaller items that were easily clarified. But there were also bigger things on peoples’ minds like – what’s the future of our team and how does it help the business achieve its goals? This made me realize I need to do a better job connecting people to the big picture.
2. I was reminded to take my own advice that perfection is overrated (apparently, and not surprisingly, I can get bogged down with the details being just right). But it was also clear my team wants to hear my perspective and vision more directly and with greater frequency. So, I’ve committed to being clearer in setting expectations and sharing when my expectations aren’t met.
3. Hearing what I need to start and stop doing were incredibly helpful – but the items my team wants me to continue doing provided me encouragement. As a leader, it’s not always easy to know when I get it right. So, it has meant a lot to hear what I’m doing that’s working well!
My team helps me get better every day. Their courage to share feedback with me and trust that I’ll do something with it is invaluable for my development. The “Start. Stop. Continue.” feedback method isn’t a radically new concept – but its effectiveness lies in its simplicity. I appreciate that it provides a platform to have one-on-one discussions where I get to hear what does and doesn’t work for each member of my team. Once received, I have the awesome responsibility to leverage the feedback to become a better leader.
- Bucking Convention: 3 Workplace Rules Meant to Be Broken
- It's (NOT) Easier When I Do It Myself
- Leadership Training by Warren Buffett
ABOUT THE AUTHOR