How Feedback Fosters a Culture of Continual Improvement

There is a great saying that goes, “feedback is the breakfast of champions,” yet many team members shy away from partaking in this essential meal out of fear of receiving negative critique on their performance. This aversion isn’t exclusive to individuals; many leaders also avoid feedback delivery, fearing the discomfort of addressing shortcomings. Consequently, they either overlook problematic behaviour, hoping it will self-correct, or deliver feedback so vaguely that its implications are unclear.

Why is feedback crucial? Without it, we lack a gauge of our performance—whether okay, deficient, or exceptional. Feedback serves as a compass, guiding us back on course when veering off track. Most millennials, having been accustomed to constant feedback from various sources since childhood, crave this input. It’s not solely praise they seek; constructive feedback is equally valuable.

Research conducted by Michelle Luke at the University of Sussex underscores the profound impact of positive feedback. It fosters satisfaction, self-esteem, and optimism while enhancing focus on future performance. Thus, there’s a compelling case for integrating feedback more consistently within teams.

But what about corrective feedback? Or as we call it, improvement feedback, it’s imperative for redirecting off track behaviours. Failure to address such issues allows team members to persist and most worsen over time. Luke’s study suggests that improvement feedback, guiding individuals toward an upward trajectory, yields long-term satisfaction.

Why do many most leaders struggle with feedback? Primarily, there’s a tendency to focus on faults rather than successes. Shifting this mindset to acknowledge and reinforce positive behaviour is essential. Additionally, offering improvement feedback can be perceived as confrontational.

Effective feedback hinges on targeting behaviour, not personalities or attitudes. By focusing on specific actions or words, feedback becomes less personal and more actionable. Recognising and praising behavioural improvements reinforces desired changes, setting individuals on a path to success.

In conclusion, providing and receiving feedback is essential for personal and professional growth. Embrace the opportunity to offer praise and improvement feedback regularly to cultivate a culture where feedback is valued. Like champions starting their day with a hearty breakfast, let’s nourish ourselves with the feedback necessary for continual improvement and success.

Roger Simpson – CEO, The Retail Solution and Author of “The Ultimate Retail Sales Experience” With over 35 years’ industry experience, Roger Simpson is recognized as Australia’s #1 Authority on customer ROI in the retail industry and as a global expert on staff coaching, customer service, and selling skills.