Why is giving feedback important in the workplace?

Whether you know the phrase “Ignorance is Bliss” from Thomas Gray’s 18th century “Ode on a Distant Prospect of Eton College” or Skepta’s 2019 album, it’s likely that you’ll have heard it somewhere.

But is it true?  What’s blissful about being unaware of the impact you are having on other people or how the work that you produce is viewed? Managers are responsible for monitoring what’s going on around them and that doesn’t just include figures on a spreadsheet.  They can see how people work collaboratively, or spot times when tensions are rising, and the environment is becoming less positive.

Any individual can track the tangible outputs of what they are doing in their work, like the number of sales made in a month or the reports submitted ahead of the deadline and it’s great to have the personal satisfaction of knowing that you’ve done what you set out to do.  But there may be less self-awareness of behaviours, good or bad, and there’s hidden treasure in finding out how others see our efforts.   Feedback is sometimes referred to as a gift.  And it can truly be a powerful offering because it can enable us to see what we can do better, preventing repeated mistakes or helping us feel appreciated and valued. Essentially, feedback fuels personal development.

As a manager, your feedback enables your team members to eliminate ways of working that cause frustration or a sense of failure.  By shining a light on what you’ve observed and delivering feedback constructively, you have the chance to improve quality and productivity.  You’re also taking care of your most valuable asset – your people.

Giving feedback shows that you are taking a close interest in not just what an individual produces but also how they operate.  And praise and encouragement from a manager can make all the difference, promoting the urge to behave in a way that might result in even more praise coming your way.  It’s through feedback that a manager removes ambiguity about what’s required and when people are really clear about what’s needed from them, it’s so much easier to focus time and energy in the right way.

Giving feedback is a vital skill required for a manager. Our Level 3 Team Leader/Supervisor Open Programme will cover the role of feedback in development and other important leadership topics. Click here if you are interested in finding out more.

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