7 areas in which employees should be encouraged to ask for feedback

Asking for feedback regularly is not the norm in most organizations. Yet it's a process that when facilitated and done correctly, can serve every individual in a way that fosters growth, both individual and professional. So, how do you go about creating this process effectively?

If you work in the People Ops field, you are most likely familiar with the term "Growth Mindset," an idea researched by psychologist Carol Dweck from Stanford. It’s a framework for professional development and personal growth. According to her research, people with a fixed mindset view skills as constant personal traits, while people with a growth mindset view skills as something that can be improved.

The good news is that we are not naturally divided into either fixed or growth mindsets. With the right triggers, anyone can develop a growth mindset.

A recent global trigger for mindset change was Covid-19. Globally, millions were forced to work from home. The vast majority of people who worked from home learned valuable skills about remote work and they developed an open mind.

A crucial mechanism for growth is to ask for feedback and keep an open mind when receiving it in order to acquire and develop new skills.

Last week we discussed how to run a practical performance review for remote employees, but keep in mind you shouldn't wait for a mid-year review to get feedback. Give your people the opportunity to be in the driver’s seat of their own career and development by asking for feedback regularly.

In this article, we zoom in on how to ask-for-feedback for professional growth.

In this article, we will focus on the following (jump ahead):

- Why ask for more feedback?
- What to ask feedback about?
- How to ask feedback on behalf of others
- 7 areas to ask for feedback in - A (downloadable) practical guide

Why ask for more feedback?

Your people don’t have to wait for a mid-year review to get feedback. Encourage them to ask for feedback more often, because real-time feedback allows them to ‘update’ their performance.

When you actively ask for feedback, you learn more — faster.

A great way for employees to continuously improve their own feedback loop is to find trustees. Trustees explicitly ask each other for help and monitor each other's skill development and professional growth. Coalitions of trustees encourage each other to share useful information and allow each other to give constructive feedback continuously. If you're interested in how you can enable employees to embrace peer feedback, explore these 4 suggestions.

Encourage your workforce to seek out trusted peers from whom they could get comfortable getting regular feedback. Make sure they will not only give each other praise but ask them to select peers they would go to for a candid opinion on their latest performance.

What to ask feedback about?

It’s important to remember that many people are just as uncomfortable giving feedback as they are receiving it. People should keep in mind that once feedback is received, acknowledging the effort on the giver's side is important.

Asking more specific questions about their own performance will help them glean better information. For example, asking yes or no questions can be useful when you need a straightforward answer, while open-ended questions allow you to extract more detailed information. Targeted questions will also encourage others to give an honest assessment and signal that you really want their opinion – be it positive or something to improve on.

If you want to provide your people with a good framework for giving meaningful feedback, learn more about the COIN framework and its benefits.

In Impraise people can 'Ask-for-Feedback' about the tangible goals or objectives they’ve set when they need help to overcome the roadblock they just hit. Most likely someone else has experienced the same and can dig up some helpful solutions.

People can also 'Ask-for-Feedback' after completing a specific task so their performance will still be fresh in their minds. For example, if you have difficulties speaking in public, send a message to your intended reviewer right after giving a presentation and ask for feedback on a skill.

Reaching out right after you finish an important project is a friendly way to evaluate your effort and the result. Experts have suggested that is is one of the best ways to create an organic feedback loop moving forward and that when done regularly, it removes a lot of potential stress.

How to ask for feedback on behalf of others

In Impraise, managers have the option to 'Ask-for-Feedback' about their direct-reports from others. So when managers are curious about someone’s performance on a specific project, they could ask the stakeholders to provide feedback. That's done with the purpose of learning more about the team’s progress and in order to better understand where coaching is needed. To guide employees through receiving feedback in a way that serves them, read our article on how to be more open to peer feedback.

To give you a better idea of how this works in Impraise: Lori (for example) finished and launched an important marketing project, in which she worked with several cross-team stakeholders. Lori’s manager can select those stakeholders and Ask-for-Feedback about her performance - e.g. her way to update the people involved - to learn more about Lori’s quality as a project manager. The manager can even ask Lori to fill out a self-assessment. Ultimately creating a mini-review.

Timing is key. Managers should reach out to others right after a project has finished or a goal has been delivered on to ensure the memory is still fresh.

7 areas to ask for feedback in - A practical guide

One of the biggest challenges of asking for feedback is deciding the areas that need feedback and coming up with the right questions to explore those. To help remove this barrier, we’ve provided a guide with 7 different categories and template questions for each we see most commonly used by our customers.

This guide includes template questions for individuals or managers to ask for feedback anytime, from anyone. Inside you will also find questions to ask for the following 7 topics:

Download the 'Ask-for-Feedback' template questions here.

Summary

Encouraging employees to ask for feedback is a great first step towards improving engagement and more importantly, facilitating a culture where individuals take charge of their own development. It is not always easy to give or receive feedback yet with the right knowledge, intention, and tools, this simple but powerful practice can transform your organization.

Impraise gives you the option to share real-time feedback when it matters, ask for feedback from peers and managers, recognize a job well done to stimulate recognition, and actively engage employees in their own development.

Learn how Impraise can help you with the whole process from start to finish, including a highly-responsive Support team to assure the tool's smooth integration and quick adoption.

Next in our Series

Next in our Remote Work & COVID-19 Response series, we will focus on Alignment through Goal Setting.

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