Larry Cipolla
July 31, 2013

Yesterday, this blog discussed the importance of continuous feedback in the workplace. Performance appraisals are key to businesses encouraging individual growth that can then benefit the entire company. While these can be a required formality, it is also beneficial to incorporate informal versions of such appraisals.

For example, continuous feedback from a manager holds employees accountable for the consequences of their actions. Leadership is the key to starting positive behavior change. Whatever happens at the top of a company can cascade down through the entire organization.

Even something as simple as a 30-minute meeting every week with all employees—or just those in key positions—gives managers an ideal opportunity to coach, reinforce, mentor, counsel, guide, correct and engage in performance building behaviors that benefit both the employee and the organization.   

Once team members see that their leadership is willing to work with them, it can also encourage them to seek out feedback. Managers should keep these quick tips in mind, to pass on to employees so they understand how to get the most out of their informal feedback sessions:

  • Ask for specifics, including clarifying questions
  • Do not become defensive, interrupt or rationalize behavior
  • Thank them for helping you.

CCi Surveys International president and director Larry Cipolla explained that with an informal approach, employees can take responsibility for their careers when they have the initiative to ask for feedback. 

"Receiving feedback from your favorite boss is critical to your success and career," he said. "Employees may want to know where they stand with that person and, as necessary, modify their performance to make certain they are meeting those performance expectations."

Furthermore, contributors and the organization need to know what they are doing, how effectively it is being done, and what employees are doing to contribute to the viability of the business.