Why requesting feedback from external parties you work with is so important
To start with, organizations often understand the value of feedback, yet underuse it. Especially in cases where they work with external parties, they tend to either not collect feedback about individual performance or focus on gathering insights through vague general questionnaires in email form.
That’s not an effective method to learn and improve. The problem with that approach is that:
a) every project and client is different (so these surveys should be customized to an extent)
b) the feedback is often solely about the project itself not about how people collaborated with one another or how working with certain individuals was
c) the feedback collection happens after a project is done so if there was something going wrong throughout the process, no one could have reacted on time
Feedback should be looked at as an ongoing process, a loop if you will, in order to continuously learn, iterate, and improve. It’s not about crucifying people or judging mistakes that happened along the way.
Instead, feedback should be embraced as a mechanism to spark meaningful discussions about what is going right so your people can continue to do it, and/or discuss what needs attention so it can be corrected before it’s too late.
There are several benefits to adopting the process of requesting external feedback. Here are some of them:
- It introduces a continuous learning curve so improvement never stops - your people are in constant state of iteration to create their best work possible.
- When requesting feedback from people who are not part of your organization, teams get different objective feedback about projects and individuals.
- A holistic picture is painted of how teams and individuals work together internally as well as how they collaborate with others outside the organization. One can understand how your establishment is being presented and how the whole working relationship with clients can be improved.
- Individuals working on team-based projects get personalized feedback on how they are performing throughout the whole process. That’s important because it can pinpoint what skills and competencies certain individuals can improve.
- For longer projects, you don't have to wait until the end of the project to be over to obtain insights. Teams and individuals gain more frequent checkpoints.
- It can also save costs and improve efficiency. Many longer-term projects have BIG budgets and waiting a year to get the feedback could be financially devastating